§ Mr. Lawson
I rise to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 9 for the 578 purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that requires urgent consideration, namely,the failure of the Committee of Selection to reflect the changed composition of this House in its appointments of Members to Standing Committees.I do not wish to detain the House. The fact that this is a specific, important and urgent matter has already been agreed by all sides in exchanges which have occurred earlier this afternoon. What we have been offered by the Leader of the House, however, is a one-and-a-half-hour debate late on Monday night. That is far too late. It is a constitutional affront and an insult to Parliament.
You, Mr. Speaker, are the last hope of those of us who believe in Parliament and in this House. You have it in your power under Standing Order No. 9 to say that a debate of such constitutional importance should be held either this afternoon or as the first order on Monday afternoon. This is what I appeal to you to do on behalf of those of us who believe in Parliament.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Gentleman asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he thinks should have urgent consideration, namely,the failure of the Committee of Selection to reflect the changed composition of this House in its appointments of Members to Standing Committees.As the House knows, under Standing Order No. 9 I am directed to take into account the several factors set out in the Order but to give no reasons for my decisions. I have given careful consideration to the representations that the hon. Member has made, but I have to rule that the hon. Gentleman's submission does not fall within the provisions of the Standing Order and, therefore, I cannot submit his application to the House.
It is a very dangerous thing to try to involve the Chair in party arguments on major issues of this sort when the House has been discussing its own decision this afternoon.