HC Deb 18 November 1948 vol 458 cc574-6
Captain John Crowder

Regarding the point of which I have given you private notice, Mr. Speaker, concerning the incident last night when the hon. Member for Oxford (Mr. Hogg) raised a point of Order during one of the Divisions, could you, Sir, give your Ruling to the House as to what further time, if any, is available to hon. Members to pass through the Division Lobbies after you have given the order, "Lock the doors"?

Mr. Speaker

After I have given the order, "Lock the doors," that is the very second when the doors ought to be locked. The keys should be in the doors and when I say "Lock" the keys should be turned. It really is no good hon. Members who arrive here and hear "Lock the doors" thinking they can do a sprint and get into the Lobby in time.

I place no blame on anybody for last night's incident. I want to make that perfectly clear. I think the door was open. It was not shut; I think it should have been. Now it really is the rule that when I say, "Lock the doors," the keys should be turned. I take care that a little time extra is given because at the moment we are not in a very convenient place; the time is not really strictly regulated; a little more is given than we used to give in the old House. Therefore, there is no excuse if hon. Members are not there when I say, "Lock the doors." Then, I am afraid, they must be stopped from voting.

Mr. Churchill

On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. Bearing in mind, as I have no doubt you have, that there must be some physical interlude in time between the issue of an order and its exact execution, may I say that I trust that no reprimand will be administered to the official of the House who allowed himself to be overborne by the impetuosity of the hon. Member who has been so properly rebuked.

Mr. Speaker

I think I have made the position perfectly clear. I said that there was no blame on anybody. My impression was that he did not have the key already in the door and took some time in putting it in.

Mr. Thurtle

In connection with this incident, Mr. Speaker, will you permit me to say that I was sitting below the Gangway very near to the door and that the hon. Member for Oxford, in saying that my hon. Friend the Member for Widnes (Mr. Shawcross) assaulted the doorkeeper, was quite wrong? There was no sign of that.

Mr. Speaker

It was quite clear last night when I gave my Ruling. I think that if the hon. Member read what I said, he would find that it did not quite agree with the statement by the hon. Member for Oxford that any assault was carried out.

Mr. Speaker

The Attorney-General.

Commander Pursey

With reference to the question of the hon. Member for Lonsdale (Sir I. Fraser), may I ask a question of the Lord President about the matter of names on the Order Paper: whether the Conservative Party, including those hon. and right hon. Gentlemen at present sitting on the Front Bench, previously voted against the Select Committee—

Mr. Speaker

I am afraid we have finished with that point. The Attorney-General.