Financial Provisions

Part of House of Commons (Administration) Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th June 1978.

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Photo of Mr Terence Higgins Mr Terence Higgins , Worthing 12:00 am, 27th June 1978

The amendment might help to clarify the wording of the clause which to me appears remarkably obscure. I have one or two specific points to raise.

The first point at issue is whether the expression "House of Commons" is defined anywhere in the Bill, or is defined elsewhere and is applicable to the Bill. My impression is that that is not so. No doubt if I am wrong the Minister will seek to clarify the point.

The clause is concerned with the expenses incurred for, in the present wording, the service of the House of Commons. It is not clear from the wording whether that means the House of Commons as a building or the Members of the House of Commons. I myself would presume that the expression "the House of Commons" means the Members of the House of Commons as a group. If that is so, I should have thought that it would be reasonable to interpret this clause as covering, for example, the salaries of Members and certainly the salaries of Members' secretaries.