HC Deb 10 March 1993 vol 220 cc1030-3

Motion made, and Question put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 101(5) (Standing Committees on Statutory Instruments, &c.), That that the draft Water Undertakers (Rateable Values) (Amendment) Order 1993, which was laid before this House on 4th February, be approved.—[Mr. Arbuthnot.]

The House divided: Ayes 143, Noes 40.

Division No. 190] [10.20 pm
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Hawksley, Warren
Aitken, Jonathan Heald, Oliver
Alexander, Richard Heathcoat-Amory, David
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L.
Alton, David Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W)
Amess, David Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Ancram, Michael Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)
Arbuthnot, James Jack, Michael
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr)
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley) Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North) Kilfedder, Sir James
Beith, Rt Hon A. J. Kirkwood, Archy
Bendall, Vivian Knapman, Roger
Beresford, Sir Paul Knight, Greg (Derby N)
Blackburn, Dr John G. Kynoch, George (Kincardine)
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Bowis, John Legg, Barry
Brandreth, Gyles Lennox-Boyd, Mark
Brazier, Julian Lidington, David
Bright, Graham Lord, Michael
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes) Luff, Peter
Browning, Mrs. Angela Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Burt, Alistair Lynne, Ms Liz
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) MacKay, Andrew
Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry) Maclean, David
Carrington, Matthew Malone, Gerald
Carttiss, Michael Mans, Keith
Cash, William Marlow, Tony
Chapman, Sydney Merchant, Piers
Clappison, James Moate, Sir Roger
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif) Neubert, Sir Michael
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Nicholls, Patrick
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John Page, Richard
Cran, James Patnick, Irvine
Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire) Pawsey, James
Davies, Quentin (Stamford) Porter, David (Waveney)
Davis, David (Boothferry) Redwood, John
Devlin, Tim Richards, Rod
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Riddick, Graham
Dover, Den Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Duncan, Alan Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)
Duncan-Smith, Iain Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Dunn, Bob Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
Elletson, Harold Shaw, David (Dover)
Evans, Jonathan (Brecon) Sims, Roger
Faber, David Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Fabricant, Michael Speed, Sir Keith
Fenner, Dame Peggy Spencer, Sir Derek
Fishburn, Dudley Spink, Dr Robert
Foster, Don (Bath) Sproat, Iain
Freeman, Roger Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Gale, Roger Steen, Anthony
Gallie, Phil Stephen, Michael
Gardiner, Sir George Stern, Michael
Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan Stewart, Allan
Gill, Christopher Streeter, Gary
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Sykes, John
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Thomason, Roy
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N) Thurnham, Peter
Hague, William Trend, Michael
Hanley, Jeremy Twinn, Dr Ian
Harris, David Tyler, Paul
Haselhurst, Alan Viggers, Peter
Walden, George Willetts, David
Waller, Gary Wood, Timothy
Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Waterson, Nigel Tellers for the Ayes:
Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John Mr. David Lightbown and
Whittingdale, John Mr. Andrew McKay.
Widdecombe, Ann
Bayley, Hugh Jamieson, David
Bennett, Andrew F. Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side)
Callaghan, Jim Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Loyden, Eddie
Cann, Jamie McAvoy, Thomas
Chisholm, Malcolm Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)
Clark, Dr David (South Shields) Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Clwyd, Mrs Ann O'Brien, William (Normanton)
Cohen, Harry Parry, Robert
Connarty, Michael Primarolo, Dawn
Cryer, Bob Redmond, Martin
Davidson, Ian Rooney, Terry
Dixon, Don Skinner, Dennis
Fatchett, Derek Spellar, John
Flynn, Paul Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Gerrard, Neil Winnick, David
Godman, Dr Norman A. Wise, Audrey
Gordon, Mildred Wray, Jimmy
Graham, Thomas
Gunnell, John Tellers for the Noes:
Hood, Jimmy Mr. Andrew Meale and
Illsley, Eric Mr. Harry Barnes.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Mr. A. J. Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The confusion among hon. Members earlier about whether they should rise or sit to cast their vote may have arisen because they had forgotten that Standing Order No. 39 was invoked in July 1975 by the Labour Government against my right hon. Friends and myself and various Members present today, including the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer).

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The hon. Member should have said "under a Labour Government".

It might be for the convenience of the House if I try to clarify matters. I now have the second report of the Select Committee on Procedure from the 1976–77 Session, paragraph 5 of which on page 6 says: Your Committee consider that the requirement to be covered should remain, and that any form of headgear should be acceptable, but that for reasons already stated, such articles as hankerchiefs or Order papers, which are instantly available to all Members, should not be accepted. The Committee considers that the same rule should apply to lady Members. It recommends that a second piece of headgear should be kept behind the Chair. I hope that hon. Members will accept that that is the reference that has guided me this evening.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Will you remind the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith), who I understood was a master of procedure, that he is wrong? A Labour Government did not exercise the procedure; Mr. Speaker did. Perhaps he should know the rule.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I thought that I had made that clear.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

Will you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, clarify the position with regard to wearing the hat? Many of us are deeply embarrassed at having to wear headgear of such a nature. [Interruption.] It is a fair point to make. We believe that it brings ridicule on Parliament and on us as Members. Therefore, as the proceedings of the House are now televised and transmitted all over the world, will you consider raising the matter with the Chairman of the Procedure Committee with a view to avoiding such embarrassment for Members?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The hon. Gentleman knows as well as I do that any Member can raise such a matter with the Procedure Committee. I shall cogitate on whether it is appropriate that I should, but the hon. Gentleman may wish to make his own submission. I hope that that has finished the issue of the hat.

Mr. Cryer

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. During this evening's discussions and points of order, it has become clear that there are difficulties with the new microphone system. When hon. Members remain seated, as they are required to do during a Division, particularly those on the Front Bench, they are well out of range of the microphones. The new microphones were installed relatively recently, and clearly they are inadequate—particularly in respect of right hon. and hon. Members seated on the Front Benches near yourself, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Also, the microphones are normally switched off until a right hon. or hon. Member is called, when the nearest microphone is switched on. However, there appears to be some delay in that respect. I did not hear, for example, the point of order of my hon. Friend the Member for Derbyshire, North-East (Mr. Barnes) because he was inaudible—not because of the noise in the Chamber but because of the lack of amplification. If this procedure is invoked again, that could lead to myriad points of order by seated right hon. and hon. Members. It might be helpful if the sound engineers could ascertain whether the microphones might be pointed downwards, so that points of order from seated right hon. and hon. Members wearing appropriate headgear might be heard.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Life is full of difficulties, but I will bring the hon. Gentleman's point to the attention of the Supervisor of Broadcasting.

Mr. Connarty

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. You quoted a definition to the effect that a readily available item would not be considered suitable headgear. You probably saw me labouring away at making this hat, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Would placing it behind the Chair be appropriate? Also, I am not someone who naturally wears a bonnet or an opera hat. Could not a decent, well-designed fedora also be placed behind the. Chair?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I quoted the reference, and I urge the hon. Gentleman to read Hansard tomorrow morning and then decide on the kind of hat that he considers appropriate, within the rules of the House.

Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman (Lancaster)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is it in order for the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) to sit in that laconic way on the arm of his Bench?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Right hon. and hon. Members should sit on the Benches.

Dr. Godman

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I have been sitting here listening quietly to your various comments. Perhaps I may ask you, in what I hope is a typically polite way, whether you are in a position to reply to my earlier point of order about motion No. 19?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

We are taking the motions one at a time.