HC Deb 12 July 1893 vol 14 cc1373-4
MR. SEXTON (Kerry, N.)

I desire, Sir, with your leave, to address a question to you upon a point of Order in regard to a matter as to which I do not myself venture to determine whether it is a question of Privilege or a question of Order. I find that in the Votes and Proceedings issued this morning there appears the following entry:— The Chairman, in pursuance of Standing Order 27, relating to disorderly conduct, ordered Mr. Sexton to withdraw immediately from the House and its precincts during the remainder of this day's Sitting. Without going into any unnecessary detail I may inform you, Sir, that the Chairman of Committees last night, under Standing Order 27, which relates to Members whose conduct is grossly disorderly, directed me to withdraw from the House, and the Serjeant-at-Arms subsequently directed me to withdraw from the precincts of the House. I submitted to the Chairman that my conduct was not grossly disorderly in the sense conveyed by the language of that particular Standing Order, and that the description "gross disorder" could in no sense be applied to my action. I requested the Chairman of Committees, if it were desired to put in operation any Standing Order involving censure on my conduct, to apply Standing Order 21, which makes provision for the offence of disregarding the authority of the Chair. I admit, Sir, that I did disregard the authority of the Chair, because I conceived that under the circumstances of the case I was subjected to a higher authority than the Chair, but at the same time I was willing to answer for any disregard of the Chairman's authority. I submit that I should have been dealt with under Standing Order 21. The question I have to put to you, Sir, is in what mode I can most conveniently obtain the judgment of the House upon the conduct of the Chairman of Committees?


I must guard myself to-day as I did last night from any criticism on what took place last night. The hon. Gentleman asks me a definite question, however. It is not a question of Privilege, but of Order, and his proper course would be to put a Motion on the Paper for the purpose of doing what he wishes. That would be in Order, and it has been done before in similar cases. I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman wishes me to refer to Standing Orders 21 and 27. I entered fully into the case last night when questioned by the hon. Member for North Louth (Mr. T. M. Healy), and I do not think I have anything further to add on the point.


I thank you, Mr. Speaker, for your courteous answer to my question, and I did not intend to trouble you to become the interpreter of the Standing Orders. I intend to leave that question to the House. I beg to give notice that I shall take an early opportunity of moving that in applying Standing Order 27 to my case, and ordering me to withdraw on his personal authority, the Chairman misused the powers of his office.