Cathedralian Publishes Autobiography of Career within the Houses of Parliament
Thursday, August 17
Whether you have a burning interest in the workings of government or are looking for some holiday reading, check out 'Travels With Members' written by Cathedralian, Bill Proctor (1955-63) about his career in Westminster. We can offer no better insight than to mirror the book's back cover comments:
Bill Proctor was educated at Bristol Cathedral School and Keele University, where he was president of the Student's Union. Spare time was occupied as a copy boy and later cub reporter on the Bristol Evening Post of blessed memory, for a number of summers reigning supreme as Golden Wedding and Flower Show King. After graduation he briefly taught politics at Manchester University, but most of his working life was spent in Westminster.
In the Commons, he served in various procedural offices, and as clerk of the committees on Science & Technology, Transport, Foreign Affairs, and the Treasury, as well as secretary of the House of Commons Commission. He wrote the 1978 report of the Procedure Committee, the blueprint for changes which transformed the Commons during subsequent decades, not least the system departmental committees which are now the most effective means for holding government to account.
He was secretary of the first United Kingdom delegation to the European Parliament in 1973, and subsequently spent much time at the peripatetic assembly of NATO parliamentarians and in Strasbourg at the Council of Europe, on the whole preferring that original version of European cooperation to the behemoth arising in Brussels. He carried the bags of select committee members to all five continents, and not infrequently mislaid or could not decipher his notes.
This memoir is a rare inside account of Parliament at work, abroad as well as at home.