HC Deb 28 June 1988 vol 136 cc202-3

Mr. D. N. Campbell-Savours accordingly presented a Bill to amend the form of declaration for a constable prescribed by the Police Act 1964: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Friday 8 July and to be printed. [Bill 184.]

Mr. Max Madden (Bradford, West)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. As the ten-minute Bill presented so ably by my hon. Friend for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours) has been carried by such a substantial majority, you might be reflecting on why there was such a small number of Members opposed to it. Has it been reported to you that there seemed to be a masonic picket at the entrance to the No Lobby? Will you confirm that the Select Committee on Members' Interest is considering a request from me that Members who are masons should be required to declare their masonic membership in the Register of Members' Interests?

Lastly, will you confirm that attempts by me to table questions and a motion asking the Prime Minister to confirm that she is a member of the Lodge of the Eastern Star, which she is rumoured to have joined in 1975, have been blocked on the grounds that they would cause annoyance? As the excellent ten-minute Bill has been carried requiring the police to declare masonic membership, it is high time that such a declaration was required of Members of Parliament.

Mr. Speaker

We have a busy day ahead of us. I do not know anything about the pickets. I understand that normally the Whips act as pickets on an ordinary division, but I do not believe that they are on for a ten-minute Bill. I have no knowledge of the other matters the hon. Gentleman has mentioned.

Mr. Cryer

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I shall not take up much of your time, but the pickets—there were more than six of them—were composed exclusively of Conservative Members, including members of the Whips Office. Therefore, would it be fair to draw the conclusion that the House of Commons freemason's lodge is centred in the Conservative party?

Mr. Speaker

I draw no conclusions at all.