Lord Denham: There is slight unhappiness that the noble Lord, who is probably speaking for longer than the permitted limit, will not stay for the end.
Lord Denham: My Lords, when on Monday and Tuesday of last week your Lordships debated a Motion not dissimilar from today's, most noble Lords opened their remarks by saying that in their view this House badly needed a reform, but not that one. Much the same could be said about today. I confess I am somewhat surprised by this sudden passion for more reform. At the time I made my maiden speech in your...
Lord Denham: My Lords-
Lord Denham: My Lords, having been a Member of your Lordships' House for an inordinate length of time, I have often had it said to me that I must have seen a lot of changes in the House over the years. I always give the same reply, that what amazes me is not how much the House has changed, but how much it has remained the same. It has survived the advent of the life Peers. It has survived eight Labour...
Lord Denham: To ask the Chairman of Committees whether he will place in the Library of the House the agendas of Procedure Committee meetings to ensure that non-members of the committee have an opportunity to make their views known to members in advance of meetings.
Lord Denham: Before the noble Lord leaves Part 5, I believed that the whole package offered by the Government to hereditary Peers would be honoured until the final and definitive stage of reform had taken place. Where did I go wrong?
Lord Denham: The whole point is that this was a promise given by the Government that caused me to vote for getting the Bill through quickly, which I would not otherwise have done. The Government are reneging on that promise. I cannot understand how they can do that.
Lord Denham: I am not interested in what the noble Lord, Lord Steel, said. I would like an answer from the Government.
Lord Denham: My Lords, would the noble Baroness really be prepared to see the agreement broken between the Government and the Opposition on hereditary Peers?
Lord Denham: The noble Baroness said that she would like to see the elections for hereditary Peers end. She was in on all the agreements and ways the promises were made. Would she really sleep happy in her bed tonight if she let those promises be broken?
Lord Denham: My Lords, I am going to limit what I say to Part 5 of the Bill, "The House of Lords", and, of that, only Section 67 which deals with the elected hereditary Peers and their replacement. Having looked at that part of the Bill itself, I then took up the Explanatory Notes to see what justification was given for the breach of one of the most solemn undertakings given by any Government over my 60...
Lord Denham: My Lords, the negotiations went on throughout the course of the Bill. I was around at the time. I am so sorry; the noble Lord, Lord Steel, may wish to confuse himself like this, but it just simply is not true. This was an honourable meeting between parties to try and work out a way to get the Bill through in the best possible way and in the most reasonable time. Let me continue: "Let me...
Lord Denham: My Lords, will the noble Baroness the Leader of the House bear in mind the wise words of the noble Lord, the first Viscount of Falkland: "If it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change"?
Lord Denham: My Lords, I have been listening to the responses of the noble Lord, Lord West of Spithead, with great interest, but I do not think he has replied to the question put by my noble friend Lady Neville-Jones about releasing documents to the press before they are made available to Parliament. Will he answer it now if he has not done so already?
Lord Denham: asked the Leader of the House: Whether she will remind Ministers of the guidance in the Companion to the Standing Orders that they need only answer two points in response to each supplementary oral question, and of the case for keeping supplementary answers short.
Lord Denham: My Lords, is the noble Baroness aware that my Question was partly aimed at noble Lords who ask supplementary questions and who are strictly limited by Standing Order to two points but all too often offend? However, if Ministers, who are not so limited and are only excused from answering more than two points, would stick voluntarily to that limit, questioners themselves would be more selective...
Lord Denham: asked Her Majesty's Government: Whether the post office in the Central Lobby of the Palace of Westminster is one of those under threat of closure.
Lord Denham: My Lords, I hope that the noble Lord the Lord Chairman of Committees will not be misled by the tone of some of the speeches into being unaware of the real feeling of disquiet among many of your Lordships about what has taken place. Decisions have been taken on matters that deeply concern the House as a whole without the House as a whole being given the slightest idea even that discussions...
Lord Denham: asked Her Majesty's Government: How many, and which, regularly funded theatre-based producing companies in the regions were supported by Arts Council England (ACE) in 2007—08; and how many, and which, ACE plans to support, subject to an appeal process, in 2008—09.
Lord Denham: asked Her Majesty's Government: What is the annual subsidy per seat of each of the producing theatres funded by Arts Council England in London and the regions, for the last year for which figures are available; and what is the total seat capacity of each of those theatres.