HC Deb 10 January 1990 vol 164 c955 4.15 pm
Mr. James Lamond (Oldham, Central and Royston)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I have noticed in recent weeks that it has become more difficult to hear Back Benchers when they speak in the House. I wonder whether the story that I have heard is correct. Is it the case that, because of the sound that television cameras need, there has been some damping down of the microphones? If so, I should like you to know that I, for one, should like them to be turned up a little. I can hear Ministers, but I cannot hear questions from Back Benchers.

Mr. Speaker

I am aware that the microphones are of a certain age. If the House decides to make permanent the televising of our proceedings, we may have new microphones. I note what the hon. Member said, and I shall look into it.

Mr. D. N. Campbell-Savours (Workington)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker

I hope—

Mr. Campbell-Savours

It is unrelated to what happened yesterday.

Have you had an application for a statement on the same subject as that of today's from a Treasury Minister?

I have a letter from a Treasury Minister which says: We believe there is a case for bringing invalidity benefit into tax. We understood that there was to be some announcement today about the taxation of invalidity benefits, but none has been made.

Mr. Speaker

I have had no indication that there is to be a statement on that matter.

European Community documents.

Mr. Stephen Dorrell (Loughborough)

Not moved.

Mr. Speaker

Statutory instruments.

Mr. Dorrell

Not moved.

Mr. Graham Allen (Nottingham, North)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. On the statutory instrument relating to the Official Secrets Act 1989, would it be in order not to bring it before the House until public guarantees are made that the staff of the National Audit Office will not be prohibited from doing their job on behalf of the Public Accounts Committee?

Mr. Speaker

That is entirely a matter for the Leader of the House, if and when the matter is brought before the House, but not today.