House of Lords Journal 232 (Session 1998-99)

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Page 190


Volume 232      

Monday 1 March 1999

The House met at half-past two o’clock.

The following Lords Spiritual and Temporal were present:

Irvine of Lairg, L.
(Lord Chancellor)

Aberdare, L.
Ackner, L.
Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Addison, V.
Ahmed, L.
Ailesbury, M.
Ailsa, M.
Aldington, L.
Alexander of Tunis, E.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Alli, L.
Alton of Liverpool, L.
Amos, B.
Anelay of St. Johns, B.
Annaly, L.
Annan, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Astor, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Avebury, L.
Bach, L.
Baker of Dorking, L.
Balfour of Inchrye, L.
Barber of Tewkesbury, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Beloff, L.
Berkeley, L.
Berners, B.
Biddulph, L.
Biffen, L.
Birdwood, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Blease, L.
Blyth, L.
Boardman, L.
Borrie, L.
Boston of Faversham, L.
Bowness, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Bragg, L.
Braybrooke, L.
Brentford, V.
Bridgeman, V.
Brigstocke, B.
Bristol, Bp.
Broadbridge, L.
Brookeborough, V.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Bruntisfield, L.
Buckinghamshire, E.
Burlison, L.
Burnham, L.
Butterfield, L.
Butterworth, L.
Byford, B.
Cadman, L.
Caithness, E.
Calverley, L.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carew, L.
Carlisle, E.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carnock, L.
Carrick, E.
Carter, L.
Chalfont, L.
Charteris of Amisfield, L.
Chesham, L.
Chorley, L.
Christopher, L.
Clancarty, E.
Clanwilliam, E.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cockfield, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Coleridge, L.
Colville of Culross, V.
Colwyn, L.
Cooke of Islandreagh, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Courtown, E.
Craig of Radley, L.
Craigavon, V.
Crawley, B.
Crickhowell, L.
Cuckney, L.
Cullen of Ashbourne, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Currie of Marylebone, L.
Dahrendorf, L.
David, B.
Davidson, V.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Denbigh, E.
Denham, L.
Desai, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dilhorne, V.
Dixon, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Drogheda, E.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Ellenborough, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Ezra, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Fitt, L.
Foley, L.
Fookes, B.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Gage, V.
Gainford, L.
Gallacher, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Garel-Jones, L.
Geraint, L.
Gilbert, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Glanusk, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goschen, V.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Gowrie, E.
Gray of Contin, L.
Greenway, L.
Grenfell, L.
Grey, E.
Hacking, L.
Halsbury, E.
Hamwee, B.
Hanningfield, L.
Hardie, L.
Harding of Petherton, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrowby, E.
Haskel, L.
Haslam, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Hayman, B.
Hemingford, L.
Henley, L.
Hesketh, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hobhouse of Woodborough, L.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Holderness, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
HolmPatrick, L.
Hooper, B.

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Hooson, L.
Howe, E.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Hylton, L.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Imbert, L.
Islwyn, L.
Iveagh, E.
Jacobs, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jellicoe, E.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jenkins of Hillhead, L.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Johnston of Rockport, L.
Jopling, L.
Judd, L.
Kenilworth, L.
Kennedy of The Shaws, B.
Kennet, L.
Kilpatrick of Kincraig, L.
Kimball, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kinloss, Ly.
Kinnoull, E.
Kirkhill, L.
Kirkwood, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Laming, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lang of Monkton, L.
Lauderdale, E.
Leathers, V.
Leigh, L.
Levy, L.
Listowel, E.
Liverpool, E.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Long, V.
Longford, E.
Lucas, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Ludford, B.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McFarlane of Llandaff, B.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackay of Drumadoon, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
McNair, L.
Maddock, B.
Mancroft, L.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Marlesford, L.
Marsh, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massereene and Ferrard, V.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Merrivale, L.
Mersey, V.
Meston, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Milverton, L.
Mishcon, L.
Molloy, L.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monkswell, L.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monson, L.
Montague of Oxford, L.
Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Moran, L.
Morris, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Mountevans, L.
Moyne, L.
Moynihan, L.
Munster, E.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Napier and Ettrick, L.
Naseby, L.
Neill of Bladen, L.
Nelson, E.
Newall, L.
Newby, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Noel-Buxton, L.
Northesk, E.
Norton, L.
Nunburnholme, L.
O’Cathain, B.
Ogmore, L.
Orme, L.
Oxford, Bp.
Oxfuird, V.
Palmer, L.
Patten, L.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Pender, L.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Perry of Walton, L.
Peston, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Plumb, L.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Prior, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Pym, L.
Quirk, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rankeillour, L.
Rawlings, B.
Razzall, L.
Rea, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Renwick, L.
Renwick of Clifton, L.
Richard, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roll of Ipsden, L.
Rosslyn, E.
Rotherwick, L.
Rowallan, L.
Russell, E.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
St. Davids, V.
St. John of Bletso, L.
St. John of Fawsley, L.
Sandberg, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Seccombe, B.
Sefton of Garston, L.
Selkirk of Douglas, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shaughnessy, L.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shepherd, L.
Shore of Stepney, L.
Simon, V.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Simon of Highbury, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stallard, L.
Stanley of Alderley, L.
Steel of Aikwood, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stockton, E.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Strathcarron, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Sudeley, L.
Swansea, L.
Swinfen, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taverne, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Tebbit, L.
Tenby, V.
Teviot, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Macclesfield, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thornton, B.
Thurso, V.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Torrington, V.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Turner of Camden, B.
Tweeddale, M.
Uddin, B.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wakeham, L.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walpole, L.
Walton of Detchant, L.
Warner, L.
Warnock, B.

