HC Deb 29 April 1970 vol 800 cc1252-3
Mr. Speaker

The Clerk will now proceed to read the Orders of the Day.

Mr. Berry

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. According to the Order Paper, at this point I should be called to ask leave to bring in a Bill. Can you tell me why I have not been called?

Mr. Speaker

This is an important point of order. I can understand the hon. Gentleman's disappointment at not being able to introduce his Bill under the Ten-Minute Rule. However, we passed a Business Resolution yesterday, and it included the following: 2(d) Standing Order No. 13 (Motions for leave to bring in bills …) shall not apply. The Business Resolution deals with that.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenterrose

Mr. Berry rose

Mr. Speaker

Order. An even worse offence than raising bogus points of order is arguing with the Chair when he has stated what is a simple rule of order.

Mr. Berry

I am grateful for your explanation, Sir, which naturally I accept. However, it is ironical that an attempt to change the 1968 Act, which was itself heavily guillotined, should now be barred in 1970 by a guillotine Motion on another piece of legislation affecting transport.

For the future, might it not be possible to alter the rules so that, when this happens, an extra 10 or 15 minutes is added at the end of the day to ensure that neither the time for debating the Bill is altered, nor is there any deprivation of back benchers' rights?

Mr. Speaker

I express my sympathy to the hon. Gentleman. This was a matter for the Business Committee on the Ports Bill, which expressly included this very point in the Resolution.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Further to that point of order. I hope that you will acquit me of any attempt to argue with any Ruling which you give, Mr. Speaker. To my knowledge, I have never done it, and I hope that I never shall.

I was rising to ask whether, under the procedure which you have explained to us, any machinery is provided for the protection of a back bench Member by way of giving him an alternative day on which to move his Motion where the decision of the Business Committee and the House in authorising it has deprived him of what appear to be his rights?

Mr. Speaker

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman. He raises two points. On the first, any furture Business Committee might bear in mind the very point that we are looking at at the moment. If an hon. Member loses an Adjournment debate through no fault of his own, the Chair is usually able to take care of that in the foreseeable future.

As present, I understand that all the Ten-Minute Rule days are pre-empted until about 30th December of this year, so that it will be impossible to fit in the hon. Member for Southgate (Mr. Berry) unless one happens to become vacant. He must take his chance.

Mr. Maudling

While I accept your Ruling, Sir, it seems that my hon. Friend has a cause for grievance. May I therefore ask the Leader of the House to take notice of this and see that it is considered?

The Lord President of the Council and Leaer of the House of Commons (Mr. Fred Peart)

It would be wrong for me to question Mr. Speaker's Ruling, but he said that this is a matter which we should consider if it ever arose again. I will certainly look at this sympathetically.