Orders of the Day — European Communities Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th May 1972.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Lewis Mr Arthur Lewis , West Ham North 12:00 am, 24th May 1972

Am I to take it that the Chair is seriously telling the Committee that the House knew, when it came to discuss both Second Reading and the guillotine, that the Government were to publish a booklet of 144 pages of corrections and alterations to the rules and regulations that they had previously printed? Did the Chair and the House know that those corrections were to be made? If that is the case, why did the Government not publish the corrections at the time if they knew the rules and regulations were incorrect? It means that they were misleading the House because they had published documents which they knew to be incorrect. To put it the other way—the Government cannot have it both ways—they did not know that they had printed the rules and regulations incorrectly and only in May were they able to publish the corrections, which I have already said would cost £90,000, to put the originals into proper order.