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Northern Ireland (Incidents, Derry)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th March 1970.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Miss Bernadette Devlin Miss Bernadette Devlin , Mid-Ulster 12:00 am, 24th March 1970

On a point of order. I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 9, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter of urgent public importance, namely, The three consecutive nights of violence in Derry, Northern Ireland, on 21st, 22nd and 23rd March, all involving units of the British Army, the cause of this fresh outbreak of violence, and the necessity of the House taking immediate action to defuse the situation. I apologise to you, Mr. Speaker, and to the House for taking this step on the second day in succession. I assure you that it is out of no wish to disrupt the business of the House, but because I sincerely feel that this matter requires the immediate and urgent attention of the House.

I intend to be brief. I should have preferred to raise this matter on a Private Notice Question, but—

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

Order. The hon. Lady cannot refer to a Private Notice Question which has been disallowed.

Photo of Miss Bernadette Devlin Miss Bernadette Devlin , Mid-Ulster

I apologise, Mr. Speaker.

For the past three nights in Derry there has been repeated violence, growing in intensity every night. Neither I, nor any hon. Member of this House, can be of the opinion that these incidents are without motive. I believe that we cannot, nor should we, ignore these incidents in the hope that they will go away. It is my firm belief that one of the major reasons for these disturbances stems—

Photo of Mr Lawrence Orr Mr Lawrence Orr , South Down

On a point of order. Yesterday, the hon. Lady made a submission to you, Mr. Speaker—[HON. MEMBERS: "Where was the hon. Gentleman?"]—on the proposition that you allow an Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 9. On that occasion the hon. Lady made a very long speech, the subject of which was not in order in this House—

Hon. Members:

Oh!

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

Order. The hon. Gentleman must allow the Chair to decide whether a submission is in order.

Photo of Mr Lawrence Orr Mr Lawrence Orr , South Down

The point that I was making——

Photo of Mr Will Howie Mr Will Howie , Luton

On a point of order. Is it in order to interrupt one point of order with another?

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

Order. The hon. and gallant Gentleman is on a point of order.

Photo of Mr Lawrence Orr Mr Lawrence Orr , South Down

The point that I was making was that there was no Ministerial responsibility for the subject raised by the hon. Lady yesterday—[Interruption.]

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

Order. It is not in order to go back to a Ruling which the Chair made yesterday which is finished with.

Photo of Mr Lawrence Orr Mr Lawrence Orr , South Down

I am not questioning the Ruling, Sir. I am saying that it is relevant to today. The hon. Lady appears to be embarking upon a speech about a subject which may or may not be in order in this House—[Interruption.] Surely, when making an application under Standing Order No. 9, it is not in order to discuss the subject which could be raised if the Motion for the Adjournment of the House were allowed.

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

Order. It is not in order during a submission under Standing Order No. 9, to debate the issue which any hon. Member will be allowed to debate if the Motion is allowed. The Chair must judge the submission. Miss Devlin.

Photo of Miss Bernadette Devlin Miss Bernadette Devlin , Mid-Ulster

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I believe that one of the substantial reasons for the recurrence of violence in Derry is the unsatisfactory nature of the police inquiry into the Devenney case——

Photo of Mr Lawrence Orr Mr Lawrence Orr , South Down

Captain Orr rose——

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

Order. I ruled on that submission yesterday. The hon. Lady must make another.

Photo of Miss Bernadette Devlin Miss Bernadette Devlin , Mid-Ulster

I did not wish to ask for a Ruling on that matter, but simply to point out that this was one factor.

It is necessary, approaching Easter, to remember that the House has an opportunity of intervening to prevent further violence in Derry. There can be no question that there is no Ministerial responsibility. The British Army has been involved in these disturbances. Therefore, I submit that this is a specific matter. It is of the greatest urgency, because we can for once prevent violence in Derry as the House is sitting during the initial stages of the violence. It is also a matter of great public importance. The work that has been done by this Parliament over the past year for Northern Ireland can rapidly be undone. Therefore, I submit that this Motion falls within the terms of Standing Order No. 9, and I ask that the House adjourn to discuss it.

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

The hon. Lady the Member for Mid-Ulster (Miss Devlin) was courteous enough this morning to inform me that she might seek this afternoon to make another application under Standing Order No. 9 on a different matter.

