HC Deb 08 March 1982 vol 19 c654 6.50 pm
Mr. A. W. Stallard (St. Pancras, North)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I ask for guidance more than anything. In The Guardian today there is an article on the first major national report by a Government for 10 years on the problems of homelessness. I am the chairman of the all-party group for the homeless and rootless. We are concerned about the issues in the report.

Since I arrived at the House early today I have been trying to obtain a copy of the report. It is on sale in Her Majesty's Stationery Office, it has been reviewed in the press and people on the street have copies, but no hon. Member has one. There is not a copy in the House. I have been to the Vote Office, the Library, the general office and your office, Mr. Speaker. I filled in a green card. I could wait perhaps two weeks for the result. I have tried to explore every conceivable channel.

How can we do our job if we have to rely on secondhand reports in newspapers?

Mr. David Ennals (Norwich, North)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I was the first chairman of the Campaign for the Homeless and Rootless. I followed the same route as my hon. Friend, and I, too, have been unable to obtain the report.

I understand that the report has been heavily edited and many of the recommendations have been excluded, so it is even more important to see what has finally been published.

Mr. David Stoddart (Swindon)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I, too, am interested in the subject. I recently had an Adjournment debate on it.

This is not the first time that we have had a problem with reports. Hon. Members are being treated as second-class citizens. We are sick and tired of being the last to see Government publications. You are the guardian of Back-Bench rights, Mr. Speaker. I hope that you will put the Government in their place and tell them to do their job properly.

Mr. Speaker

I have listened with concern to the right hon. and two hon. Members. I shall look into the matter to see whether the papers can be made available. I believe that they will be. I do not know why they are not available already.

The Clerk will now proceed to read the Orders of the Day.

Mrs. Ann Taylor (Bolton, West)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. As the Leader of the House is in the Chamber, perhaps it would be helpful if he could explain why the report has not been made available.

Mr. Speaker

Order. The Clerk will now proceed to read the Orders of the Day.