HC Deb 13 May 1994 vol 243 c516
Mr. Kevin Barron (Rother Valley)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. In view of what has happened to the Tobacco Advertising Bill, is there any way in which the House can protect the interests of hon. Members who come near the top of the list of those successful in the ballot to introduce private Members' Bills? It was clear from day two that the Government offered me a Bill through their Whips' Office which would get through the House. Today my Bill has been subjected to a procedural mugging by the use of contemptible tactics. Is it not a contempt of the House and disgraceful that the Minister should make a statement now instead of doing so in the proper parliamentary way?

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Geoffrey Lofthouse)

The House has already considered the first part of the hon. Member's point of order. I will not respond directly to his question about contempt, but I must tell the House that I strongly deprecate what has taken place and, in particular, the fact that a press release was issued purporting to report what a Minister had said in the House before the relevant statement was made.

Mr. D. N. Campbell-Savours (Workington)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. May I place on record on behalf of my constituents my strong objection to the fact that the National Parks Bill was objected to by the hon. Member for Luton, North (Mr. Carlisle) and—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. That is not a point of order, and the hon. Gentleman knows that full well.

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

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I wonder whether it was clear to you whether the Government Whip knew precisely what he was doing when he objected to Government new clause 2 to the Energy Conservation Bill? I always understood that Government Whips were paid to do the Government's business, but I had hoped that we might make enough progress on the Bill to pass a Government new clause, which had already been debated for two hours, without a Division. I would have let it through on the nod just a few moments ago.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

That is not a matter for me.