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Watson of Invergowrie, L.
Waverley, V.
Weatherill, L.
Westbury, L.
Whaddon, L.
Wharton, B.
Wigoder, L.
Wilberforce, L.
Wilcox, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Wilson of Tillyorn, L.
Winchilsea and Nottingham, E.
Winston, L.
Wise, L.
Wright of Richmond, L.
Young, B.
Young of Old Scone, B.

PRAYERS were read by the Lord Bishop of Bristol.


1.Command Papers—The following papers, having been presented to the House by command of Her Majesty on the dates shown, were ordered to lie on the Table:
1.Marine Environment—Agreement relating to the Commission established by the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment in the North-East Atlantic 1992; (26th February)
2.Long Term Care—Report of the Royal Commission on Long Term Care: With Respect to Old Age— (1st March)
(ii)Research Volume 1—(4192-II/1)
(iii)Research Volume 2—(4192-II/2)
(iv)Research Volume 3;(4192-II/3)
3.Law Commissions—Report of the Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission on Statute Law Revision: Report on the Chronological Table of Private and Personal Acts. (1st March)
2.Statutory Instruments (Standing Order 68)—The following negative instruments, having been laid before the House on 26th February, were ordered to lie on the Table:
1.Education (Grants for Education Support and Training) (England) Regulations 1998 (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 1999, laid under the Education Act 1996;
2. (i)Teachers’ Superannuation (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 1999—(446)
(ii)National Health Service (Scotland) (Injury Benefits) Amendment Regulations 1999—(444)
(iii)National Health Service Superannuation Scheme (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 1999—(443)
 laid under the Superannuation Act 1972;
3.St. Andrew’s College of Education (Closure) (Scotland) Order 1999, laid under the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 1992;
4.Environmental Protection Act 1990 (Extension of Section 140) Regulations 1999, laid under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
3.Negative Instrument—The following instrument was laid before the House and ordered to lie on the Table:

Prior Rights of Surviving Spouse (Scotland) Order 1999, laid under the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964.


4.Papers not subject to parliamentary proceedings—The following papers were laid before the House and ordered to lie on the Table:
1.Statement by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport re-appointing David Quarmby as Chairman of the Board of the British Tourist Authority for 3 years beginning on 1st June, laid under the Development of Tourism Act 1969;
2.Review of the Registrar General on marriages, divorces and adoptions in England and Wales, 1996, laid under the Registration Service Act 1953;
3.Statement of Guarantee given by the Secretary of State for Health on loans proposed to be raised by the Isle of Wight Healthcare NHS Trust, laid under the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990;
4.Report for 1997–98 of the Rail Users’ Consultative Committee for Wales, laid under the Railways Act 1993.

Select Committee Reports

5.Committee of Selection—The 2nd Report from the Committee was made; it was ordered that the Report be printed. (HL Paper 32)
6.Procedure of the House—The First Report from the Select Committee was made (see appendix); it was ordered that the Report be printed. (HL Paper 33)

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7.Procedure in the Chamber—It was ordered that the Report from the Group appointed by the Leader of the House on Procedure in the Chamber be printed. (HL Paper 34)

Public Business

8.Financial Services and Markets—A message was brought from the Commons that they have ordered:

That a Select Committee of eight Members be appointed to joint with a committee to be appointed by the Lords, to be the Joint Committee on Financial Services and Markets, to report on the consultative document on the draft Financial Services and Markets Bill presented by Her Majesty’s Command on 21st December 1998 and any further draft of the Bill which may be laid upon the Table of both Houses by a Minister of the Crown;

That three be the quorum of the Committee;

That the Committee shall have power—

(i)to send for persons, papers and records;
(ii)to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House;
(iii)to report from time to time;
(iv)to appoint specialist advisers;
(v)to adjourn from place to place within the United Kingdom;
(vi)to communicate to any Select Committee appointed by either House its evidence and any documents of common interest;

That the Committee shall report by 30th April 1999.

