My Lords, before the commencement of business, I take the opportunity to inform the House that I am to make an official visit to Washington DC on Monday 11th May and Tuesday 12th May 1998. In addition, I will be hosting a luncheon on behalf of Her Majesty's Government for the Prime Minister of Jamaica on Thursday 14th May 1998. Accordingly, I trust that the House will grant me leave of absence on both those occasions.
The Lord Chancellor
(Lord Irvine of Lairg)