HC Deb 28 July 1998 vol 317 cc169-70 3.30 pm
Mr. Julian Brazier (Canterbury)

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. Would you rule on a point affecting the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, which may help hon. Members later this evening? It has been widely canvassed that, if the House decides to drop the amendment relating to the gay age of consent, it may come back in a new measure in the new Session. Would you rule on whether the 12-month delaying power of the other place would be triggered tonight or on Second Reading of any new measure?

Madam Speaker

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving me notice of his point of order.

I read the Parliament Acts as applying to Bills originating in this House, but not to Bills that began in the House of Lords. That is also the view that happens to be taken by "Erskine May" at page 569. Thus, the Parliament Acts do not apply to the Crime and Disorder Bill, but they would apply to a Bill introduced in this House, if that were to follow today's proceedings.

Mr. Owen Paterson (North Shropshire)

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. Today, a White Paper on Welsh trunk roads has been published. One copy is available in the Library and 40 copies have been sent to Welsh Members, but no copies are available in the Vote Office. I am a member of the Welsh Affairs Committee and the Welsh Grand Committee. The A483, which is nominated as a priority road, runs straight through my constituency. Would you please clarify what the rules are concerning the availability of that document?

Madam Speaker

If a White Paper has been laid before the House, it certainly should be available to hon. Members in the Vote Office. I hope that those on the Treasury Bench will take heed of what I say.

Mr. Robert Syms (Poole)

Further to that point of order, Madam Speaker. I also requested that document, which is a review of the trunk roads of Wales, from the Vote Office, as a Member of the United Kingdom Parliament. I was told that it was unavailable. There is to be a decision later this week on English trunk roads. Would it be appropriate for that document to be available from the Vote Office, for all Members of Parliament?

Madam Speaker

It very much depends on the time and date when documents are laid before this House. These are the procedures that we have always followed: when documents are laid before the House, they should be available for Members. I see that those on the Front Bench have heeded what I have said about this matter.