HC Deb 21 January 1947 vol 432 cc159-61

Considered in Committee.

[Major MILNER in the Chair]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to enable certain government departments to obtain more readily the information necessary for the appreciation of economic trends and for the discharge of their functions, to consolidate and amend the law relating to the census of production, to provide for a census of distribution and other services, and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of any expenses incurred for the purposes of the said Act by the Board of Trade or other competent authority (as defined in the said Act)."—(King's Recommendation signified.)—[Sir Stafford Cripps.]

10.20 p.m.

Mr. Quintin Hogg (Oxford)

Are we going to pass this Money Resolution without any statement from the Government?—[Interruption.] On a point of Order, Major Milner, I understand that if any words are spoken on a Motion of this kind at this time it is necessary that the matter should be—

The Chairman (Major Milner)

Do I understand that the hon. Member objects?

Mr. Hogg

Yes, Major Milner.

It being after Ten o'Clock, and objection being taken to further Proceeding, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Committees report Progress; to sit again Tomorrow.

Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)

On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. I would like to ask your guidance on a point that has just arisen in Committee.

Mr. Speaker

Is the hon. Gentleman asking me about a point of Order which refers to proceedings in Committee? If so, I am not responsible for that, and I cannot answer any such point of Order.

Mr. S. Silverman

I appreciate that to the full, Mr. Speaker, but I was about to ask whether you could advise me on the proper way in which such a point might be raised. I understood that Business on a Financial Motion, if objected to, could not be taken after a certain time. But, supposing on such a Motion the Chairman is in the act of putting the Question, and the voices are actually being collected, and at that moment objection is raised, surely that does not come within the Rule which prevents the Motion from being taken?

Mr. Speaker

Once we have gone past the time, nothing but unopposed Business can be taken. Once any objection is made to Business, that Business becomes opposed, and therefore the Motion is bound to lapse, and the Debate must be resumed at another time.

Mr. S. Silverman

I am afraid, Sir, that that does not dispose of the point, that the objection was raised under the guise of a point of Order. I have always understood that in the conduct of Business in this House, points of Order cannot be raised while the voices are being collected.

Mr. Speaker

That proceeding was in Committee, and therefore, I have no knowledge of it.

Mr. S. Silverman

Am I then to understand from your Ruling, Sir, that the House has no remedy in that eventuality?

Mr. Speaker

There is no Ruling, in so far as I am concerned, in regard to any proceedings in which the Chairman of Ways and Means or the Chairman of Committees was in the Chair. I am not a court of appeal from any decisions he makes.

Mr. Gallacher (Fife, West)

Further to that point of Order, would it not be possible to get the Chairman back into the Chair?

Mr. Speaker

We have proceeded to other Business, and the Committee proceedings have ended.