§ Mr. Alan Meale accordingly presented a Bill to establish the rights of owners of houses, land, buildings and other constructions which have suffered damage due to subsidence resulting from the working and getting of coal or of coal and other minerals worked therewith, to full repair or equitable compensation of their properties; to establish an independent arbitration procedure to resolve 733 any disputes that may arise out of such damage or any matters relating thereto; to require any public body or organisation involved in the working or getting of coal and other minerals to take steps to prevent subsidence damage; and to promote public awareness of workings which might give rise to such damage: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time upon Friday 25 January and to be printed. [Bill 56.]
§ Mr. Phillip Oppenheim (Amber Valley)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I ask for your advice on whether it is in order for the hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. Meale) to introduce his Bill when the Government have already announced that they are to introduce a Bill to compensate victims of subsidence, something which the Labour Government signally failed to do?
§ Mr. Speaker
I am surprised that the hon. Gentleman should raise that point. The hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. Meale) was perfectly in order. If the House recollects, the announcement that the Government would introduce a Bill was made by the Prime Minister only a few moments ago.