HC Deb 13 December 1985 vol 88 c1211
Mr. Malcolm Bruce (Gordon)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I seek your guidance. I bought a copy of The Scotsman this morning and received a telephone call from the Press and Journal in Aberdeen and was thereby advised of the publication described by the Scottish Office as a White Paper with green edges It proposes the closure of the Macaulay institute in Aberdeen, which employs 238 people, and its transfer to Dundee and Edinburgh.

Immediately I read about it, I phoned the Minister's office to seek a copy of the Green Paper. I was advised that it was not available in the House of Commons but that it was possibly available in Edinburgh. The person to whom I spoke said that he would do his best to find a copy somewhere in London.

Is it not disgraceful that devastating decisions affecting hon. Members' constituents should be announced to the press in Edinburgh when no copies of the relevant document are available to hon. Members to enable them to make effective representations? Will you, Mr. Speaker ask the Government to treat the House with respect and allow Members of Parliament to do their job with proper information?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Gentleman knows my views. I think that if documents of this kind are available to the press they should be available to hon. Members. However, that is not a matter for me. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman's comments will have been heard by Ministers on the Front Bench.

Mr. Alan Williams (Swansea, West)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Will you find out on how many other occasions Green Papers have been issued without any copies being available to hon. Members?

Mr. Speaker

That is not a matter for me.