HC Deb 21 October 1971 vol 823 cc906-7
Mr. Marten

I wish to raise as a point of order the telegrams which the hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Alfred Morris) and I received yesterday, of which you have been given notice, Mr. Speaker. They were from the Guernsey Constitutional Association, and they expressed that body's anxieties that the forthcoming debate should take place before it knows anything about the terms which are or might be obtainable for Guernsey.

The telegrams say that the people of Guernsey have been given no information about the case which the British Government have put to the Commission. Of course, the Governments of Guernsey and Jersey have, but the people have not, and, as subjects of the Duke of Normandy, who is our Queen, they feel that they are entitled to know and that their case is entitled to be heard in this House. In their anxiety, therefore, they have suggested that their representatives should come to the Bar of this House, as has been done before on constitutional occasions such as this, and that they should be allowed to state their case.

This applies not only to the island of Guernsey. Yesterday, the hon. Gentleman and I met a delegation from the island of Jersey, which has the same anxieties. The plea, therefore, is made on behalf of both islands.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member for Banbury (Mr. Marten) was good enough to warn me of his intention to raise this point. I am advised that it is not a matter for the Chair.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Geoffrey Rippon)

Further to that point of order—

Mr. Speaker

Order. I do not think that we can discuss this matter now. It is not a point of order for the Chair, and it is not for the Chair to decide about people coming to the Bar of the House.

Mr. Peart

Would it be possible for the Leader of the House to advise on what can be done in this case? I should think that he would be able to help.

Mr. Rippon

Further to that point of order. I think that it must be possible to inform the House in these circumstances that my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary and I have seen the official representatives of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man and that they have publicly stated their satisfaction with the measures which we are taking.

Mr. Speaker

These are all matters which will be relevant in the debate which is to take place.