9.Health Bill [HL]—The House again resolved itself into a Committee upon the bill; amendments were moved and (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn; the House was resumed for a statement; the House again resolved itself into a Committee upon the bill; amendments were moved and (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn; the House was resumed.
10.Judicial appointments—The Lord Patten asked Her Majesty’s Government what steps they intend to take to ensure greater openness in the appointment of the judiciary, particularly in the light of recent legislation increasing the constitutional role of the judiciary; after debate, the question was answered by the Lord Chancellor.
11.Health Bill [HL]—The House again resolved itself into a Committee upon the bill; amendments were moved and (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn; amendments were disagreed to (see division lists 1 and 2); the House was resumed after clause 46 stood part.

The House was adjourned at eleven minutes past two o’clock
in the morning of Tuesday 2nd March till later the same day,
half-past two o’clock in the afternoon.


Division No. 1


It was moved by the Baroness Sharp of Guildford, in Clause 28, page 21, line 41, after (“State”) to insert (“for Trade and Industry”); which being objected to, the question was put thereupon, and the Committee divided:




Addington, L.
Burnham, L. [Teller]
Clement-Jones, L.
Henley, L. [Teller]
Howe, E.
McNair, L.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Sharp of Guildford, B.


Ahmed, L.
Amos, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Bach, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Desai, L.
Donoughue, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Gilbert, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Grenfell, L.
Hacking, L.
Hardie, L.

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Hayman, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
Monkswell, L.
Palmer, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Sawyer, L.
Sefton of Garston, L.
Walton of Detchant, L.

Division No. 2


It was moved by the Lord Mackay of Drumadoon, in Clause 39, page 31, line 3, after (“trust”) to insert (“, at least two of whom shall be a registered medical practitioner and a registered nurse or midwife,”); which being objected to, the question was put thereupon, and the Committee divided:




Henley, L. [Teller] Mackay of Drumadoon, L. [Teller] 


Addington, L.
Ahmed, L.
Amos, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Bach, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Clement-Jones, L.
Desai, L.
Donoughue, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Gilbert, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Grenfell, L.
Hacking, L.
Hardie, L.
Hayman, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
Mar and Kellie, E.
Monkswell, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Sawyer, L.
Sefton of Garston, L.



By the Select Committee on Procedure of the House

Ordered to Report:

1. Report of the Group on Procedure in The Chamber

At its last meeting the Procedure Committee agreed to a recommendation by the Leader of the House that a Working Group should be established “to consider how the procedures of the House can be improved within the existing framework of self-regulation; and to make proposals for ensuring that Lords are better informed of procedure so that self-regulation can work”.1 The Committee has considered the Group’s report2 and recommends the House to accept the following proposals for change in the House’s present procedures:

Starred Questions

A second topical question each week should be created by reserving the fourth question on Wednesdays, for tabling no earlier than the previous Monday. The second topical question should be subject to the same rules as the existing topical question, in particular the rule that no Lord may ask more than two topical questions in one session.3

Lords should be limited to one Starred Question (instead of the present two) on the order paper at any one time, unless they are successful in the ballot for topical questions.

The Committee endorses the following additional guidance recommended by the Working Group:

(a) Ministers’ answers should be shorter. Their initial answer should not generally exceed 75 words. Supplementary questions and answers should also be shorter and confined to not more than two points.

(b) The problem of how supplementary questions should circulate around the different parts of the House cannot be resolved by a rigid rule. The Government side should not expect to have every alternate supplementary. In giving guidance, the Leader should be mindful of the interests of all backbenchers, including the Liberal Democrats and the Crossbenchers.

(c) If two or more Lords rise at once, they should be more ready to give way immediately, rather than provoke a shouting-match, which is undignified and wastes time. If the Leader rises, other Lords should sit down at once.

1 4th Report (1997-98), HL Paper 144.

2 The report is printed as HL Paper (1998-99) 34.

3 See Companion to the Standing Orders, p 86.

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The Committee reminds the House that the Lord who tabled the question has no automatic right to ask a final supplementary question.4

Business immediately after Starred Questions

The Committee is concerned at how much noise is created when Lords leave the Chamber after Starred Questions. Lords should do so silently; those remaining in the Chamber should avoid conversations at this point. It is in order for the Lord moving the next business to pause for a short period until the House is quiet again. The Clerk should not start the clock until he begins to speak.

Drafting of amendments

In appropriate cases amendments should take the form: Page x, line y, leave out paragraph (b), and not Page x, leave out lines 1 to 3.

