§ Considered in Committee [Progress. 27th May].
§ [Colonel Sir CHARLES MACANDREW in the Chair]
§ 4.8 p.m.
§ Dr. A. D. D. Broughton (Batley and Morley)
On a point of order, Sir Charles. Would you be good enough to give your Ruling on a matter which is causing concern to a number of my hon. Friends and myself? As you know, the Government's Housing Bill has reached the Committee stage and is being considered by Standing Committee A. There are a number of important points in that Bill requiring careful consideration before the conclusion of the Committee stage. In order to force this highly controversial Bill hastily through Parliament, the Minister of Housing and Local Government has decided that the Committee will sit this afternoon at 4 o'clock. As a Member of Standing Committee A, I have received the usual form of notice of this Sitting at 4 o'clock today. I think I should inform you, Sir Charles, that when the Committee is sitting on this Bill frequent Divisions take place. This will be occurring at a time when the House is in Committee of the whole House considering the Finance Bill.
The question that I wish to ask you, Sir Charles, is, what are hon. Members who are Members of Standing Committee A to do in the not unlikely event of there being a Division upstairs in the Standing Committee at the same time as there is a Division here on the Finance Bill?
§ The Chairman
The hon. Gentleman very kindly told me he was going to raise this matter, and I thank him for his courtesy. I do not think that there is any real difficulty, because between a direction to clear the Lobby and the locking of the doors here there is an interval of six minutes. The worst that could happen would be for a Division to be called at the same moment in the Standing Committee, but there a Division takes only two or three minutes, and hon. Members would have plenty of time to vote there and then come here to vote. Otherwise, there is no difficulty, because under Standing Orders the Chairman of a Standing Committee has to suspend the 1374 Sitting of the Committee to give adequate time for hon. Members in the Committee to come here to vote in a Division.