The Chairman of Ways and Means has indicated that he prefers the existing procedure, which, though open to some criticism, effectively safeguards the rights both of the individual Member and of the promoters. He has added that he is unwilling to exercise the discretion which the second part of the recommendation seeks to give him. The exercise of a discretion such as that suggested by the Joint Committee would, in his view, often conflict with the non-political character of the office of Chairman of Ways and Means.
This recommendation has been carried out.
The Chairman of Ways and Means has indicated that the difficulty of obtaining a quorum in Committees on unopposed Bills has been overcome by other methods, and in his opinion no action on this recommendation is necessary.
The Chairman of Ways and Means has given instructions that, from the beginning of next Session, a sufficient record of the decisions taken by Committees on unopposed Bills in this House, and the reasons therefor, should be kept and made available to Members of the Committee who wish to consult it.
The Chairman of Ways and Means takes the view that this recommendation should not be carried out. The double Committee stage proposed by the Joint Committee would add to the expense of the promoters; and the view of the Chairman of Ways and Means is that consistency in private legislation is sufficiently ensured by the fact that the advice of the Speaker's Counsel is by Standing Order made available both to unopposed Bill Committees and to opposed Bill Committees which contain local legislation clauses.
This recommendation was carried out by the amendment by the two Houses of the relevant Standing Orders on 21st February, 1956.
The principle of this recommendation has been accepted. Acting in conjunction with the authorities of the House of Lords, the Chairman of Ways and Means has proposed that the saving which results from re-arranging the printing charges in pursuance of this recommendation should be divided equally between the Stationery Office and the promoters of Private Bills.
Recommendations (11) and (12)
The Chairman of Ways and Means takes the view that these two recommendations should not be carried out.
The Chairman of Ways and Means has indicated that the revision of the fees charged by both Houses has been completed, and it is hoped to give notice of the necessary amendments to the Standing Orders of this House before the summer Adjournment.
This recommendation has been carried out in both Houses; completely revised and modernised lists of Agents' charges have now been agreed to by Mr. Speaker and the Clerk of the Parliaments respectively.
Recommendations (17) and (18)
The Chairman of Ways and Means and the Lord Chairman of Committees have agreed that a review of the Standing Orders should be undertaken by the officers of both Houses.
The Model Clauses Committee, which operates under the direction of the Chairman of Ways and Means and the Lord Chairman of Committees, has decided to carry out this recommendation in future editions of Model Clauses. The Committee has already drawn the attention of all the Parliamentary Agents to the recommendation.
The preparation of the material for this Bill is well advanced. No indication can be given at present as to its introduction.