§ Standing Order No. 1
§ Line 9, leave out "except as hereinafter provided".
§ Line 11, after "consideration", insert "except business exempted under Standing Order No. 1A (Exemptions from Standing Order No. 1 (Sittings of the House))".
§ Line 39, leave out from "business" to "shall" in line 41.
§ Line 41, at end add, "except proceedings exempted under Standing Order No. 1A (Exemptions from Standing Order No. 1 (Sittings of the House))".
§ Line 42, leave out from the beginning to end of line 134.
§ Insert new Standing Order No. 1A (Exemptions from Standing Order No. 1 (Sittings of the House)).
§ (1) The following business shall be exempted from the provisions of Standing Order No. 1 (Sittings of the House) and may be entered upon at any hour though opposed, shall not, save as provided in paragraph (2) of this order, be interrupted at ten of the clock, and if under discussion when the business is postponed under the provisions of any standing order may be resumed and proceeded with, though opposed, after the interruption of business:—
- (a) proceedings on a bill originating in Committee of Ways and Means;
- (b) proceedings on the reports of the Committee of Ways and Means;
- (c) proceedings on the report of a committee authorising the expenditure of public money except a report from the Committee of Supply;
- (d) proceedings in pursuance of any Act of Parliament save in so far as Standing Order No. 95A (Statutory Instruments, etc. (procedure)) otherwise provides or in pursuance of any Standing Order of this House;
- (e) proceedings of a committee on a motion authorising expenditure in connection with a bill: Provided that any questions necessary to dispose of the proceedings of such a committee shall be put at a quarter to eleven of the clock or at the expiration of three quarters of an hour after the House shall have resolved itself into that committee whichever is the later.
§ (2) If a notice of motion in the name of a Minister of the Crown stands upon the order paper at the commencement of public business to the effect either:—
- (a) that the proceedings on any specified business be exempted at this day's sitting from the provisions of Standing Order No. 1 (Sittings of the House); or
- (b) that the proceedings on any specified business be exempted at this day's sitting from the provisions of Standing Order No. 1 (Sittings of the House) for a specified period after ten of the clock;
§ (3) If the business interrupted is included in the business specified in the motion or is exempted under paragraph (1) of this order, Mr. Speaker shall, immediately after the interruption of business, or, if the House has been in Committee, before any day is named for the House again to resolve itself into that Committee, call upon the Minister to move his motion and the question thereon shall be put forthwith without amendment or debate and after that question has been decided, the consideration of the business interrupted shall be resumed if such business is exempted under paragraph (1) of this order or if the question be resolved in the affirmative.
§ (4) If the business interrupted is not included in the business specified in the motion or is not exempted under paragraph (1) of this order, Mr. Speaker shall call upon the Minister to move his motion at the conclusion of any proceedings arising on the interruption of business under the provisions of Standing Order No. 1 (Sittings of the House) but before any proceedings postponed under Standing Orders No. 7 (Time for taking private business) or No. 9 (Adjournment on definite matter of urgent public importance).
§ (5) It a motion made under either of the two preceding paragraphs be agreed to, the business so specified shall be proceeded with as if exempted under paragraph (1) of this order, save that business exempted for a specified time after ten of the clock may not it opposed be entered upon or resumed after the expiration of that time and the proceedings thereon if not previously concluded shall be interrupted at the end of that period.
§ (6) Not more than one motion under paragraph (2) of this order may be made at any one sitting and after any business exempted under this order is disposed of after ten of the clock, the remaining business of the sitting shall be dealt with according to the provisions of Standing Order No. 1 (Sittings of the House) applicable to business taken after ten of the clock.
§ Standing Order No. 2
§ Line 5, leave out "Order" and insert "Orders".
§ Line 6, after "House)", insert "and No. 1A (Exemptions from Standing Order No. 1 (Sittings of the House))".
§ Line 8, leave out "thereof" and insert "of Standing Order No. 1 (Sittings of the House)".
§ Insert new Standing Order No. 7 (Time for taking private business)
§ (1) On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays the time for private business shall end not later than a quarter to three of the clock and business entered upon and not 2250 disposed of at that hour shall be deferred to such time as the Chairman of Ways and Means may appoint. Business not reached shall stand over to the next sitting, or in the case of business which has been opposed until the next sitting other than a Friday.
(2) During the time of private business, opposed business shall not be proceeded with but shall be deferred to such time, other than a Friday, as the Chairman of Ways and Means may appoint. Opposed business shall include any proceedings on a private bill or a confirming bill which have been so deferred, so long as a notice of an amendment stands upon the notice paper in the form of a notice of motion on second reading, consideration or third reading of such bill:
Provided that no such notice of motion shall stand on the paper for more than seven days unless renewed.
§ (3) No opposed business shall be taken on a Friday.
(4) Business deferred under paragraphs (1) and (2) of this order shall be considered at the time of private business on the day appointed unless the Chairman of Ways and Means directs that such business shall be set down for seven of the clock on any specified Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, and business so set down (including any motion contingent directly or otherwise upon any item of such business) shall be taken in such order as the Chairman of Ways and Means may determine:
Provided that business so set down by direction of the Chairman of Ways and Means shall be distributed as nearly as may be proportionately between the sittings on which government business has precedence and the other sittings.
§ (5) On any day specified under paragraph (4) of this order at seven of the clock or as soon thereafter as any motion for the adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 9 (Adjournment on definite matter of urgent public importance) has been disposed of, the business set down by direction of the Chairman of Ways and Means shall be entered upon and may be proceeded with subject to the provisions of Standing Order No. 1 (Sittings of the House) although opposed.
