HC Deb 15 February 1938 vol 331 cc1713-4
Colonel Sir Charles MacAndrew

I desire, Mr. Speaker, to raise a point of Order. Since the passing, on 1st February, of the new Standing Order dealing with Money Bills Procedure, Members of this House have no means of distinguishing between a Bill, the main object of which is the creation of a public charge, and a Bill which involves a charge that is subsidiary to its main purpose. Today, the first Bill involving expenditure since the passing of the new Standing Order is down for Second Reading. I understand that the Government propose to take one stage only of the Housing (Financial Provisions) Bill at to-day's sitting, and I conclude that this is the first Money Bill to be italicised. Now that both types of Bills involving expenditure are to be italicised, it will not be possible for Members to distinguish them. May I, therefore, respectfully suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that for the convenience of the House some method of labelling such Bills be adopted, so that Members of the House can tell to which class a particular Bill belongs?

Mr. Speaker

If I can be assured that the general wish of the House is that some distinguishing mark should be put on the Order Paper, to distinguish between Bills which will come under the new Standing Order and those in which monetary proposals are subsidiary to the main purpose of the Bill, I shall be quite prepared to consider what method of distinguishing such Bills will be most convenient. I suggest something of this kind, that the words "in pursuance of Standing Order No. 64A," might be attached to the Motion for presentation of the Bill or Financial Resolution. If something of this kind will meet the convenience of the House, I shall be glad to see if it can be done.

Mr. Lees-Smith

My hon. Friends and I consider that something of the sort suggested is necessary in order to carry out what was the general desire of the House when the new Standing Order was discussed. It was the general desire of the House that there should be an interval of, at any rate, a day between taking the Second Reading and taking the Financial Resolution. For that purpose, it would be necessary to know whether Bills of this kind would be within the scope of the Standing Order or not. For that reason my hon. Friends and I would draw attention to the point either in the Bill or in the Financial Resolution.

Mr. Speaker

If something of the kind will meet with the approval of the House I am prepared to consider it and see whether it can be carried out.

Sir P. Harris

Is it possible for something to be printed on the Bill, for the convenience of private Members?

The Prime Minister

I would suggest that we should collect the views of the House through the usual channels, and convey them to you, Sir.

Mr. Speaker

I can only ascertain the views of the House in that way.