Letter from Mr Owen Paterson MP to the
Chairman of the Committee
In the last Parliament, I served on three Select
CommitteesWelsh Affairs, Agriculture and European Scrutiny
and I understood their value as vehicles for scrutinising the
I very much hope that, as Leader of the House,
you will consider strengthening Select Committees by
1. ensuring membership is decided by the
House and not by the "usual channels".
2. Chairmen of Select Committees should
be elected by the Committee members, but should be from the Opposition.
3. Chairmen should be paid significantly,
so that they have real stature, as in the US Congress and the
Select Committee route offers a parallel career route to climbing
the Ministerial ladder.
4. Staff of Committees need to be significantly
strengthened, particularly with regard to European Affairs work,
as they are under intolerable pressure.
31 July 2001