HC Deb 12 January 1987 vol 108 c33 4.18 pm
Mr. Max Madden (Bradford, West)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. If Harold Macmillan were here today, he would be surprised, as large numbers of the British public must be, that no statement is being made on what arrangements the Government are making to stop many elderly people freezing to death and, secondly, that no statement is being made on the crash of the Army convoy over the weekend. Can you say, Mr. Speaker, whether the Government, at any stage, have said that they intend to make statements on those two important matters and, if not, have you expressed any concern on behalf of the House about the absence of such statements?

Mr. David Winnick (Walsall, North)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I sympathise with you about your voice and hope that I will not cause you any difficulties. You will understand that we do not wish to have too many applications under Standing Order No. 20, so we should discipline ourselves accordingly. I deliberately did not table a Standing Order No. 20 application because I hoped that a statement would be made about the appalling difficulties being faced by many of our elderly people during this bitter winter weather. It is disgraceful that no statement is being made about whether the trigger arrangements will be implemented so that some elderly people on supplementary benefit may receive additional heating benefits.

I am aware that there is a question tabled for tomorrow, but that is no substitute for a statement from the Secretary of State because, at most, only three or four hon. Members will be able to ask supplementary questions to question No. 7 which is tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Madden). I hope that tomorrow such a statement will be made because the difficulties being experienced by many elderly people should preoccupy the House. It is disgraceful that there has been no statement today.

Mr. Churchill (Davyhulme)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I shall deal with one matter at a time. Regarding the matter raised by the hon. Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Madden), as the hon. Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick) said, the hon. Gentleman has question No. 7 on the Order Paper tomorrow. I am not responsible for any statements by the Government. On the question of the accident, it would be perfectly legitimate to raise this during tomorrow's debate on the Army. Again, I am not responsible for any statement.