HC Deb 13 March 1946 vol 420 cc1173-5

The following Amendment stood upon the Order Paper in the name of Mr. PEAKE:

In page 1, line 8, after "borough," insert: of which the population according to the census of 1931 or to the latest estimate before the appointed day of the Registrar-General (whichever shall be the higher) was less than thirty thousand.

6.30 p.m.

Mr. Peake (Leeds North)

On a point of Order. Do I understand that it is not your intention, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, to call the Amendment standing in the names of myself and my hon. Friends on this side of the House, which raises the question of the abolition of the non-county borough police force?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Major Milner)

That is so. Mr. Speaker has decided not to select that Amendment.

Mr. Peake

Would I be in Order, Sir, in making a submission to you with a view to asking you to reconsider the decision on that matter?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

No, I am afraid not. Mr. Speaker has made his decision, and it would not be proper for me to hear arguments contrary to it.

Mr. Mack (Newcastle-under-Lyme)

Does that mean that the whole question of the non-county boroughs cannot be discussed on Clause 1?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

Hon. Members can only discuss Amendments which Mr. Speaker has decided to select; they cannot discuss others.

Mr. S. O. Davies (Merthyr)

May I ask for guidance on this matter, Sir? Is it to be understood that if a Bill is taken upstairs, and then brought back to this House, we, on the Floor of the House, are, in future, to be deprived of making any efforts towards amending that Bill?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

No, not in the least. Mr. Speaker has selected certain Amendments, and hon. Members will have an opportunity of speaking on those Amendments.

Mr. Davies

Further to that, Sir, I have had handed to me the Amendments which you do not propose to call and it is obvious now to those of us who strongly object to this Bill that we are to be deprived of the opportunity of expressing our opinions and from making any effort to correct the shortcomings of the Bill.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

I must point out that the hon. Gentleman is not entitled to question Mr. Speaker's Ruling.

Mr. Jennings (Sheffield, Hallam)

I would like to ask your guidance on this point. I agree that Mr. Speaker has made his decision, but is it not competent for you to reconsider the matter on application?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

No. Mr. Speaker takes the decision and, quite clearly, the Deputy-Speaker cannot override that decision.

Mr. Mack

On a point of Order. Surely this is a very serious matter and, with great respect, we are entitled to have some guidance from you. May I put it this way—

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

No, I have indicated that hon. Members are not entitled to question Mr. Speaker's decision. Hon. Members have a course they can adopt on this and other matters on which they wish to question the decision of the Chair. Quite clearly I cannot allow any further questioning or discussion of Mr. Speaker's decision on this matter.

Mr. Mack

Further to that point of Order. I do not question Mr. Speaker's decision, but if I ask you for guidance surely that is well within the limits of Order. I only ask this—I am not questioning the decision at all—but can you, Sir, guide those of us in the House, who are very much perturbed and concerned, as to the method we can possibly adopt to get this matter discussed?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

I am afraid I cannot do so here. It is quite clear that the matter is not debatable.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Oliver)

I beg to move, in page 2, line 12, to leave out "appointed day," and to insert "date of transfer."

This is purely a drafting Amendment. The appointed day in Clause 1 (3, b) is wrong, since the Clause will operate in relation to county boroughs which are demoted to the non-county borough status after the appointed day.

Amendment agreed to.