HC Deb 15 March 1968 vol 760 cc1903-4

11.5 a.m.

Mr. Peter Emery

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I tried to give you notice earlier today of a specific question under Standing Order No. 117. I do this because under Standing Order No. 9 one is precluded from asking for the Adjournment of the House on a Friday on a specific matter which should have urgent consideration, and if I give you notice that I intend to raise this at the first available occasion, namely, on Monday, the advice of the House on the matter would be too late. I am precluded as a private Member from approaching you under Standing Order No. 117 because the approach has to be by the Government.

Mr. Speaker, as the international monetary situation is so serious—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."]—and as Her Majesty's Government may have to enter into commitments on this coming Sunday on matters affecting the whole of the United Kingdom sterling balances and reserves, or, perhaps, on the exchange rate of the £—and, indeed, even on a matter of further devaluation—

Mr. McNamara


Mr. Speaker


Mr. Emery

—May I, as a matter of order, continue? It would seem to be not a matter of panic but of common sense that the Government would want the advice—

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Member for Honiton (Mr. Emery) is addressing me on a point of order.

Mr. Emery

—Surely the Government would want the advice of the House, Mr. Speaker. The only way this can be done is by the Government approaching you, under Standing Order No. 117, so that we may sit again tomorrow to debate this matter. I would urge this and ask whether any intimation has been given by the Government to you that they will take this course?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member is quite right. Standing Order No. 9 cannot be raised on a Friday. I have had no request from the Government to call the House together tomorrow.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Further to that point of order. I accept entirely what you say, Mr. Speaker, but seeing the Leader of the House present, I wonder if he would feel it possible to say whether, if circumstances should change, he or another Government spokesman would think it right to interrupt business briefly at 4 o'clock this afternoon to make a statement.

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Richard Crossman)

I have had a word with the Chancellor and he has asked me to say that he has no further statement to make now and he thinks that he will have nothing extra to say—as we now think—at 4 o'clock this afternoon. From the Government's point of view, I do not think there would be an advantage to be seen in having a meeting of the House over the weekend.

Mr. Macleod

I am content with what the right hon. Gentleman says as of now, but he will recognise that this is a changing position. If conditions do change during the day, would the Government consider making a statement at 4 o'clock?

Mr. Crossman

I certainly will take that message to the Chancellor. I am sure he will appreciate the point the right hon. Gentleman raises.

Sir H. Legge-Bourke

I should like to say that I feel sure the whole House has every confidence in the Governor of the Bank of England and that he will do all he can—

Mr. Speaker

Order. We cannot debate this now. This is a point of order.

Back to