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Ministerial Letters: Writing Paper

Volume 588: debated on Wednesday 1 April 1998

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asked the Leader of the House:Under what circumstances it is appropriate for a Minister to respond to a point raised on the Second Reading of a Bill on House of Lords, rather than departmental, writing paper; whether such an answer has the same force in the former case as in the latter; and whether a copy of such a letter should be placed in the Library of the House in the usual way. [HL1133]

It is for Ministers to decide which writing paper to use when responding to points made in debates in the House. The authority of a ministerial letter is not affected by the heading of the writing paper. It is for Ministers to decide in each case whether to place copies of letters in the Library; again, such decisions are not affected by the nature of the writing paper.The noble Lord will be aware of the guidance in the Third Report from the Select Committee on the House of Lords Offices (9 December 1997, HL Paper 49) that "House of Lords stationery may be used for all correspondence relating to the work of the House".