HC Deb 25 June 1976 vol 913 cc2035-6

As amended (in the Standing Committee), considered.

11.30 a.m.

Mr. Peter Fry (Wellingborough)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. There is widespread feeling on the Opposition side of the House that to take this legislation, which affects the interests of many millions of people in this country, on a Friday is a very bad piece of management on the part of the Government. At this stage, I should like to protest that the Motion on the Order Paper indicating that the rule is to be suspended at 4 o'clock will mean that the Third Reading will take place at a time when many Members of Parliament will of necessity be away in the country in their constituencies and will not, therefore, be able to give their views on this very important matter. I should have thought that the Government could have found some opportunity to have at least the Third Reading debate at a time more suitable to Members of the House, which would thus be able to give its decision on a matter which will affect millions of our fellow countrymen.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Oscar Murton)

The hon. Gentleman will fully understand that that is not a matter of order.

The first amendment selected is Government New Clause 1, with which it is proposed to take Amendments (a) and (b).

Mr. Mark Carlisle (Runcorn)


Mr Deputy Speaker

Mr. Carlisle—on a point of order.

Mr. Carlisle

I apologise, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for interrupting matters, but although I appreciate the effect of what you have said to my hon. Friend the Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Fry), is it not possible that the Minister could respond by saying whether it is the intention of the Government to carry on to Third Reading today or whether, if we do not reach the end of the Report stage at a reasonable time, he would agree that this is the sort of Bill on which the House ought to be allowed to express a clear opinion with a reasonably sized vote?

Mr. Ronald Bell (Beaconsfield): Before—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Perhaps I might answer the point of order raised by the hon. and learned Member for Runcorn (Mr. Carlisle). Hon. Members have the opportunity at 4 o'clock to express their views on this point.

Mr. Ronald Bell

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is the motion at 4 o'clock debatable? I was under the impression that it could not be debated and would have to be merely voted on.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

It cannot be debated, but it can be voted upon.

Mr. Ronald Bell

I am obliged to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I thought that you were giving the impression that we could express our opinions on it at 4 o'clock.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The opinion of the House can be taken in the more forceful manner if so desired.

Mr. Ronald Bell

Before the Minister replies to my hon. Friend's point of order—which seems a slightly odd thing to happen—will he also address his mind to the question of the vote on the Government's amendment to reverse the decision reached in Committee, which I venture to suggest should also be taken at a time when hon. Members can be present?

The Minister for Transport (Dr. John Gilbert)

I am not quite sure whether I am replying to a point of order or moving the Second Reading of New Clause 1.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

That is for the discretion of the Minister. I have called New Clause 1 and Amendments (a) and (b), but if the Minister desires to make any comment on the point of order, he may certainly do so.

Dr. Gilbert

I think that it may be for the convenience of the House, Mr. Deputy Speaker, if I were to do so by way of opening remarks on New Clause 1, which is what I intended to do anyway.

  1. New Clause 1
    1. cc2037-77
  2. New Clause 2
    1. cc2077-105
    2. DURATION 10,479 words, 1 division
  3. Clause 1
    1. cc2105-16
    2. COMPULSORY WEARING OF SEAT BELTS 4,231 words, 1 division
Forward to