Point of Order

– in the House of Commons at 1:29 pm on 26th July 2007.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Shadow Minister (Defence) 1:29 pm, 26th July 2007

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Can you tell me whether either you or Mr. Speaker have had any indication from Ministers about a policy for distributing White Papers to Members? I refer to the White Paper entitled "Delivering a Sustainable Railway", a personal copy of which I received from the House of Commons Members' post office, doubtless along with 645 other hon. Members. A perfectly serviceable summary accompanied it and it was possible to get a copy of the full report from the internet. For hon. Members, there was the possibility of a small amount of exercise by walking from one side of the Members' Lobby to the other to pick up a hard copy of the full White Paper, if they needed it, from the Vote Office.

Given that I suspect that approximately 500 to 600 of the individually delivered copies found their way straight into the recycling bins, is it not wasteful at a retail rate of £25 a copy for Ministers to insist on sending personal copies of the publication to hon. Members when it is unnecessary to do that?

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Photo of Michael Lord Michael Lord Deputy Speaker (Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

The way in which Departments produce and distribute White Papers is a matter for them, not the Chair. The hon. Gentleman's point is firmly on record and will doubtless be noted by those who are responsible for such matters.

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