§ Captain John Crowder
May I ask you, Mr. Speaker, if you have any statement to make on the procedure you propose to adopt when a Member wishes to oppose the issue of a new Writ?
§ Mr. Speaker
I am obliged to the hon. and gallant Gentleman. I now desire to make a statement about the situation which arose on 21st March, when a Motion for a new Writ, moved at the beginning of the day's proceedings, was opposed.
Under Standing Order No. 1 the House meets at 2.30 and must first proceed with Private Business. There were, in fact, 10 Private Bills set down for consideration that day. But a Motion for a new Writ is a privileged Motion and as such, under the practice of the House, takes precedence over other business. The result is, as I pointed out on 25th March, 1943, in rather similar circumstances, a conflict between a rule of practice and a Standing Order.
To resolve, this difficulty I have decided that in future, if a Motion for a new Writ, moved immediately after Prayers, is opposed by a Member rising to speak against it, I shall interrupt the proceedings, in which case the Motion could be moved again after Questions, or on Friday, after Private Business. In this way Debate on an opposed new Writ will neither prevent Private Business being considered during its allotted time, nor cut down Question Time, as happened on several occasions in 1943 and 1944.
§ Captain Crowder
While I am sure that hon. Members are very grateful for your statement, Mr. Speaker, may I ask if that means that it is not sufficient for a Member simply to say "Object" when he wishes to oppose the issue of a new Writ?
§ Mr. Speaker
I deliberately put into my statement the words:… if a Motion for a new Writ … is opposed by a Member rising to speak against it.…That means, of course, that he cannot merely say "Object," and that I must be satisfied that the reason for opposing the Motion is a genuine and not a purely obstructive one.