On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am grateful to you for allowing me to raise this point of order, of which I have given you notice, about Question No. 9 to the Home Secretary. It concerns the use of the adjective "working-class" in the second and third lines of the Question, which speaks of
photographers being present at working-class demonstrations".
My experience of the Table Office is that the Clerks quite rightly resist hon. Members putting on the Order Paper editorial points or points of political argument and ask that our Questions should be objective. May I ask you to rule that the nasty language of class warfare has no place on the Order Paper of the House of Commons?
Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I say with the greatest respect that although it is implicit that the wording was approved by the Table, I understood my hon. Friend to be making the very important point that it should not have been approved, and that in future Questions worded in such a way should not be approved.
The hon. Gentleman is, but obviously the Question was considered to be quite in order.
I find it difficult to rule that the use of the expression "working-class" is part of the class war. [Interruption.] There is no need for temperatures to rise. There is plenty of time later in the day. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will let me look at this matter. If I feel that I need to make a statement to the House, I shall do so.
You will appreciate, Mr. Speaker, that I was responsible for putting down Question No. 9 to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, a Question including the expression "working-class". Unfortunately for me, I also tabled on the same day before 4 o'clock a Question to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, and somewhat misguidedly framed it as follows: "When he next expects"—
Order. The hon. Gentleman must not pursue another Question on this point of order. I think that I have settled the matter. Does the hon. Gentleman wish to pursue another point?
I was going on to say, Mr Speaker, in relation to your deliberations on Question No. 9 and whether the expression "working-class" should be used in a Question, that I also tabled another Question which might help you in your deliberations. In it I asked my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister whether he expected to meet the CBI. I do not want him to do so. I think that he has met the CBI too often as it is. But it is the same use of class Ianguage.—[Interruption.]
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Labour Members said when I stood up earlier to try to catch your eye, "There's a typical working-class man". Therefore, I should be obliged if after your deliberations you would advise me and other hon. Members whether we are classified as working.