HC Deb 13 December 1994 vol 251 c789
Mr. Frank Cook (Stockton, North)

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. Yesterday you heard my point of order about the promised deposition of the details of submissions made to the Local Government Commission in relation to the dismantling of Cleveland county council. I thank you, Madam Speaker, because your admonishment of the Treasury Bench yesterday resulted in the details being placed in the Library as your procession was passing it at 2.30 this afternoon.

My point of order is that the summary, which has taken nine months and four days to deliver, is a single sheet of paper. It does not say how many submissions were made in favour of the recommendations and there is no detail of the submissions which opposed the recommendations—in fact, there is no total of submissions received. The summary is little more than a repeat of the recommendations of the Banham commission. My two-year-old grandson could have done better than that in half a morning.

Frankly, the Government are treating the House with contempt and preventing any hon. Member who wishes to oppose the order from receiving necessary information. We are told that the order has been laid down and that the matter may be discussed next Monday. The Government are treating the House with contempt, and that is unacceptable. I appeal to you, Madam Speaker, to use your powers to urge the Government to act decently for a change.

Madam Speaker

I am very pleased that I was able to help the hon. Gentleman yesterday, but I certainly cannot help him on this matter. I am not responsible for the quality of material that is provided by the Government—I have many responsibilities in other respects, but that is not one of them.

I can only suggest that the hon. Gentleman see the Minister concerned—I realise that it may be a little late if the matter is to be debated next week—and perhaps make some representations to obtain the information that he requires.