Orders of the Day — House of Commons (Administration) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th April 1978.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Cyril Smith Cyril Smith , Rochdale 12:00 am, 12th April 1978

I assure the right hon. Gentleman that what I am saying this morning has the support of the leader of my party. I do not always say that that is so, but on this occasion we are in complete agreement. Perhaps that in itself is a point that is worthy of note, and the point at which I should sit down.

I commend the Bill to the Committee. I hope the Minister will accept that there is no question of our voting against this Second Reading, or anything of that character. This is not a matter on which we should want to divide the Committee, but I very much hope that between now and the Bill receiving its final approval some thought will be given to how direct representation on the Commission can be given to minority parties.

The issue could be left open in a way that would allow it to be altered in future years if there were a reduction in numbers. I suspect that that will not happen, although there might be a variation in how the numbers are arrived at. Perhaps there should be some way in which Mr. Speaker can nominate a member to the Commission. Perhaps it could be indicated in the Bill that, all things being equal, it would be expected that the member nominated by Mr. Speaker would be a representative of the minority parties.

With those comments I, too, welcome the Bill and commend it to the Committee. I am sure that it will have the full support of the minority parties in the House.