§ Standing Order No. 16 (2)
§ Line 17, at end insert "made respectively after notice either at the commencement of public business to be decided without amendment or debate or after the interruption of business in accordance with the provisions of Standing Order No. 1A (Exemptions from Standing Order No. 1 (Sittings of the House))".
§ Standing Order No. 59 (1)
§ Line 3, after "bills", insert "certified under Standing Order No. 60 (Public Bills relating exclusively to Scotland)".
§ Standing Order No. 60
§ Line 6, at end add "provided that a certificate shall not be withheld by reason only that a provision of that bill amends the First Schedule to the House of Commons Disqualification Act, 1957".—[Mr. R. A. Butler.]2251
§ 7.46 p.m.
§ Mr. F. Blackburn (Stalybridge and Hyde)
I will not detain the House for more than a minute or two in making one or two comments. When the Leader of the House made his first statement about the Procedure Committee, he referred to the appointment of a Standing Orders Committee. That has not happened; we have heard nothing about it. Consequently, we are having alterations to Standing Orders coming before us in penny numbers and it is not easy to get a comprehensive picture of the situation when we have the alterations in this way.
As the Leader of the House knows, there will be other Standing Orders to be amended. I still hope to persuade the right hon. Gentleman that Standing Order No. 58 is wrong. It is wrongly worded because, taken in conjunction with a Sessional Order of the Selection Committee, there are words that are quite unnecessary. Then there is Standing Order No. 93 which, when read in conjunction with Standing Orders Nos. 92 and 7, does not make much sense.
I wonder when Standing Order No. 4 will be altered. Year after year, a Sessional Order has to be passed because Standing Order No. 4 just does not make sense in present circumstances. Perhaps what happens later after this debate will be the last of the alterations to be made as the result of the Procedure Committee's Report and then, perhaps, we shall have the full, comprehensive alterations of Standing Orders that are necessary. I have no complaint against the amendments which are now before us to these Standing Orders.
§ 7.49 p.m.
§ Mr. Ede (South Shields)
I should like elucidation of what the Amendments which appear in the Schedule to the Motion will do with Standing Order No. 7. I have received representations from local authorities that, in some way or other, the provisions of the new Standing Order lessen what they describe as their rights in the way in which Private Business is dealt with in this House. I have read the existing Standing Order and compared it with the revised Standing Order included in the Schedule, and as far as I can see it is a rewording of the old Standing Order making the actual procedure to be followed rather 2252 more clear than does the present Standing Order. If that is so, I would have no objection to it at all, but if the right hon. Gentleman is in some subtle way introducing certain amendments to the procedure, I hope he will give us an explanation as to what the alteration achieved by the proposed Standing Order really is.
I do not of necessity support the representations which have been made to me, but inasmuch as misgivings have been expressed by the well-advised officers of local authorities, I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will be able to give us some short explanation of what he is doing.
§ 7.50 p.m.
§ Captain Richard Pilkington (Poole)
Before my right hon. Friend replies, I should like to ask him a question about Standing Order No. 7. As I understand it, the Joint Committee of 1955 recommended that if there were to be any objection to a Private Bill there should be six signatures. The present proposal brings it to only one. I have received representations from my own local authority, which is concerned with bringing forward a Private Bill in the new Session. I wonder if my right hon. Friend would tell me whether it would be a good thing to have six signatures?
§ 7.51 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. R. A. Butler)
In reply to the right hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) and my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Poole (Captain Pilkington) I can say that, in fact, this is a recasting of Standing Order No. 7. The only possible observations which I could make are that in this recasting effect is given to the method of opposing Private Business recommended by the Select Committee, so there is nothing very revolutionary about it differing from what the right hon. Gentleman indicated.
This is the procedure. Opposition having been indicated orally, opposition subsequently can be registered by notice on the Paper, effective for not more than seven days unless renewed. The only other point about Private Business is that the rule which precludes opposed Private Business from not being taken after nine o'clock is abolished. I do not think that either of these does violence to the local authorities.
2253 It was drawn to my attention before this debate that some of them, as my hon. and gallant Friend has pointed out, were more in favour of the recommendation made by the Joint Committee on Private Bill Procedure as distinct from the Select Committee on Procedure of this House which was debated on 22nd January, 1958. They said that Mr. Speaker could in all cases declare a Second Reading carried unless a reasoned Amendment to the Motion for the Second Reading were standing on the Order Paper and signed by at least six Members. They recommended that this Rule should not apply when the Chairman of Ways and Means indicated to him that a Bill raised a new and important principle. We have not, in fact, accepted the view of this particular Joint Committee on Private Bill Procedure. We have accepted the less burdensome method recommended by the Select Committee on Procedure, and that follows up our debate when we discussed these things on 22nd January, 1958, and when I spoke on the matter I deliberately preserved the right of the individual Member, because I said that this was traditional practice which it would be ill to change.
All that this does is to follow up the Amendment, that the notice of Motion is effective for not more than seven days unless renewed. The recasting is, therefore, simple. I do not think that any local authorities would have any violence 2254 done to them. There is this slight difference of opinion, to which I have drawn attention, between the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Private Bills Procedure and our own Select Committee. I hope that, with that explanation, we may pass the Amendments.
§ Mr. Glenvil Hall (Colne Valley)
I have listened with interest to what the right hon. Gentleman said. It may be that I have not fully followed him, but as I understand him this means that no Member for the future, if this Standing Order is accepted in its new form, can by rising in his seat and uttering just the word "Object" postpone the business to another day. [Interruption.] He can? Then, in addition, does he have to put a Motion on the Paper?
§ Mr. Butler
As I said, opposition can be subsequently registered by notice on the Paper, but the first objection is, in fact, the one to which I referred in the debate on 22nd January—by getting up and saying "Object".
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—[Mr. Sharples.]