HC Deb 26 April 1972 vol 835 cc1548-51

Considered in Committee [Progress, 25th April].

[Sir ROBERT GRANT-FERRIS in the Chair]

3.42 p.m.

Mr. Edmund Dell (Birkenhead)

On a point of order. You kindly agreed yesterday, Sir Robert, to give further consideration to whether there might be a Division on Amendment No. 7. You will have observed from the debate yesterday that the Amendment received support in many parts of the Committee, indeed from hon. Members of different views on the merits of entry into the Common Market. I therefore ask whether you have decided on this point.

The Chairman

Yes. I am pleased to be able to assure the right hon. Gentleman that I shall be glad to allow a Division on Amendment No. 7 when it is reached.

Mr. Dell

I am grateful for that, Sir Robert.

Mr. Michael English (Nottingham, West)

On a point of order. This may be the last occasion when I can raise this matter with you, Sir Robert. Will you consider selecting Amendment No. 262, which at present does not appear anywhere on your provisional list? When I ask you to select it I do not necessarily mean for separate debate, but at present the Amendment does not appear to be attached to any of the others.

I raise this point with you because I find myself unable to address remarks to the subject of the Amendment because it deals with tobacco as distinct from agricultural products generally. I well understand why you have not included it with the Amendments relating to the various agricultural products in that, although tobacco is technically an agricultural product, it is hardly what we mean when we use that phrase. I imagine that it might well be taken as in the case of an Amendment concerning the film industry, separately. I urge you to accept that it raises an extremely important subject.

Whether or not one approves of the smoking of tobacco, there are issues which hon. Members might wish to raise. For example, colleagues who are extremely opposed to smoking might wish to raise the fact that other substances can be inserted in cigarettes in Europe but cannot be so inserted in Britain. On the other hand, individuals such as myself with constituents with tobacco interests might wish to raise the fact that the quality and nature of cigarettes would, as a result of different taxes, be totally changed as a result of the EEC regulations. In these circumstances, without asking you to give an immediate answer, will you consider finding an opportunity which will allow us to debate the subject of Amendment No. 262, Sir Robert?

3.45 p.m.

The Chairman

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman appreciates how difficult it is for me at this late stage to interfere with the selection. To do so might cause trouble by which an error might "creep into the State", as they say. I cannot hold out strong hopes of meeting the right hon. Gentleman's request, but I promise to look into the matter during the day and give him an answer later.

Mr. J. Enoch Powell (Wolverhampton, South-West)

On a point of order. Has it escaped your notice, Sir Robert, that you had provisionally selected the Amendment to which the hon. Member for Nottingham, West (Mr. English) referred. No. 262, in that it appeared in yesterday's provisional list which you issued?

Mr. English

It is not in today's list.

The Chairman

That is why I want to look into the matter.

Mr. Eric Deakins (Walthamstow, West)

On a point of order. Are you aware, Sir Robert, that in the fourth group of Amendments, beginning with Amendment No. 117, there appears Amendment No. 112, which deals with Community regulations concerning cattle? I respectfully suggest that it would be more convenient for that Amendment to be moved into the third grouping because in that debate we shall be discussing beef and veal, which, of course, are related to cattle.

The Chairman

I understand that that has already been done. The list which I have shows Amendment No. 112 in the third grouping.

Mr. Eric S. Heffer (Liverpool, Walton)

On a point of order, While I do not wish to delay the Committee, may I draw your attention, Sir Robert, to the fact that I have been endeavouring without success to obtain the OFFICIAL REPORT containing yesterday's proceedings? It is vital for hon. Members taking part in these deliberations to have their knowledge refreshed by reading the comments of their colleagues on these issues.

I understand that a number of copies of the OFFICIAL REPORT in duplicated form are available in the Library but that sufficient copies cannot be made available because of a fire at the printing works. As it is virtually impossible for hon. Members adequately to consider the Bill, may I propose that further proceedings on the Measure be adjourned until adequate copies of the OFFICIAL REPORT are available?

The Chairman

The last part of that point of order is not a point for me. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman was not in his place—I was not, either—when Mr. Speaker made a statement earlier on this matter. I will not delay the Committee by reading what Mr. Speaker said, except to point out that the matter has been noted officially by the Chair and is being looked into.

Mr. Norman St. John-Stevas (Chelmsford)

On a point of order, Sir Robert. As all the speeches made yesterday have been made several times in the debate, cannot earlier volumes of HANSARD be made available?—[Interruption.]

Several Hon. Members rose——

The Chairman

The hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) has not raised a point of order.

Sir Elwyn Jones (West Ham, South)

Further to that point of order——

The Chairman

Order. I disallowed it.

Sir Elwyn Jones


The Chairman

Order. It was not a point of order.

Sir Derek Walker-Smith (Hertfordshire, East)

I rise not on a point of order, Sir Robert, but to continue the debate——

Mr. Arthur Lewis (West Ham, North)

On a point of order——

The Chairman

Order. I must first propose the Question.

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