§ Mr. A. J. Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You said a little earlier that we had a heavy day ahead of us. There seems some prospect that the day might be lightened if the Government were not to move the social security regulations relating to board and lodging payments. Since the Leader of the House is present, perhaps you could give him the opportunity to assist the House. As you know, Mr. Speaker, the Joint Committee reported that these regulations may be ultra vires, and the Department is aware that they may be ultra vires. Rather than having the prospect of the Government shooting themselves in the foot again later tonight, can we have the position made clear?
§ The Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. John Biffen)
That was a most helpful intervention on the part of the hon. Gentleman. My right hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General met the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments this afternoon to discuss the effect and meaning of the draft board and lodging regulations. Following this meeting, I understand that my right hon. and learned Friend wishes to give further consideration to some of the points raised by the Committee. In these circumstances, the Government do not believe that it would be right to ask the House to debate these regulations tonight.