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Lord Strathclyde: My Lords, it is one of the more pleasant duties of the Opposition Chief Whip to join in this customary debate before we break for the summer Recess. On behalf of these Benches, I join the noble Lord the Government Chief Whip in giving our thanks

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and congratulations to all those who work behind the scenes and sometimes even in front of the scenes, who have made these past few months work well and be as pleasurable as possible. It is customary also to reflect upon the warmth of the summer. I am delighted to say that, given that the political atmosphere has sometimes been heated, climatically it has not. That has helped control much of the debate that has taken place in the Chamber.

On a personal note, I want to thank the noble Lord the Government Chief Whip for the way he has operated the usual channels. Coming in to a new government as a new Government Chief Whip he brought to bear all the natural skills he built up over many years in the commercial field to ensure that the House has operated in as fair a way as possible. He is right that on occasions we disagreed about that, but that has always been most amicable.

We now have a few weeks' break. I am pleased that we have not had to sit into August. We on these Benches look forward to returning refreshed. I can already hear the sound of the buckets and spades being unpacked. On behalf of these Benches, I wish noble Lords and all who work in the House a happy summer Recess.

The Viscount of Falkland: My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend Lord Harris of Greenwich, I follow the noble Lord the Government Chief Whip in his remarks, first, about the way in which the Business of the House has been conducted. We have much appreciated the courtesy and thoroughness with which noble Lords and noble Baronesses on the Government Front Bench have dealt with all matters. I agree with him that we concur with the Government in many areas of their policy, and will continue to do so, but where we do not agree we make that clearly known at an early stage. We shall stand by our opinions vigorously, as he has now come to recognise. Behind all that of course is the continuing

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goodwill. We look forward to a vigorous and challenging Session starting in November, but more of that anon.

I follow both noble Lords in congratulating all the staff, and thanking them for the continuing level of service that they give us. This is a formidable institution, and an enjoyable one in which to work. It is only made an enjoyable and fulfilling place in which to work hard by the support we receive from people who often go unrecognised.

I wish all noble Lords a happy summer. The previous Clerk of the Parliaments used to say to me, "What a pity we have the Parliament term wrong; we should rise at the end of May and enjoy the summer". I do not think that he would have said that to me this year. We may wish that we had been sitting through August, but let us hope that the weather will be kind to us and that noble Lords will be able to take out their buckets and spades. In my case it is my motor-cycle which my wife calls my menopausal machine, which I think is rude. I hope that we all come back refreshed. We look forward, as I say, to a challenging and fulfilling new Session.

Lord Shaugnessy: My Lords, on behalf of our Convenor, my noble friend, Lord Weatherill, and my noble colleagues on these Cross Benches, it is my privilege to endorse your Lordships' expressions of deep appreciation of the unfailing dedication of all those who support the work of this House in both its legislative and administrative activities.

I doubt whether any other legislative assembly anywhere enjoys more dedicated support than we enjoy in this House. And it is always proffered with sincerity and unfailing good humour. We on these Benches are happy to join in wishing everyone a pleasant and relaxing Recess after an arduous and lengthy Session that ends today. I hope that we shall all return in due course to take up the battle again.

        House adjourned for the Summer Recess at ten minutes before four o'clock until Monday, 5th October next.

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