§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ 5.30 p.m.
§ Mr. B. T. Parkin (Paddington, North)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. There are certain preparations on hand for the arrival in this place of a messenger from another place, and I should like your guidance on this point. It is customary to slam the doors of this Chamber on the occasion of such a visit, and that is, presumably, because this House has a right to decide whether or not it will accept the invitation which is about to be delivered to it. I am asking, Mr. Speaker, whether there is any way of this House today avoiding the humiliation of having to go along and listen to the Royal Assent being announced to the Rent Bill, which brings such evil to my constituents.
§ Mr. Speaker
That is not a point of order at all. All the matters to which the hon. Member has drawn attention will be well directed and looked after by the custodians of the doors of this House.
§ Mr. Charles Royle (Salford, West)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I point out that, on referring to Erskine May, page 569, we find that the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod signifies to the Commons that their attendance is desired, not commanded, in another place. In view of the fact that, day by day, some of us take parties round this House, and tell the story of the great tradition which dates from 1642, may I submit that this House might have an opportunity of debating whether it accedes to that request on this occasion?
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. The phraseology to which the hon. Member has drawn attention is quite proper. At the opening of Parliament, when Her Majesty is present, our presence is commanded, but on ordinary occasions it is desired. But that does not compel the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Royle) or any hon. Member to go to the other place.
§ Mr. James Griffiths (Llanelly)
I appreciate the position as you have put it, Mr. Speaker, but, since this question has been raised for the first time today, in my recollection, showing the strong feeling of the House and in the country, 1514 as evidenced also in the by-elections, may I ask, in view of the fact that the country does not want the Bill, whether the Leader of the House will not now withdraw it?
§ 5.38 p.m.
§ The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. J. Enoch Powell)
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
§ Mr. Powell
That is what I am about to explain.
The Royal Commission on the Civil Service, which dealt with pay and conditions in the Service and reported in 1955—