§ As amended (in Committee and on recommittal), considered.
§ 3.45 p.m.
§ Viscount Hinchingbrooke (Dorset, South)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. At the beginning of the consideration stage of the Bill, I should like to raise a point of order of which I have given you notice by letter. It refers to the Amendment to Clause 1, in page 2, line 37, to leave out:or, if so authorised, compulsorily;standing in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. P. Williams) and in my name.
According to Erskine May, there are various points during the consideration of a Bill and, after that, before Third Reading, when your predecessors have ruled that the House may again be put into Committee to deal with specific Amendments. In page 575 of Erskine May we read:A motion by an unofficial Member to recommit a government bill in respect of certain amendments at the beginning of the consideration stage has been accepted in respect of one amendment only by the Speaker…To that passage there is a footnote (t), which refers one to Volume 503 of the OFFICIAL REPORT. The OFFICIAL REPORT records that on 15th July, 1952, the right hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Glenvil Hall), after the reading of the Order for consideration of the amended Pensions (Increase) Bill, was permitted by Mr. Speaker to put the House back into Committee for the consideration of a specific Amendment. May I ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether you will carry out that precedent on this occasion in respect of the Amendment to which I refer?
§ Mr. Speaker
I am much obliged to the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke) for giving me notice of this point. For various reasons, I have sympathy with his complaint, and I should like to allow him to do this if I thought that I properly could. The difficulty is that I have to look at the precedent to which he referred me. That was a case in which the right hon. Gentleman the Member 1006 for Colne Valley (Mr. Glenvil Hall) had given notice of his recommittal Motion, and did it on the first opportunity for recommitting the Bill.
It does not help me very much in these circumstances because, of course, the noble Lord, in common with other hon. Members, had the opportunity, of which other hon. Members did avail themselves, to put down Amendments which were to be involved in the recommittal Motion of yesterday. It is clearly in the interest of the House that as regards unofficial Members' Motions there should be some finality in these matters.
There is another difficulty. The noble Lord will appreciate that, although he very courteously gave me notice, that did not involve notice to the House. What he is asking me to do is now to recommit the Bill in respect of his Amendment without notice to the House having been given at all. In those circumstances. I cannot feel it right to accede to his request.
§ Viscount Hinchingbrooke
I am much obliged to you, Mr. Speaker, for your view on the matter. To save, perhaps, an unnecessary further exercise, could I ask you whether, in respect of another occasion when another such Motion in respect of a Clause was made at the conclusion of the consideration stage by an unofficial Member, when Mr. Speaker refused it, you would feel bound to accept your predecessor's Ruling on that, and rule me out of order if, at the conclusion of the consideration stage, I sought—with proper notice on the Order Paper this time—to raise it?
§ Mr. Speaker
I should, obviously, in principle, although I must confess that from the particular precedent to which the noble Lord now refers I do not derive much guidance, because HANSARD does not say what the proposed Amendment was in respect of which recommittal was asked. So it is very difficult to see the significance of my predecessor's Ruling.