Grouping of amendments

For an experimental period until the summer recess, government departments should produce draft groupings of amendments for consultation by 2.30 p.m. on the working day, before debate (rather than at lunchtime on the day, as at present). To enable departments to do this, marshalled lists of amendments should be published on the working day before the debate (rather than on the day of debate, as is normal at present). Lords should be encouraged to facilitate this by tabling amendments no later than 5 p.m. two days before the debate, whenever possible. Amendments handed in later than this will be published in a revised marshalled list or in supplementary list. The experiment should be confined to committee stage.

Tabling of amendments

Outside recesses, the deadline for handing in amendments for printing the next day should be 5 p.m. (4 p.m. on Fridays) instead of 6.30 p.m. (5.30 p.m. for a marshalled list, 4 p.m. on Fridays) as at present. During recesses the deadlines will remain unchanged (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

Repeat amendments

An amendment identical (or of identical effect) to one pushed to a vote by the mover and defeated in committee should not be retabled for report stage. The amendment should be changed more than cosmetically if it is to be retabled. However, it would not be desirable to restrict the reopening at report stage of an issue debated and voted on in committee.

An amendment agreed to on division in committee should not be reversed at report stage except with the unanimous agreement of the House.


The time for divisions should be extended from six to eight minutes; the time for appointing Tellers would in consequence be extended from three to four minutes.

“Bill do now pass”

The motion “That this bill do now pass” should be moved formally and should not normally be debated. Ministers should if necessary respond to points raised on the motion by other Lords. The motion should not be an occasion for thanking those involved in the passage of the bill.


The Committee does not accept that the number of statements repeated in this House is unreasonable. They are important policy announcements. While there will be exceptions, the time for the two Opposition front benches and the reply to them should be limited to 20 minutes, as for the backbenches.5 Backbenchers too should exercise restraint, restricting themselves to brief comments and questions rather than speeches, so as to allow more Lords to intervene within the 20 minutes available.

The time when a statement is to be taken (for example, “after amendment 20” or “after the first debate”), once agreed between the whips, should be put on the annunciator. A Lord who was not present to hear a statement should not speak on it. The practice of noting unrepeated statements on the cover of Hansard should be revived.


The Committee endorses the following reminders of the courtesies of the House:

(a) Lords should bow to the Cloth of Estate on entering the Chamber, through not on leaving.6 Lords should also bow when the Mace passes.

(b) A Lord who is taking part in a debate is expected to attend the greater part of that debate. It is considered discourteous for him not to be present for the opening speeches, for at least the speech before and that following his own, and for the winding-up speeches. Ministers cannot be expected to answer, orally or in writing, points made by a speaker who does not stay to hear the Minister’s closing speech. A Lord who becomes aware in advance that he is unlikely to be able to stay until the end of a debate should normally remove his name from the list of speakers.

4 Companion, p 85.

5 As recommended in the Procedure Committee’s first report 1994-95, agreed to by the House on 10 January 1995.

6 Standing Order 17(2).

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(c) Reading of speeches is alien to the custom of the House. In practice, some speakers may wish to have “extended notes” from which to speak, but it is not in the interests of good debate that they should follow them too closely.

(d) Lords should never address one another in debate as “you”.

(e) Lords should refer to “the noble Lords, the Minister”, or simply “the Minister”, but not “the noble Minster”.

(f) The Lord who follows a maiden speaker (and only that Lord) should congratulate him on behalf of the whole House. Other Lords should not leave the Chamber while this takes place.

(g) Lords should not pass between the Lord who is speaking and the Lord on the Woolsack or in the Chair.7

(h) Lords should not move about the Chamber while a Question is being put from the Woolsack or the Chair. This does not apply when the Lord Chancellor is speaking as a Minister from beside the Woolsack.

(i) Lords should not bring books or newspapers into the Chamber, except for reference in debate.8

The Committee reminds the House that private conversations in the Chamber are not desirable.


The Committee agreed that the Working Group’s proposals for training (paragraphs 71-78) should be considered further. The Clerk of the Parliaments informed the Committee that he proposed to begin a revision of the Companion to the Standing Orders for issue by the beginning of the next session.

The Committee expressed its gratitude to Lady Hilton of Eggardon and the members of the Working Group for their work on procedure in the Chamber.

2. The General Debate Day

The Committee considered a proposal from the Government Chief Whip that, as an experiment from the return of the House after the Easter recess, the general debate day should be moved from Wednesdays to Thursdays. The experiment would last until such time as government business filled the debate day, probably mid-June 1999. The Committee noted that there was strong opposition to the proposal. If such a change were to be made on an experimental basis, the Committee recommends that the House should meet at 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and 2.30 p.m. on Thursdays.9 However, in the absence of agreement on the Chief Whip’s proposal, the Committee makes no recommendation on the proposal or on sitting times. The issue should be left to the House to decide.

7 Standing Order 17(1).

8 Companion, p 64.

9The Committee was led to understand that this would be because party meetings would be held on Wednesdays.