Lord Lexden – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the The Lord Chairman of Committees

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Lexden on 2016-04-26.

To ask the Chairman of Committees what are the implications of the vote in the House of Commons on 20 April in favour of retaining vellum for the printing of record copies of public Acts of Parliament.

Lord Laming

The House Committee considered this matter at its meeting on 3 May. The Committee agreed that, in response to the letter from the Clerk of the House of Commons about the debate, I should write to the Chairman of the House of Commons Administration Committee in the following terms:

“I am writing further to the backbench debate on printing record copies of public Acts of Parliament on vellum. I have consulted the House of Lords House Committee in preparing this reply.

As you know, this House agreed in 1999 to move to printing Acts of Parliament on archival paper instead of vellum. We are persuaded that printing on archival paper is a more appropriate use of public funds, and that the case for continuing to print on vellum is not made.

If, in the light of the debate, the House of Commons wishes to arrange a contract for printing record copies of public Acts on vellum then the House of Lords Administration will gladly share experience of managing the legacy contract to assist you in making any such arrangements. I am sure you will appreciate that this House does not wish to contribute financially to any future printing on vellum. It is also important that we ensure the longevity of any public Acts, as the Clerk of the Parliaments must certify a record copy of them.

Perhaps at our next regular meeting it would be possible for us to discuss some of the points made in the debate. I am, as ever, grateful to you for all your help in this matter.”

I wrote accordingly on 4 May.