HC Deb 23 July 1970 vol 804 cc772-3
Mr. Paget

On a point of order. As you suggested, Mr. Speaker, I have retained my point of order until Questions were completed. I raised a point as to the description of an hon. Member on the Order Paper. It was always my view that people could describe themselves as they liked, and if an hon. Member chose to appoint himself colonel of his own dragoons we would accept his self-description, but, in the case of the hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Lambton), that turned out not to be so. The hon. Member wished to continue to call himself Lord Lambton and we were told that it was out of order for him to do so. Will you, Mr. Speaker, consider the question of description on the Order Paper and let us know some time what the Ruling really is?

Mr. Speaker

There is a Motion on the Order Paper dealing, not with the personal issue which the hon. and learned Member has raised, but with the broader issue of titles and how hon. Members can choose to be recognised.

On the special issue previously raised of the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley), the hon. Member has a church, he has, I understand, a degree, and he is a reverend as far as the House is concerned. I cannot investigate the validity of any titles of that kind.

Mr. George Thomas

On a point of order. May I ask Mr. Speaker, whether you will make a statement today about the letter published in The Times from the learned Clerk of the House?

Mr. Speaker

I shall be dealing with that in due course. At the moment we are continuing with the Order Paper.

Mr. Delargy

On a point of order. You said to my hon. and learned Friend that the hon. Member for Antrim, North had a degree. I assume that is a degree in theology. I am a bachelor of divinity and have never yet called myself reverend.

Mr. Speaker

Having known the hon. Gentleman over a number of years, I imagine that he would not wish to be called reverend.