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Lord Graham of Edmonton: He believes it!

Viscount Cranborne: My Lords, I do indeed believe it, as the noble Lord, Lord Graham, points out from a sedentary position. The Opposition seem to find it difficult to decide whether this Session's legislative programme is a lion or a mouse, unlike my noble friend Lord Oxfuird, who thought that it was a jug. I would say only that there is a simple test that we could apply to see who is right. If it is a mouse, our labours during the coming Session will be short, and we shall get to bed--delightful prospect--by eight and pack our buckets and spades no doubt by the beginning of June. If it is a lion, we shall still be here by mid-July. It is in the hands of noble Lords

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opposite, but I have to say that were I a betting man my money would not be on the mouse, and I would therefore have to invite the noble Lord, Lord Richard, to reconsider his position when the time comes. I therefore look forward to a constructive and lively Session.

Indeed, the noble Lord, Lord Richard, made a speech on the Motion for the Adjournment last week that I much enjoyed. He paid elegant compliments to my noble friends who had proposed and seconded the humble Address and poked, as indeed is only his right, a little gentle fun at Her Majesty's Government. He even took advantage of the status of my noble friend Lord Wade as a cheesemaster to accuse the Government's policies of being blue and mouldy. The noble Lord might care to reflect before he retires to

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his bed that, as a cheese matures, discriminating consumers appreciate its greater quality. I have to say to him that this cheese is indeed maturing nicely. Those who are eating it will increasingly appreciate its quality.

Lord Richard: It is smelling a bit.

Viscount Cranborne: My Lords, why should they throw it away in favour of an alternative which is vaguely imitative in parts and wholly ersatz and bland everywhere?

On Question, Motion agreed to nemine dissentiente: the said Address to be presented to Her Majesty by the Lords with White Staves.

        House adjourned at twenty-eight minutes past ten o'clock.

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