HC Deb 27 March 1981 vol 1 c1247
Mr. Alfred Morris (Manchester, Wythenshawe)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. As you will be aware, I have been in and about the House all day seeking to move a motion standing on the Order Paper in my name which is of the first importance to every citizen of Manchester. Since I understand, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that you will be proceeding with business over which my motion had precedence on the Order Paper, is it possible for me now to move my motion formally?

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Ernest Armstrong)

I well understand the right hon. Gentleman's frustration, an experience that all hon. Members have shared. I am not allowed to take a balloted motion. The right hon. Member's motion is a balloted motion, and I cannot put it to the House.

Mr. Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Ardwick)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. We fully accept the limitation on your freedom of action in these matters, but perhaps you can advise hon. Members what can be done in the future to protect those who have tabled a motion but who find that hon. Members, including an hon. Member from the city of Manchester, deliberately filibuster to prevent its being reached. Serious matters relating to the difficult problems of Manchester have been prevented from being discussed in the House.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The House is governed by Standing Orders. The preceding debate was a serious debate. It was first in the ballot and therefore had priority.

Mr. Morris

Further to the point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I understand that you are about to proceed with other items on the Order Paper over which my motion had precedence. It would perhaps be appropriate for the Select Committee on Procedure to examine what is clearly an important problem affecting Private Members' motions. It seems to me that if my motion has precedence over, for example, the motion on the Defence Committee, there may be a case for its being moved formally.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I am governed by the Standing Orders, which are clear on this matter.

Mr. Fred Silvester (Manchester, Withington)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I seek your protection because the right hon. Member for Manchester, Ardwick (Mr. Kaufman) has just referred to me obliquely, and I was the only Manchester Member who spoke in the debate. Would it not be proper for the right hon. Gentleman and for the House to recognise that there are ways of speaking about Manchester and its problems without relying on a balloted motion, which is most unlikely to be reached?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

That is hardly a matter for me to comment on.

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