HC Deb 29 January 1993 vol 217 cc1374-5


That the Order [12th January], That the draft Criminal Justice Act 1991 (Contracted Out Prisons) (No. 2) Order 1992 be referred to a Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c., be discharged.—[Mr. Robert G. Hughes.]

Mr. Mullin

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I asked you a moment ago whether, by chance—I do not make the allegation—the hon. Member who objected to my Secret Societies (Declaration) Bill had an interest. You said that whether the hon. Member concerned had to declare any such interest was not a matter for the Chair. Can you advise me for whom it would be a matter?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

An hon. Member need not make a declaration when objecting to a Bill.

Mr. Cryer

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. One answer would be for my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) to write to the Chairman of the Procedure Committee. It would help considerably, however, if the occupant of the Chair drew the Committee's attention to a point about which many hon. Members feel very strongly—the ability to object to Bills without declaring an interest.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The terms of reference are wide enough for Members to write themselves.

Mr. Jeremy Corbyn (Islington, North)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. There is a problem with my hon. Friend's suggestion, excellent though it is. At the moment, objections to Bills are made anonymously on Friday afternoons, so it would be impossible to require a declaration of interest.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The same would apply if 100 Members objected all at once.

Mr. Corbyn

Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I shall indeed refer this matter to the Procedure Committee.