HC Deb 20 February 1986 vol 92 cc498-9
Mr. John Butterfill (Bournemouth, West)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I should like to draw your attention to a serious error in the Official Report of our proceedings in the report of the debate on the private rented sector of housing which took place last night. During the debate, the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker) said, "We want the Rent Acts to be strengthened, not weakened." At that point I made a sedentary interjection. I said, "They should be scrapped." Unfortunately, it appears that the Official Report heard only the last word, "scrapped". However, it did not hear that word correctly because the word that appears in the Official Report is a four-letter word that I would not personally use but which is not dissimilar to "scrapped".

I can understand the difficulty, especially when sedentary interjections are made, of those who are members of the Official Report. I hope that the error was not a Freudian slip on their part in response to the speech of the hon. Member for Perry Barr. I regard this as an extremely serious matter, and I hope that the error will be put right.

On making a complaint about this matter in the office of the Official Report, I was told that this was not the first time that the word in question had been used in the Chamber—

Mr. Speaker

Let us not deal with that. I have looked into this matter. If Mr. Deputy Speaker, who was in the Chair at the time, had heard the word which appears in print in the Official Report, he would have ruled it out of order. I accept that it is not a word that the hon. Member for Bournemouth, West (Mr. Butterfill) would use. However, this sort of thing is likely to happen when Members make comments from a sedentary position.

Mr. Jeff Rooker (Birmingham, Perry Barr)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I did not hear the word uttered that is printed in Hansard, and I think it important that the record should be corrected. It is important also that we have it on record for the electors of Fulham that another Tory Member wants the Rent Acts to be scrapped.

Mr. Speaker

I should have said to the hon. Member for Bournemouth, West that I shall, of course, have the record corrected.