Sittings of the House

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th May 1965.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Sir Rolf Williams Sir Rolf Williams , Exeter 12:00 am, 26th May 1965

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I draw your attention to a subject that I raised this morning during discussion of the Committee stage of the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Bill? I think that the point is relevant now, since the Leader of the House is here; indeed, we had the Prime Minister here as well—and I suppose that he carries some responsibility inasmuch as the Leader of the House tells him anything.

We were in some difficulty over the Bill. One of my hon. Friends was so disgusted by the paucity of the attendance at the beginning that he drew attention to the fact that there were not 40 Members present and we had great difficulty in getting the necessary quorum so that we could proceed.

We were in that position because yesterday morning there were six or seven Standing Committees and about 200 hon. Members had to be in attendance so that business could proceed from 10.30 a.m. onwards. Then we had a very late sitting on the Finance Bill, owing to the mess that the Chancellor of the Exchequer

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

Order. If the hon. Gentleman has a point of order—I say, if—will he be good enough to state it and not make criticisms of others?

Photo of Sir Rolf Williams Sir Rolf Williams , Exeter

I accept your advice, Mr. Speaker, and will reserve my criticism for another time.

As a result of hon. Members being so exhausted this morning, especially on the Government side, we did not at first have a quorum to proceed with our business. I suggest to the Leader of the House that, since he is grossly overworking the House—

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

Order. If, in the hon. Member's opinion, what he is saying is not a criticism of someone else, then it certainly is in mine.

Photo of Sir Rolf Williams Sir Rolf Williams , Exeter

What I would ask you, Mr. Speaker, is whether we on this side of the House have any redress against the strain that is being put upon the House—[Interruption.]

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

Order. Let there be silence. The hon. Member will appreciate that no point of order arises now. If he wishes to table a Motion bearing upon the matter, and if it is securely in order, no doubt that would be the appropriate method of proceeding.