Select Committee on Privileges First Report


Letter from the Treasury Solicitor to Herbert Smith, 15 September 1999


  I understand that following my letter of yesterday's date there have been discussions between Counsel and I set out below the result of those discussions.

  We agreed to the deletion of paragraph 1(iii) because your Counsel has indicated to our Counsel that your clients now accept that Clause 1 of the House of Lords Bill has the effect for which the Government has contended (ie the exclusion of hereditary peers other than the Weatherill peers from being members of the House of Lords) for all future parliaments and the argument at paragraph 18(f) of Mr Lofthouse's opinion of 14 April 1999 does not now form part of your client's case. On that footing, we agreed that paragraph 1(iii) can now be deleted. Consequent on that deletion, the following changes should also be made, delete from paragraph 2(b) the words "and from future parliaments" and amend paragraph 2(a) so that "after the recipient has come to parliament" reads "after the recipient has come to this parliament in answer to it".

  We agreed to the inclusion of paragraph 2(c) solely on the basis that your clients are determined to maintain an argument based upon article 3 of protocol 1 to the Convention. For our part we do not accept that it is relevant to the question referred by the House nor that any sound argument germane to the question may be mounted upon it.

  As the Attorney-General is not available to sign the Statement of Issues today, I suggest the Statement be lodged as a draft and if you will kindly let me have an engrossment I will arrange for it to be signed and either returned to you or lodged, whichever you find more convenient.

E B Solomons

Head of Commercial Litigation

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