§ 5 pm
§ Sir Peter Emery (Honiton)
On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker, on the next motion. Before I go into my point of order, I draw the House's attention to the fact that your constituency is disappearing at the next election, and that it is therefore possible that you will not be with us in the next Parliament. I think that all hon. Members will wish to pay tribute to the wise guidance and excellent service that you have given the House. I should like that recorded so that we can all agree, even if it is on a point of order.
Turning to my point of order. As Deputy Speaker, you will know from Madam Speaker's provisional selection was that she might be minded not to call the amendment in my name and those of leading members of all parties on the Select Committee on Procedure. The argument was that it might be necessary to have a debate on the subject. We are passing the more important aspects of the Select Committee's recommendations without a debate, but not this minor matter, which had unanimous support on the Committee, including the support of a member of the Chairmen's Panel. It is a simple matter of whether a name should be changed.
As the original selection was only provisional, would you consider, in view of the good nature of the House as we come to the end of this Parliament, that it might be worth allowing a Division on the matter—there can be no debate—so that the House can be seen to be willing to modernise itself and not stay in subfusc, with names that have no relevance to what Committees are doing? If you decided that it would be right to make that alteration to the provisional selection, I should be most grateful.
§ Sir Michael Shersby (Uxbridge)
Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I should like to convey to you and to my right hon. Friend the Member for Honiton (Sir P. Emery) the fact that the members of the Chairmen's Panel were certainly not in favour of the recommendation. I should regret it being debated at this late hour.
§ Madam Deputy Speaker (Dame Janet Fookes)
I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his kind remarks about me, which are much appreciated. None the less, I fear that I shall have to disappoint him on his main point. I know the mind of Madam Speaker, who has decided that the amendment shall not be taken. There is no debate, and I have to put the Question forthwith. I have no doubt that there will be further opportunities in another Parliament for the kind of debate that the right hon. Gentleman wants.
§ The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Tony Newton)
Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I associate myself briefly and warmly with the remarks that have been made about you. I merely observe that, while I regret my right hon. Friend's frustration, I fear 1102 that the atmosphere of good will in the House might have disappeared quite rapidly if you had agreed to what he asked, because my hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge (Sir M. Shersby) and the hon. Member for Crewe and Nantwich (Mrs. Dunwoody) had come here to make trouble if the amendment was debated.
§ Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody (Crewe and Nantwich)
Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I should be very remiss, as someone who has enjoyed your friendship for many years, if I did not say that you will be very much missed in the House. It would be wrong if it appeared that only one side of the House would miss you—I know that that is not the case. Nevertheless, I am sorry to have to tell you that the Leader of the House might be right in saying that I came here to cause a certain amount of trouble.
§ Mr. George Howarth (Knowsley, North)
Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I should like to identify in personal terms and on behalf of the Opposition with the thanks for your sterling service in the Chair. We shall all miss you, but I am sure that this will not be the last that we hear of you.
§ Madam Deputy Speaker
I thank all hon. Members who have given me such kind remarks to remember as I come to the end of my period of service in the House, which has been almost 27 years—longer than a life sentence.
Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Order [19 March],
That the repeals of, and Amendments to, the Standing Orders of this House relating to Public Business, and the new Standing Order, recommended by the Select Committee on Procedure in its First Report (HC 95), as set out in Appendices I (Recommendations: Revision) and III (Proposed re-ordering of select committee Standing Orders) thereto, be made, with effect from the first day of the new Parliament, with the following additions namely—
- (a) Standing Order No. 94F (Scottish Grand Committee (delegated legislation)), line 16, leave out 'member of the government' and insert 'Minister of the Crown'; line 20 and line 37, leave out 'notwithstanding the expiration of the time for opposed business' and insert 'at any hour, though opposed'; and
- (b) Standing Order No. 126 (Select Committee on the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration), line 5, leave out 'Commissioner for Administration' and insert 'Ombudsman';
- and subject to the following modifications to the recommendations set out in Appendix I, namely—
- (1) recommendation 23, leave out lines 5 and 6 and insert 'No. 98G (Welsh Grand Committee (sittings)) and No. 99H (Northern Ireland Grand Committee (sittings))".';
- (2) recommendation 24(a), line 8, after 'business)),', insert 'Standing Order No. 99A (Northern Ireland Grand Committee (composition and business)),'; and
- (3) recommendation 27, line 5, after 'Crown";', insert 'line16 and'. —[Mr. Newton.]
§ Question agreed to.