HC Deb 13 June 1980 vol 986 c984
Mr. Hattersley

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I believe that this point of order relates to protecting the rights and interests of the House. Yesterday evening we debated matters relating to local government expenditure. During the debate the Secretary of State for the Environment said that he was issuing a circular concerning that subject today, but he refused to give the House any information about it. It was assumed by my right hon. Friends and myself that a statement on that circular would be made this morning.

We now understand that the circular has gone to other places and that a statement, will be made about it in Harrogate this morning and later in the day in London, but that the House will not be informed of its contents. May I ask whether any attempt has been made by the Secretary of State to make a statement to the House, which we believe to be the proper place? If not, Mr. Speaker, what advice can you give the Opposition on how the interests of the House can be protected?

Mr. Speaker

Our custom on a Friday is that Ministers are free to notify me until 10 o'clock if they wish to make a statement. Such a statement would be made at 11 o'clock. The same applies to private notice questions. I am free to receive them until 10 o'clock, and then my decision is made known. I have not yet received any application for a statement to be made.