HC Deb 22 February 1973 vol 851 cc693-4
Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am grateful to you for the opportunity of raising this point of order, of which I gave you notice. Eight and a half years ago your distinguished predecessor laid on the Table of the House for the use of Members the 10th edition of the Manual of Procedure in the Public Business. I have asked that this should be reprinted in an up-to-date 1lth edition. The official response is that as hon. Members do not show any great demand for it there is no purpose in doing this.

But the public do not show any great demand for 1964 maintenance manuals for many things because they are no longer applicable. The fact that hon. Members no longer demand the 1964 edition is evidence that it is useless. It is not evidence that there would not be demand for it if it were brought up-to-date and made useful.

The second reason why hon. Members probably do not often ask for it from the Vote Office is that they were sent a copy of it anyway when they were elected. Many hon. Members have a copy that was sent to them. I believe that more recently Members have not been sent a copy because the Clerk's Department has realised that the document is useless through obsolescence so that there is no longer any point in sending it. It is the only guide to procedure that Members are entitled to receive in the House and I press you very strongly to reconsider your decision not to order that an 11th edition should be produced for the use and convenience of Members. This is an urgent requirement.

Mr. Speaker

I am grateful to the hon. Member for giving me notice that he would seek to raise this point. I will of course consider what he said. I do not think that I made an absolute refusal. I said that I would want to be satisfied that there was some demand for the manual because a great deal of time is involved in bringing it up to date as well as a certain amount of public money. I will be guided by the views of the House, which I will seek to ascertain.