HC Deb 20 July 1990 vol 176 cc1356-7

Order for Second Reading read.

Hon. Members


Second Reading deferred till Friday 19 October.

Mr. Tony Banks

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am in no way challenging what you have said, but Opposition Members heard not a word when the title of the Protection of Badger Setts Bill was read out. In view of the earlier experiences of some hon. Members. I understand why others do not wish to be associated with objections to that Bill. Nevertheless, will the hon. Member who objected—if indeed it was an hon. Member—identify himself or herself? Will he or she at least have the courage to admit it, so that we can all see who it was?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

As the hon. Gentleman and the House know very well, we have been round this course many times before. The procedure is well established: one objection stops a Bill proceeding any further, and—whether it happens at 2.30 pm on a Friday, at 2.30 pm on a main sitting day or at 10 pm—no hon. Member need identify himself in such circumstances.

Let me also remind the House that an objection does not necessarily mean that the hon. Member concerned objects to the Bill; he may simply be objecting to the Bill going through a stage without any discussion or debate.

Mr. Banks

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I fully understand that, but there is some confusion on these occasions. People are objecting to Bills, of trying to move Second Reading motions for Bills that have already been passed. There is a general climate of confusion.

All the hon. Members who were in the Chamber at the beginning of the process through which we have just gone are still present; none has admitted to objecting to the Protection of Badger Setts Bill. It could well be, Sir, that you heard something that was not actually said. No one is admitting to having objected.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. We cannot pursue the matter any further. As I say, this is a well-trodden path.

Mr. Nicholas Bennett (Pembroke)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am somewat surprised at the Opposition's concern. Opposition Members objected to three Bills that have received general consent in the House—the Road Traffic (Temporary Restrictions) Bill, whose Second Reading I moved, the Sexual Offences Bill and the Radioactive Materials (Road Transport) Bill. The Road Traffic (Temporary Provisions) Bill was objected to by the hon. Member for Clwyd, South-West (Mr. Jones) if a fit of pique because his Bill was objected to before.

Several hon. Members


Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I have let hon. Members on both sides of the House get the matter off their chests and we must now move on.