HC Deb 27 February 1991 vol 186 cc977-1098 3.31 pm
Mr. Tim Devlin (Stockton, South)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Do you agree that, when we reached Question No. 10, which referred to Langbaurgh, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Stockton and North Tyneside, the reason that you were unable to call me to make a point about the extremely high-spending Labour councils was because no Labour Members——

Mr. Speaker

Order. I cannot give an explanation of my discretion in these matters.

Mr. Tony Banks (Newham, North-West)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker

Order. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman would sit down for a minute. I can give no bonus points for the sort of behaviour in which he constantly indulges, but I shall hear him now.

Mr. Banks

My point of order, Mr. Speaker, is that I wish to apologise to you for my outrageous behaviour in challenging your partiality in calling the hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr. Tracey) on a question about homelessness in Greater London. As you know and I know, the hon. Gentleman is the chair of the London group of Conservative Members of Parliament——

Mr. Speaker

Order. As a matter of fact, I did not know that. However, I do know that the hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr. Tracey) represents a Greater London seat.

Mr. Hugh Dykes (Harrow, East)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. With respect, I think that I was on my feet before the hon. Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Banks)——

Mr. Speaker

Order. That may be so, but I have discretion in these matters.

Mr. Dykes

Indeed, Mr. Speaker. Despite all your long years of distinguished service in the Speaker's Chair, were you not deeply shocked by the hysterical display of petulant anger when you called my hon. Friend the Member for Surbiton (Mr. Tracey)——

Mr. Speaker

Order. I am frequently deeply shocked but I try not to show it.

Mr. Derek Conway (Shrewsbury and Atcham)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker—I thought that you might like a genuine one for a change. We have discussed before the closure of the side galleries following the demonstration by those opposed to the Gulf war. Now that feeling about the British position in the Gulf is perhaps less emotive among those opposed to it, will you reconsider the decision to close the galleries? That is especially important before Budget day, when there is so much pressure for seating. The officials in the Admission Order Office are helpful to hon. Members, but their hands are tied until the ruling is rescinded.

Mr. Speaker

That matter is constantly under review. The House would expect me to take action to protect hon. Members, but I shall bear in mind what the hon. Gentleman has said.

Mr. Alan Williams (Swansea, West)

On a completely different and important point of order, Mr. Speaker. It has just been announced on Baghdad radio that Iraq is willing to abandon all claims to Kuwait, to discuss reparations and to release all prisoners of war as soon as a ceasefire is arranged. I realise that that is a preliminary announcement, and we are always dubious about what is said, but if that information proves valid, we might want a statement at 7 o'clock or later this evening. Can that be conveyed to the appropriate Minister?

Mr. Speaker

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for having brought that welcome piece of news. I hope that it turns out to be true. I am sure that what he has said will have been heard by those on the Front Bench.

    1. c978
    3. c978
    4. HARE COURSING 73 words
  3. Zoo Animal Welfare 1,528 words
    1. c982
    2. ZOO ANIMAL WELFARE 43 words
  4. Social Security 25,489 words
  5. cc1028-31
  6. STATUTORY SICK PAY 2,029 words, 1 division
  7. cc1032-68
  8. Killingholme Generating Stations (Ancillary Powers) Bill [Lords] 20,506 words, 1 division
  9. cc1069-90
  10. Hill Livestock 11,632 words
  11. cc1091-8
  12. Oldchurch Hospital, Romford 3,670 words