On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The House is always in great difficulty when important statements are made from the Front Bench. May I ask you to institute inquiries about the availability of the statement made today by my right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council? One understands the necessity for parliamentary minorities to be taken into account in making copies of statements available to leaders of Opposition parties, no matter how large or how small. My understanding is that such documents are usually maked "Confidential", and if they are not they are certainly always regarded as such, unless I am very much mistaken.
I have given the Leader of the Scottish National Party notice that I would raise this point of order. I saw every member of his party reading that statement at 3.20 p.m., before it was made. If the document was marked "Confidential" and issued on that understanding, is not a breach of confidence under the rules by which this matter is handled? If the statements are issued on the basis that they can be photocopied and handed out to all and sundry, would it not be a courtesy to Government Back Benchers as well as to the Opposition if they were available to Members before they were made?
Order. I do not wish to do an injustice to anyone, but there is no point in our discussing a ruling which I have made. Perhaps it would help the House if the hon. Member for Aberdeenshire, East (Mr. Henderson) sought to make a brief statement, but my feeling is that it would not help the House but would start another argument. We are dealing with a point of order. It would be much better for the House if the hon. Members concerned got together.