The hon. Lady asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that she thinks should have urgent consideration, namely, the three consecutive nights of violence in Derry, Northern Ireland, on 21st, 22nd and 23rd March, all involving units of the British Army, the cause of this fresh outbreak of violence, and the necessity of this House taking immediate action to defuse the situation. As the House knows, under Standing Order No. 9 I am directed to take into account the several factors set out in the Order, but to give no reason for my decision.

I have listened carefully to the hon. Lady and given careful consideration to the representations that she has made, but I have to rule that her submission does not fall within the provisions of Standing Order No. 9 and that, therefore, I cannot submit her application to the House.

Photo of Mr Will Howie Mr Will Howie , Luton

On a point or order. An opportunity to raise a debate under Standing Order No. 9 is a very important privilege, taken advantage of from time to time by hon. Members. Is it not intolerable that, while an hon. Member is making a submission under that Standing Order, she should be interrupted by bogus and spurious points of order of a highly partisan nature raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr)?

Photo of Mr Lawrence Orr Mr Lawrence Orr , South Down

Further to that point of order. Is it not intolerable that the device of applying for an Adjournment debate under Standing Order No. 9 should be misused by those who, for spurious reasons, seek to stir up violence in advance?

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

Order. It is unusual to raise a point of order during a submission under Standing Order No. 9, which is, indeed, a point of order itself. It is raised on a point of order. The hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain On) felt that he was justified in raising it in the very unusual circumstances in which we had two applications under Standing Order No. 9 from the same hon. Member in two days. On the particular issue by referring to Standing Order No. 9 itself, Mr. Speaker is forbidden to comment.

Several Hon. Members:

Several Hon. Members rose——

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

Order. We have a lot of work ahead of us.

Photo of Mr Ernest Fernyhough Mr Ernest Fernyhough , Jarrow

On a point of order. The hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) said that Standing Order No. 9 was being used by an hon. Member to stir up violence. He was referring to my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Ulster (Miss Devlin). I want to ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether you think he is entitled to say that an hon. Member, in attempting to get a debate under Standing Order No. 9, is guilty of trying to stir up violence.

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

There is a lot in what the hon. Gentleman has said. Every hon. Member has the right to raise, under Standing Order No. 9, something which he or she believes to be important, and important enough to take precedence over some other business of the day. It is not a gracious thing to impute motives to one another.

Photo of Mr Stratton Mills Mr Stratton Mills , Belfast North

Further to that point of order. A similar point was raised yesterday by the hon. Lady. Is it possible to continue, day after day, raising a similar application under Standing Order No. 9? It must surely be apparent that the continued use of these tactics could help to create a situation of tension, which could lead to violence.

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

I am not ruling on hypothetical circumstances.

Photo of Mr Stan Orme Mr Stan Orme , Salford West

On a point of order. It will surely not have passed your notice, Mr. Speaker, that, when my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Ulster (Miss Devlin) yesterday raised this matter under Standing Order No. 9, the Opposition acted perfectly correctly—because no Ulster Unionist Members were present. Today, unfortunately, we have seen an endeavour to prevent free speech in this House and have also heard a statement by the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) that my hon. Friend was actually advocating violence in Northern Ireland. I believe that that remark should be withdrawn.

Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Chigwell

Further to that point of order—

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

Order. Heat does us no good. Hon. Members on both sides seek, in their own ways, to bring about what I believe is the feeling of every hon. Member—an easement of tension in Northern Ireland.

Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Chigwell

On a point of order. Is not my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) completely justified in what he said as to the abuse of this procedure by the hon. Lady the Member for Mid-Ulster (Miss Devlin), whose political aims are fully on record in her own autobiographical book?

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

This is not a point of order. It is a point of politics. The hon. Gentleman must argue it out with the hon. Lady.

Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Barking

Further to that point of order. My hon. Friend the Member for Jarrow (Mr. Fernyhough) quoted only part of what was said by the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr). He quoted him as saying that my hon. Friend was trying to stir up violence, but he also used the words, "for spurious reasons". Is not that an imputation of dishonesty by one hon. Member against another, and should it not be withdrawn?

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

If the hon. Member casts his memory back, he will realise that the charge of spuriousness has been levelled by one side against the other and vice versa.

Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Barking

Further to that point of order. You have always told us, Mr. Speaker, that we can level charges against the other side generally, but that we must not impute dishonourable motives to individual hon. Members.

