HC Deb 01 July 1964 vol 697 cc1356-7
Mr. Monslow

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I ask, through you, why the Motion of the hon. Member for Louth (Sir C. Osborne) for a Bill to deal with immigration has not been moved? Is it as a result of an order from the Tory Whips? Is the hon. Member making sure of a baronetcy in the Dissolution Honours List?

Mr. Speaker

I do not, for the moment, understand what point of order arises. Perhaps the hon. Member wishes to explain himself further.

Mr. A. Lewis

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You will be aware that for over a week there has been on the Order Paper a notice that a Bill would be presented today. Some of my hon. Friends from the North had arranged important meetings in their constituences, which they cancelled. Last night, many of them came back by sleeper train only to find, at the last moment—[Laughter.] This is not a laughing matter—that the hon. Member for Louth (Sir C. Osborne) had withdrawn his Motion.

May I ask you, Sir, whether, in future, if such a thing as this is to be done, Members may be given some idea, perhaps the night before, that the Bill is not to be proceeded with? Could it be arranged, with your help and assistance, that, as with notices of what Amendments, and so on, are to be called, a notice is put on the board in the Division Lobby the previous evening advising hon. Members that a Bill has been withdrawn? That would save the inconvenience that many of my hon. Friends have suffered today.

Mr. Robert Cooke

Further to that point of order—

Mr. Speaker

Order. I would prefer to deal with this point first.

It would not be within my power to deprive an hon. Member of the right to withdraw a Bill up to the last moment of time. I could not change the rule about that. I regret when inconvenience occurs to hon. Members in any way.

Mr. Ronald Bell

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Perhaps I may draw the attention of the hon Member opposite to the fact that any hon. Member who took the trouble to read the Order Book of the House last Monday would have seen that my hon. Friend's, notice of Motion had already been withdrawn.

Mr. Speaker

I am grateful, but I am not an enthusiast of the practice of passing information from one hon. Member to another across the Floor of the House through the person of the Chair. It creates inconvenience.