§ Lords A tnendments considered.
§ 4.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Peter Emery (Honiton)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. A number of backbenchers find themselves in a particularly difficult situation because of the management of Government business. We accept that in matters of emergency the Government have to move, and can move, with great speed, and that it is within their power so to do. I do not think anybody would claim that this Bill is an emergency. We therefore find ourselves in the position that most hon. Members, unless they bad been present in another place at 11 p.m. on Tuesday, would not have known whether the other place had put back into the Bill the whole of Clause 17 in Part III of the Bill. Reference to the minutes of the other place does not show this.
We have been asked to deal with the remaining stages of the Bill, but we found ourselves in the position of not knowing what Amendments we could or could not amend. The published list of Amendments was not made available at the Vote Office until about 6 o'clock yesterday. This puts the Opposition in a difficulty in trying to deal sensibly with the action that has been taken in another place.
I wonder whether you consider that the Government, in attempting to rush this legislation through, ought to pay greater attention to the rights of backbenchers, because if they do not, the whole proceedings become a nonsense.
§ Mr. Speaker
I am grateful to the hon. Member for putting his point of view so clearly. The House, if it likes, could 2163 proceed with what Francis Thompson called "deliberate speed". In this case it seems to have proceeded with what Francis Thompson called "majestic instancy". I cannot interfere with the arrangements of the Government. I had to study this morning, after a not inconsiderable amount of time in the Chair during the last 24 hours, starred Amendments made to the Lords Amendments to the Bill. I admit that it has been rather difficult, but it has not been impossible. I note that the hon. Member, or one of his colleagues, has starred Amendments to one of the Bills before us. It is difficult, but it is not a matter of order for the Chair. The hon. Member must make his protest to the Government, to the Leader of the House. It is not a matter for Mr. Speaker.