Education Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd April 1970.

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Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher Shadow Secretary of State, Shadow Minister (Education) 12:00 am, 22nd April 1970

—is on the part of the Recommittal Motion which refers to " the former Committee ". I submit, Mr. Speaker, that " the former Committee " has now no existence. This was terminated by the Committee's acceptance of the Motion moved by the Minister. At the end of that we did not even need to have a Motion to adjourn. No notice, in accordance with the sittings Motion, has appeared on the Order Paper. I suggest that " the former Committee " has ceased to exist.

I have looked at precedents on " former " committees. All of them refer to the dates when the Standing Committee was in continuous existence with a nucleus of Members. These days Standing Committees are virtually Bill Committees and have no continuous existence. Therefore, we should be in grave difficulty in recommitting to a " former " Committee if it does not exist, because we should not know how next to proceed.

I then move in my points of order to the Instruction Motion, which is the one in italics before the House today. I submit, for the following reasons, that the Instruction Motion is out of order and cannot be debated. Erskine May, on page 537, points out—