asked the hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed, as representing the House of Commons Commission (1) what is the policy of the Commission towards the involvement of private outside sources of finance in the financing of overseas trips by Select Committees;(2) what criteria the Commission has laid down for the financing of overseas trips by Select Committees of the House of Commons.
The Commission has responsibility for determining the annual amount to be included in the Vote for House of Commons administration on account of Select Committee overseas travel. Subject to guidelines concerning matters such as the class of travel to be used, responsibility for detailed decisions on the use and apportionment of this total sum has been devolved to the Liason Committee. The guidelines do not address the issue of private financing; but I understand that the Liaison Committee in the last Parliament agreed on one occasion that it was not appropriate for a Select Committee to accept an offer of facilities or finance for overseas travel from private sources.