HC Deb 01 March 2001 vol 363 c1054 1.23 pm
Mr. John Bercow (Buckingham)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You will be aware that the terms of the Order of the House made on 6 February this year ensure that if the House of Commons (Removal of Clergy Disqualification) Bill, which we are about to consider, is amended during its Committee stage, consideration on Report must begin no later than 5 o'clock this afternoon. On behalf of my hon. Friends, I am therefore interested to establish what guidance you can offer as to the admissibility or otherwise of manuscript amendments, especially in view of the regrettable experience of 17 July last year, when the House considered the Football Disorder Bill in similar circumstances. After the Committee stage, we proceeded to Report and there was no proper opportunity for hon. Members to table amendments. Obviously, we would want to avoid a repetition of those events, which were acknowledged to be a farce by not only my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) but the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes).

Mr. Speaker

If manuscript amendments are submitted, I shall obviously consider them, as I always do.