HC Deb 24 July 1978 vol 954 cc1147-8
Mr. Lee

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. At the beginning of business on Friday, you made a ruling, as, indeed you were bound to do, about the constitutional position of a Lords amendment to the Inner Urban Areas Bill. The amendment was no. 14. You ruled that the other place had passed an amendment imposing a charge which required sanction by a Money Resolution, and that as a consequence of that, under Standing Orders Nos. 89 and 90, this House was precluded, among other things, from a debate on that amendment.

I did not raise the matter at the time because it was overtaken by other matters, including the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But clearly it must be an unsatisfactory state of affairs when the other place passes an amendment purporting to allocate money. That would seem to be contrary to the general provisions of the Parliament Act 1911 and subsequent Acts. But it seems to have the double mischief of denying this House the right to debate an amendment which is so passed.

Is there any way, either by resolution of this House or by representation by yourself to the Lord Chancellor, as Speaker of the other place, whereby the other place can be prevailed upon not to arrogate to itself authority which it appears under the constitution it has no right to do? Or, in the alternative, is there some way in which we can nevertheless debate matters if that kind of mischief occurs in future?

Mr. Speaker

The House will be aware that this is the second time within the last two months that I have had occasion to remind the House that a motion passed by another place has gone outside the Money Resolution or that another Money Resolution has not been moved. What I did was to protect the rights of this House. I am pleased to say that the House took my advice. A debate would have been completely out of order, because the amendment would not have been selected in this place if it was outside the Money Resolution. We did the dignified and the right thing to send it back and say that it had been rejected.