Procedure

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th April 1968.

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11.05 a.m.

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

Mr. Speaker, I should like to seek your guidance on a point of order of which I have given you private notice.

I should be grateful for your guidance on the position in respect of the Motion relating to the proposal to set up a Select Committee on Procedure. On yesterday's Order Paper there appeared such a Motion proposing to set up a Select Committee with somewhat limited terms of reference. To this, my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Gresham Cooke), hon. Members of the Liberal Party, and I tabled Amendments.

At Business Question time yesterday, in reply to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham, the Leader of the House said that this was to be taken on Monday. On this morning's Order Paper there appear two related matters, one an indication that, despite what the right hon. Gentleman said yesterday, this Motion was taken at a late hour last night, and, secondly, what appears to be a Motion to set it aside and rescind it.

The Government seem in this matter of procedure to have got into what I hope I am not uncharitably calling a characteristic muddle, and I should be grateful if you would give the House guidance on the position with respect to this matter, and whether the House will have an opportunity to debate the Motion and the proposed Amendments.

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for giving me an indication, with his usual courtesy, that he intended to raise this point of order.

This is really not a matter for the Chair. It is a matter for the Government. I understand that there was an undertaking yesterday that the procedure Motion to which the right hon. Gentleman refers was not to be taken yesterday. It was, however, taken. It was nodded through. I understand that the Government, having discovered their error, have put down a Motion to discharge that Motion, and, I think, the Scottish Motion, and on this discharge Motion it will be possible to discuss the matters in the original Motion. I am sorry to disappoint the right hon. Gentleman, but the two Amendments to the procedure Motion were not selected. I hope that is clear.

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

Thank you for that clear Ruling, Mr. Speaker. May I, through you, Mr. Speaker, ask the representatives on the Government Bench when it is intended to take the Motion to discharge, and whether it is not intended to proceed to put into effect the Motion which, until the Motion for discharge is taken, was a decision of the House?

Photo of Mr Brian O'Malley Mr Brian O'Malley , Rotherham

Perhaps I might be able to help the House. I apologise for the fact that, an undertaking having been given, these Motions inadvertently went through last night at a time when, as those who were here know, the circumstances were rather unusual. I apologise for that.

As the right hon. Member for Kingston - upon - Thames (Mr. Boyd -Carpenter) will see, on this morning's Order Paper there are two Motions, Nos. 31 and 32, on page 6363, to discharge Orders of the House. My understanding is that the discussion on these will take place on Monday evening. I hope that that helps the House.

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

Further to that point of order. If the Motions which have now been tabled by the Government are accepted by the House, and the Scottish Standing Committee and the Procedure Committee are discharged, and further Motions are then tabled by the Government and taken on Monday as promised by the Leader of the House, it will be possible for hon. Members to table Amendments to those Motions as they did on the last occasion. Is it not rather unusual, if I may ask with respect, that you should announce at this stage, Mr. Speaker, that those Amendments will not be selected?

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

The hon. Member must know that Mr. Speaker's duty is to select Amendments. I announced last night when we came to the procedure Motion which we are discussing this morning that I had not selected the two Amendments on the Order Paper. I hope that that is clear.