Select Committee on House of Lords Offices Fourth Report


Wednesday 27th October 1999

BY THE SELECT COMMITTEE appointed to consider House of Lords' Offices


  The Committee have met and been attended by the Clerk of the Parliaments and the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod.

1.  Ancillary rights for departing hereditary peers

  The Committee have considered a report by the Chief Whips and the Convenor of the Cross-Bench peers on the question of what rights and facilities might be accorded to hereditary peers who, from the end of this session, will not be members of the House. The Chief Whips and the Convenor had the benefit of advice from the Refreshment and the Library and Computers Sub-Committees. The report suggested that, if the new House was minded to grant any facilities to departed hereditary peers, it might consider the use of a gallery in the chamber, and limited access to certain library and refreshment facilities.

  The Committee agree with the conclusions of the Chief Whips and the Convenor that decisions on rights and facilities must be taken next session by the new House. The Committee will meet early in the new session and will take into account the views expressed by this Committee and by the Sub-Committees. The House will be invited to take decisions on these matters as soon as possible in the new session. In the short period between the end of this session and the necessary decisions being taken, the facilities of the House will not in general be open to hereditary peers who are no longer members of the House.

2.  Computers

  The Committee have agreed a scale of charges for the purchase of computers and printers by those departing hereditary peers who have these items on loan from the House and who wish to buy them. The software loaded onto those computers is licensed to the House and is not available for sale.

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