20 July 1999
By the Select Committee appointed
to consider Community proposals, whether in draft or otherwise,
to obtain all necessary information about them, and to make reports
on those which, in the opinion of the Committee, raise important
questions of policy or principle, and on other questions to which
the Committee considers that the special attention of the House
should be drawn.
CORRESPONDENCE WITH MINISTERS
1. As part of its work
on Community proposals, the Select Committee sends letters to
Ministers to express its views on proposals under scrutiny. The
procedure of sending a letter may be adopted when the timetable
of the Council of Ministers is too short for the Committee to
make a report, or if the enquiry indicates that the points at
issue do not warrant a full report. Such letters pass the same
stages of approval as a report, and are normally signed by the
Chairman. Occasionally the Chairman delegates authority to a
Sub-Committee Chairman. Where the timing of discussions in the
Council of Ministers does not permit consideration in advance
by the Committee, the letter is sent on the authority of the Chairman
and placed before the Committee at its next meeting.
2. The Committee
therefore considers that the attention of the House should now
be drawn to letters which it has sent since the last volume of
correspondence was issued, together with replies received from
Ministers. It includes letters sent by the Committee and replies
received since January 1999.
3. This Report is in four
parts. The first includes letters relating to the policy issues
raised by proposals; the second includes letters relating to cases
where the Committee has been unable to scrutinise documents effectively;
the third includes letters relating to issues of legal and procedural
interest; and the fourth includes correspondence relating to the
Committee's reports and Government responses to them.
4. The two immediately
previous volumes of Correspondence with Ministers were published
as the 11th Report, 1997-98 (HL Paper 60) and the 4th Report,
1998-99 (HL Paper 24).