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

That is a statement of fact.

Photo of Mr Will Howie Mr Will Howie , Luton

Further to that point of order. I think that I am right in recollecting that I was the first to use the word "spurious". I was referring to a spurious point of order, which, indeed, it was. That is an entirely different thing from the remarks made by the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr).

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

We should not pursue this any further.

Photo of Mr Frank Allaun Mr Frank Allaun , Salford East

On a point of order. I am sorry to delay the progress in the House and I am not concerned about whether either side was right in their points of order. What I am asking you, Mr. Speaker, is this: is it in order to accuse another hon. Member of attempting to stir up violence? If it is not, would it not be correct to ask the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) to withdraw?

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

It is certainly not in order to use a point of order to make a political charge against another hon. Member.

Photo of Mr Robin Chichester-Clark Mr Robin Chichester-Clark , County Londonderry

On a point of order. Purely for the record, and as a matter of accuracy, would it be in order for me to point out that the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) is not correct to allege that no hon. Members from Northern Ireland were present yesterday? I was not, because I was looking into what happened in Derry, but there were such hon. Members present.

Photo of Mr Arthur Newens Mr Arthur Newens , Epping

On a point of order—

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

Order. We have a lot of work ahead of us.

Photo of Mr Arthur Newens Mr Arthur Newens , Epping

On a point of order. Some time ago, some of us were in the Chamber when you asked my hon. Friend the Member far Erith and Cray-ford (Mr. Wellbeloved) to withdraw a statement which he had made, I think on the ground that it reflected on other hon. Members. Is it in order that such a Ruling should be applied against one hon. Member on this side, but that, when another Member on the other side of the House makes a far more serious charge against my hon. Friend the Mem- ber for Mid-Ulster (Miss Devlin), he should be allowed to say that without being asked to withdraw?

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

The two sides of the House mean nothing to Mr. Speaker. I have already ruled that the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South was wrong to use a point of order to make a political charge—

Hon. Members:

Withdraw!

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

Order. We should get on with our business much more quickly if the hon. and gallant Gentleman would withdraw.

Several Hon. Members:

Several Hon. Members rose

Photo of Mr Lawrence Orr Mr Lawrence Orr , South Down

On a point of order. Let me make my position perfectly plain——

Hon. Members:

Withdraw!

Photo of Mr Lawrence Orr Mr Lawrence Orr , South Down

I happen to believe that the activities of the hon. Lady in the last few days are designed and calculated to justify a further outbreak of violence in Northern Ireland. I have no intention of withdrawing that statement.

Several Hon. Members:

Several Hon. Members rose

Photo of Mr Niall MacDermot Mr Niall MacDermot , Derby North

Further to that point of order. Has not the hon. and gallant Member made matters worse? He now is making it perfectly clear that he is deliberately accusing the hon. Lady the Member for Mid-Ulster (Miss Devlin) of using the procedures of this House in order to incite violence in Northern Ireland. One can hardly think of a more serious personal accusation that could be made, particularly bearing in mind the extremely tense situation in Northern Ireland. I respectfully submit that the hon. and gallant Gentleman must be asked again to withdraw, and that the usual consequences should follow if he refuses.

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

I have already asked the hon. and gallant Member to contribute to what I know he wants and what the whole House wants—the easement of tension in Northern Ireland—by withdrawing the charges which he made against the hon. Lady.

Photo of Mr Stanley McMaster Mr Stanley McMaster , Belfast East

On a point of order. There is in Northern Ireland a small minority whose declared intention is to overthrow the Constitution by any device or trick they can dream up. I would argue——

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

Order. That may be true, but that has nothing to do with any hon. Member.

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

Order. The hon. Gentleman had better be careful.

Photo of Mr Stanley McMaster Mr Stanley McMaster , Belfast East

My point of order is that the procedures of this House should not be used to further that end.

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

The procedures of this House guarantee in this House the right of all right hon. and hon. Members to free speech and the use of the parliamentary procedures, including Standing Order No. 9, to raise what they believe to be in the interests of their country and of democracy.

Photo of Mr Stanley McMaster Mr Stanley McMaster , Belfast East

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I put this to you for guidance. If those activities are seditious, as possibly they are, is that not against the rules of order?

