Education Bill

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

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Sir Ian Percival Sir Ian Percival , Southport 12:00 am, 22nd April 1970

With respect, I thought that the right hon. Member for Islington, East (Sir Eric Fletcher) rather gave the pot a stir by coming back to the possible meanings of the Instruction. I propose to resist that temptation, Mr. Speaker, and to limit myself to seeking your guidance by a question. I think that we all agree that this is an important occasion and the precedent set today will be important. It is important also, therefore, that both we and future generations have a clear understanding of the basis of your Ruling.

As I understand, Sir, you proceeded on the basis of accepting that an Instruction must be specific to be in order. It would seem to follow from that that the first question one has to decide in ruling whether an Instruction is in order is what it means, so that what it means is an essential part of the Ruling, or the Chair's decision as to what it means is an essential part of the Ruling. We should be far better able to understand the basis of the Ruling if we knew Mr. Speaker's decision on that.

My question, therefore, is to ask you, Sir, if you would tell us what decision you formed as to its meaning in coming to the conclusion that it had so specific a meaning that it was in order.