Economic Situation (Debate)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th December 1973.

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Photo of Mr James Wellbeloved Mr James Wellbeloved , Erith and Crayford 12:00 am, 17th December 1973

On a point of order. You said, Mr. Speaker, that hon. Members who were called to put questions to the Chancellor might find their chances decreased of catching your eye in the two-day debate. May we take it that other hon. Members who were standing and did not catch your eye have increased their chances?

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

There is another factor. It may depend upon how much noise is made from a sedentary position.

Photo of Mr Charles Pannell Mr Charles Pannell , Leeds West

On a point of order. I wonder, Mr. Speaker, whether you will reconsider your earlier statement. I think it is out of character of the Chair that it should issue anything which either stops a Member from asking a question or impedes him, or which might indicate that the Chair has any reservations. The Chair must surely face the debate at the time. With great respect, I wonder whether you, Mr. Speaker, will reconsider that statement.

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

With respect to the right hon. Gentleman, I consider very carefully the number of times hon. Members have spoken, the extent to which they have taken part in Questions and sometimes, also, the kind of interjection which they have made from a sedentary position. Those are all very relevant matters when the Chair is exercising its discretion.

Photo of Mr James Wellbeloved Mr James Wellbeloved , Erith and Crayford

Further to that point of order. On the question, Mr. Speaker, of your taking into account sedentary interruptions, may I ask how they are assessed? You implied that I myself had been guilty of making a sedentary interruption today. If you did not, I accept that my chances are very good in the two-day debate. But now that you have told us that you take into account such interruptions, I wonder whether you will enlarge upon how you make an assessment. Speeches and questions are all recorded and can be accurately assessed from the OFFICIAL REPORT. But I wonder how those who advise you judge the other matter of interruptions from a seated position.

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

I rely upon my own faculties. This is all very interesting; and decibels sometimes have an effect upon my judgment. May we continue? Presentation of a Bill—

Photo of Mr Richard Kelley Mr Richard Kelley , Don Valley

On a point of order—

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

I do not think there is a point of order. What point of order is the hon. Member seeking to raise?

Photo of Mr Richard Kelley Mr Richard Kelley , Don Valley

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The Chancellor of the Exchequer failed to record in his remarks the fact that the main instrument of inflation in the world today, particularly in this country, is the massive expenditure—

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

Order. It cannot possibly be a point of order as to what the Chancellor failed to put in his statement. That is not a matter of order for the Chair.

Photo of Mr David Stoddart Mr David Stoddart , Swindon

On a point of order. Arising from your statement, Mr. Speaker, about people who ask questions, am I to assume that in future any Member who gets up to ask a question to elicit information which may be of use to him in making a speech in a subsequent debate will be ruled out?

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

Certainly not. I did not say that that governed my decision. I said that it was a factor which I took into account, particularly if it related very much to a debate which was about to take place. It is very much a matter of judgment.