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

There are no seditious activities in the House of Commons. The hon. Gentleman should learn to choose his words carefully. There are strong differences of opinion about Northern Ireland. All Members of this Parliament representing Northern Ireland have equal rights of expressing them in this House of Commons and of using whatever parliamentary procedures are available. Nothing out of order has happened in the two submissions.

Photo of Mr William Molloy Mr William Molloy , Ealing North

The hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) has made a foul accusation against my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Ulster (Miss Devlin). He has now shown his complete contempt for the Chair. If the integrity of the House of Commons is to be maintained, he must either withdraw or get out.

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

Order. That is a matter for the Chair and not for the hon. Gentleman.

Photo of Sir Eric Fletcher Sir Eric Fletcher , Islington East

I understand, Mr. Speaker, that on two occasions you have invited the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) to withdraw remarks to which you and the whole House have taken serious objection. Am I to understand, Mr. Speaker, that it is considered consistent with the dignity of the House that we should continue with our business until the hon. and gallant Member has complied with your request that he should withdraw remarks which have created great offence?

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

I have already conveyed that twice to the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Down, South.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am not exactly clear what is the position with regard to the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) except that he has made a remark which is completely out of order which you requested him to withdraw.

As I understand, on previous occasions when an hon. Member has made an accusation against another hon. Member you have always instructed him to withdraw it. But on this occasion, Mr. Speaker, you have merely requested the hon. and gallant Member to do so in the interests of peace and good order in Northern Ireland. Quite obviously, we shall not get on to the next business until this matter has been settled.

May I ask you, with great respect and deference, to instruct the hon. and gallant Member to withdraw his remark, so that we can get on with the business?

Photo of Mr Eric Ogden Mr Eric Ogden , Liverpool, West Derby

May I suggest that the cause of peace in Ulster will not be served by making martyrs on either side of the House. Our best contribution, supported by the majority of the House, would be to get on with the next business.

Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West

May I ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether there is any precedent for the Chair to invite an hon. Member to withdraw a remark which has been grossly offensive and which has been repeated since you asked him to withdraw? Is there any precedent at all for allowing that hon. Member to sit in his seat refusing to withdraw without him being named.

Photo of Mr Will Howie Mr Will Howie , Luton

You will recall, Mr. Speaker, that the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South was out of order right from the beginning in this matter in raising it at all, despite my interruption to that effect. Since then, he has been requested to withdraw an extremely offensive remark directed towards an hon. Member on this side of the House—and quite wrongly directed. Not only that, but in refusing to withdraw at your request, Mr. Speaker, the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South, repeated his offensive remark. I suggest that it would be better if the hon. and gallant Member were instructed to withdraw.

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire

I appeal, through you, Mr. Speaker, to the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr), who is bringing this House into disrepute by insisting on a course of action which he knows it is impossible for the Chair to condone. The hon. and gallant Member is placing the Chair in such a position that he is bringing the House into disrepute. On that ground, I hope that he will withdraw and allow the House to carry on with its business.

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

I have already asked the hon. and gallant Gentleman in those terms, and for exactly the same reason, on two occasions already.

Photo of Mr Ernest Fernyhough Mr Ernest Fernyhough , Jarrow

On a point of order. It is within the recollection of the House, and you, Mr. Speaker, have just intimated on two occasions that you have suggested to the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Down, South that he might withdraw. But HANSARD will reveal tomorrow that he said, subsequent to your asking him to withdraw, "I have no intention of withdrawing". I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that that amounts literally to defiance of the Chair.

Photo of Mr John Maginnis Mr John Maginnis , County Armagh

The remarks made by my hon. Friend the Member for Down, South, (Captain Orr) were absolutely correct. Therefore, he has no reason to withdraw.

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

Order. I think that we now appreciate the difficulties of the Irish question.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

I should like to get this clear. In what circumstances, Mr. Speaker, when you make a simple request to an hon. Member to withdraw, and that hon. Member then ignores it and flouts the authority of the Chair, is he allowed to get away with it? Under what other circumstances will you instruct him to withdraw and under what circumstances will you name him?

Photo of Mr William Griffiths Mr William Griffiths , Manchester Exchange

Is not the position this, Mr. Speaker? Whatever Members of the House may feel about the merits of what the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) had to say, you, as the occupant of the Chair, have said that in your view the remarks ought to be withdrawn. If that is so, does it not bring the Chair into disrepute; and if the hon. and gallant Member refuses to comply, should you then not take further action against him?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Easington

It is obvious that there is intense feeling on both sides of the House about this matter. We recognise that the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) feels very strongly about this, as does my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Ulster (Miss Devlin). You have been placed, Mr. Speaker, in an embarrassing position.

