HC Deb 23 July 1969 vol 787 cc1744-5
Mr. Peyton

On a point of order. I would have warned you that I intended to raise this point of order, Mr. Speaker, if I had had an opportunity. I wonder whether we are to have a statement from the Leader of the House about the business of the House. It is rather extraordinary, even in an organisation run temporarily by the present Administration, that we should not be told of the intended programme one day beforehand.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Gentleman does not need to be assured that I share his curiosity. But the Leader of the House has not asked to make a statement, and I cannot compel him to.

Dame Irene Ward

On a point of order. May I ask whether the Leader of the House could tell us when we are to debate the Motion for the Adjournment?

Mr. Speaker

This develops from the point of order of the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton). The answer is the same. I have had no information from the right hon. Gentleman as to when the House will rise, or as to when the Motion for the Adjournment is to be debated. All these are matters of which I share the hon. Lady's ignorance.

Mr. Michael Foot

Further to that point of order. Do you agree, Mr. Speaker, that it would be much easier for the Leader of the House to give all hon. Members advance notice about our business if we were not subjected to continuous and monstrous interferences from the other place?

Mr. Speaker

That is a debate we must not anticipate.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Order. I reminded the House yesterday that Mr. Speaker can take only one point of order at a time.

Sir A. V. Harvey

On a point of order. The House has been treated with great discourtesy. The Government have got themselves into a hopeless mess. The only people in the Palace of Westminster who can give any indication of what will happen are the men working the lifts. No doubt they are well informed, but as the Leader of the House is present surely we are entitled to know at least when we shall debate the Motion for the Adjournment? Many hon. Members—not including myself—have package tours arranged, and would like to know when we shall rise for the Recess. The Leader of the House usually treats the House with courtesy, and I ask him to do so now.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I must remind the House that this is the day of the Consolidated Fund Bill debate, a day which is rather precious to back benchers. There are 45 debates ahead of us. What the hon. Gentleman must do is to consult his liftman, I think.

Sir Harmar Nicholls

On a point of order. Under the constitution, the other place is part of Parliament. Considering the courtesies which, by tradition, each House has to extend to the other, is it parliamentary for the other place's duty to be referred to as "monstrous interference"? If it is unparliamentary, should not the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) be asked to withdraw?

Mr. Speaker

The last part of the hon. Gentleman's point of order is otiose, since if it had been unparliamentary the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) would have been asked to withdraw his observation. That is one of the functions of Mr. Speaker. But it is in order for either House to criticise politically the other House. I believe that it occasionally occurs in another place.