Then may I ask for your guidance, Mr. Speaker, about what can be done with regard to those hon. Members who come in here, get one Bill through for their own side, and then, after having been told by the Government to object—1 heard them being told by the Government to object—
Order. I think I can give the hon. Member sufficient guidance. I am powerless to help him in the matter. Should the House like to change its rules, circumstances might be different.
Will you permit me to go on, Mr. Speaker, because you never heard the point that I was proposing to make? If you had, you could have followed what my point was. I have no vested interest in this matter. I understand that hon. Members ballot by arrangement with the Table for Private Members' Bills on Private Members' day. I believe that, under the procedure of the House, that is a private Member's right. How can private Members have that right if the Government, behind the scenes and behind the Chair, unknown to you, Sir, advise their back benchers to take away the right of private Members which you, as Speaker, have given them to go through the procedure of having a ballot, offering them a day, and giving them a day for their Bill? I would say that that is sharp practice.
I quite understand the kind of point the hon. Member is making. The procedure is governed by the rules and practice of the House. I do not confer any right on Private Members' Bills by a ballot. The House prescribes that there shall be a ballot, and a ballot is taken. The rules and practice of the House also prescribe that an hon. Member is entitled to object at this opportunity to further progress of the Bill on that day. In none of these matters can I help.
On a point of order. If this matter is being considered in any way for your advice, Mr. Speaker, may I point out that it would be only right and proper for you in any consideration to realise that this just does not happen from hon. Members on this side as a matter of objection? [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I happen to have—
Order. The matter is not being considered by me now. There is nothing for me to consider. I should not be right to allow the matter to be discussed now.
As, I understand, the Motion for the Adjournment of the House was carried in the negative or was objected to, may I take this opportunity, as I understand the hon. Member who had the Adjournment allotted to him is not present, of raising a case for which the Minister is responsible and say at once that I deeply regret not giving him notice today but that I had no possibility of knowing that this opportunity would present itself. want to raise the case of Mr. Joseph Blakeman, of Oldham, which I have raised on a previous occasion, whose case prompted—
Order. As the hon. Member knows, my predecessors have always deprecated the practice of seeking to raise on the Adjournment that of which Ministers have not been given specific notice. It is not a practice I would wish to depart from noticing. I therefore deprecate what is happening. The basis of the principle is, as the hon. Member knows, that it was felt that an ex parte statement in such a matter would not be of assistance to the House. That is why my predecessors have always deprecated it. I cannot proclaim that the hon. Member is out of order in doing so—I have no power to do so—but I repeat the deprecation of the practice.
This is a matter on which the Minister is fully informed, but your Rulings, Mr. Speaker, are always expressed with such consideration for the feeling of the House, even in moments of controversy, and with such personal courtesy, that I would not like to take this opportunity of doing something that you would deprecate my doing.
I am fortified in that decision by recollection of the fact that a Motion for the Adjournment of the House for the Whitsun Recess will be debated next week and I may well feel that that is an appropriate moment to raise the question of whether the House should adjourn at a time when Bills of great importance are objected to by a Member who arrives in the House at 3.59 and has come here because the Tory Whips have now found it almost impossible to persuade a Conservative Member to object to these Bills. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, with that brief dissertation, I will take your advice.
No, I am afraid not. The hon. Member cannot raise on the Adjournment that to which the House specifically allocated another place before 4 o'clock had there been time.
May I ask for your guidance, Mr. Speaker? I am in some- thing of a difficulty myself, because it seems to me that a statement has been made by the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. A. Lewis) which could be particularly misleading. I should like to ask you how best it might be corrected.
Not now, or we shall be debating some matter which is wholly irregular. Nor is it my duty to give guidance. I rule upon points of order when they arise, but not otherwise. I will hear the hon. Member if he has a point of order, but not otherwise.
No. I cannot allow a matter of that kind to be discussed now. If the hon. Member wants to raise a point of order, of course I will hear him, but not otherwise.
We are on the Adjournment. If on the Adjournment a statement is made saying that I made a statement which is not true, surely I can say that I did not make the statement alleged. What I said—