If the hon. and gallant Member does not wish to withdraw his observations the proper course for him is to withdraw from the Chamber. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I happen to know the procedure and the tradition of the House. If the hon. and gallant Member refuses to withdraw from the Chamber, there is only one course to be taken. That is for a member of the Cabinet—and it requires a member of the Cabinet—to name the hon. and gallant Member. That is a very serious step to take. Surely it would be to the advantage of the House—and, indeed, to the advantage of the hon. and gallant Member—if, having defied the Chair, in the circumstances he might absent himself from the House and let us proceed with the business.

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is it not the fact that you did not ask my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) to withdraw, but that you said that it would save a lot of time if he did withdraw his remark, which is quite different?

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

I said much more than that. I said that it would contribute to the good feeling of the House and to what we all have in mind for Northern Ireland, an easement of tension, if the hon. and gallant Member for Down. South did withdraw his remark.

Photo of Mr Kevin McNamara Mr Kevin McNamara , Kingston upon Hull North

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Has not the contagion spread even further? The hon. Member for Armagh (Mr. Maginnis) has said that the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South was quite right in what he originally said, while the hon. Member for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison), whose respect for law and order we all know so well, has also compounded the offence. Should not all three be asked to withdraw?

Photo of Sir Eric Fletcher Sir Eric Fletcher , Islington East

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I return to the point raised by my right hon. Friend the Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell). Surely I am right in saying that, hitherto, the House has never drawn a distinction between a request by the Chair to an hon. Member to withdraw and an instruction to withdraw. Surely the truth is that, hitherto, a request to an hon. Member to withdraw has been treated by hon. Members as, in fact, an instruction to withdraw.

We shall get ourselves into a very curious position if, in future, we establish a precedent whereby a distinction is drawn between a request by the Chair to an hon. Member to withdraw and an instruction to withdraw.

I listened to your two Rulings very carefully and I thought, in common, I am sure, with a great many others, that they were intended to be an instruction to the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) to withdraw, couched, in the familiar language used by the Chair, in the form of a request so as not to convey any undue offence. Surely it would be in accordance with the traditions of the House if a request so made by Mr. Speaker in those terms were accepted and responded to by the hon. and gallant Member. Equally surely, if it were not so accepted by the hon. and gallant Member we should be creating a precedent which would bring not only the House but the Chair itself into very considerable disrepute.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I would say, with respect, Mr. Speaker, that I hope that you will make up your mind on this either way in the best sense. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I believe that the argument is whether or not the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) imputed personal motives to another hon. Member. I would have thought that the right course for him, in view of what Mr. Speaker has said, would be to withdraw and, indeed, to say that he regretted the remark.

On the other hand, I accept that passions are aroused in the House for various reasons. We all understand that. [Interruption.] I would have thought that the wisest course would be for the hon. and gallant Member to say that he regretted imputing personal motives to a colleague, if Mr. Speaker is accusing him of doing so. I would hope, Mr. Speaker, that you would make up your mind, because we are in difficulties. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I hope that the hon. and gallant Member withdraws the remark. [Interruption.] I hope—[Interruption.]

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

Order. There is nothing disorderly in what the Leader of the House is saying.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I hope that you will give a clear direction to the House, Mr. Speaker.

Photo of Sir Raymond Gower Sir Raymond Gower , Barry

On a point of order. Mr. Speaker. Is it not most improper for any hon. Member, even if he be Leader of the House, to tell you to do your duty?

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

If it is most improper, it has been happening for the last half hour.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Easington

On a point of order. Mr. Speaker. I have already suggested that the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South should leave the Chamber, but if he refuses to do so it is within your discretion to ask him to withdraw from the Chamber. If he refuses to withdraw from the Chamber, then someone on behalf of Her Majesty's Government must name him.

Photo of Mr Lawrence Orr Mr Lawrence Orr , South Down

I have a very high regard for this House and for you, Mr. Speaker. I do not repent of my opinion, but I will now withdraw from the Chamber.

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

Mr. Eldon Griffiths. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Order. We have a lot of work ahead of us.