HC Deb 17 November 1971 vol 826 cc429-30
Mr. Orme

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In the speech of the hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. Chichester-Clark) yesterday in moving the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 9, you will see set out at the top of column 222 of the OFFICIAL REPORT a very full Motion containing certain highly contentious words.

However, apparently, when it reached you, Sir, as will be seen from the bottom of that column, many of those words had been deleted. Many of us realised the difficulties you faced yesterday in not being able to read the Motion that was before you, but it is interesting to note that in the OFFICIAL REPORT highly contentious words have been deleted.

It can be seen from today's Order Paper that the Motion before the House has been further reduced in size. I should like to ask about the procedure in these matters. Does a Member have the right to alter the wording of a Motion which he puts before the House? I should like your ruling on this matter.

Mr. Speaker

I am grateful to the hon. Member for his courtesy in warning me of this point of order, which raises a not uninteresting matter of practice.

An hon. Member can seek leave to move the Adjournment of the House in a form of words which quite often is written out by him in calligraphy that is not always as clear as it might be. So far as HANSARD is concerned the words set out in the OFFICIAL REPORT are the words which I used. I am not certain whether it is necessary in such a case for the Chair to repeat the words of an hon. Member; it might be taking up a valuable minute of the time of the House. It is only a matter of practice. The substantive Motion is to move the Adjournment of the House. In regard to what is on the Order Paper, I am told it is well-established practice for the Table to reduce the terms of the Member's original Motion to a shorter version. I hope that will deal with the hon. Gentleman's point of order.