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

I am grateful for the suggestion of my right hon. Friend the Member for Cambridgeshire (Mr. Pym), but I am a little doubtful whether it is possible to make a statement on this issue in another place. Perhaps I may take the Parliamentary Secretary's reply to mean that if it is not possible the statement will be made here, which I think would in any case be more appropriate.

What worries me fundamentally is that if the hon. Gentleman is correct in his answer—that the Commission will prepare and lay an Estimate before this House, contrary to all precedent, which is what only the Government can do that—the Bill might well be proceeding through the House without the Royal Assent having been given to its being debated when it should have been given. If that is so, we shall be committing a very unusual act.

I hope that in making a response on the lines suggested by my right hon. Friend the Minister will take that point into account.