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

May I ask leave of the House, Mr. Deputy Speaker, because I feel it right that one should have an answer on the highly technical point I have raised? This is not a matter of partisan debate in any way. I am most grateful to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for allowing me to press that point.

If I understand the Minister correctly, he is saying that in some matters with regard to the actual provision of services of the House the Commission would be able, in effect, to put matters forward whether or not the Treasury objected, and that in other respects the Commission would not be able to do so. That is what I understood the Minister to say. It seems to me to be an extraordinarily unusual proposition. I hope he will reply to my other point—whether in the clause we are debating, and in the context of the amendment we are debating, the expression shall prepare and lay an estimate before the House means that the Commission will in fact present and lay the Estimate and that that will not be done by a Government Minister. This is a crucial and very important point.