HC Deb 29 July 1966 vol 732 cc2067-8

The following Motion stood upon the Order Paper:

That, notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order No. 66 (Meetings of standing committees), Standing Committee B shall have power, during the consideration of the Prices and Incomes Bill, to sit on any day (whether or not the House shall be sitting on that day); that, in addition to any meetings already appointed, the Standing Committee shall meet on Thursday 4th August at Four of the clock in the afternoon, and that thereafter:—

  1. (a) those provisions of Standing Order No. 66(1) which forbid the Committee to sit between the hours of One of the clock and half-past Three of the clock in the afternoon, and the whole of the provisions of Standing Order No. 66(2) shall not apply to the proceedings of the Committee, and
  2. (b) no dilatory motion with respect to or in the course of Proceedings on the Bill shall be made except by a Member of the Government and the Question on any such motion shall be put forthwith.

11.10 a.m.

Mr. Speaker

Mr. Bowden.

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Herbert Bowden)

Not moved, Sir.

Mr. Edward Heath (Bexley)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. As this procedural Motion is not being moved, would it not be in order for the Leader of the House to explain how the Motion came to he placed on the Order Paper at a very late hour last night, without any mention of it in the Business statement or Questions yesterday, nor as a result of any discussion through the usual channels, which he has just mentioned as the almost inevitable practice? What is the Government's intention about this extraordinary Motion?

Mr. Bowden

It is not usual to mention the discussions which take place through the usual channels, as I reminded the right hon. Gentleman yesterday. I think that it is very unwise to do so.

Had this Motion been moved and approved, it would have enabled Standing Committee B to continue to sit at one o'clock on Friday of next week. Under the existing arrangement and a decision of the Standing Committee it can sit up till one o'clock. If it were the wish of the Standing Committee, and necessary, it could, under this Motion, have sat after one o'clock. I am, none the less, not moving it.

Mr. Peter Kirk (Saffron Walden)

Is it not also a fact that paragraph (b)of the Motion removes one of the vital rights which the Opposition possess?

Mr. Speaker

Order. We cannot discuss the merits of a Motion which has not been moved.

Mr. Heath

Further to that point of order. The right hon. Gentleman said that he was not moving the Motion. Do I understand that this is the final decision—that there will be no moving of this Motion?

Mr. Bowden

I think that we had better wait and discuss this, as we discuss all business, through the usual channels.

Mr. John Boyd-Carpenter (Kingston-upon-Thames)

Does that mean that the Motion is to remain on the Order Paper, or to be withdrawn?

Mr. Bowden

It is to be withdrawn.

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