Business of the House

Bills Presented – in the House of Commons at 2:35 pm on 7th November 1984.

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Motion made, and Question proposed,

That—

(1) Standing Order No. 6 (Arrangement of public business) shall have effect for this Session with the following modifications, namely :—
In paragraph (3) the word 'twelve' shall be substituted for the word 'ten' in line 16; and in paragraph (6) the word 'nine' shall be substituted for the word 'ten' in line 41;

(2) Private Members' Bills shall have precedence over Government business on 18th and 25th January, 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd February, 19th and 26th April, 3rd, 10th and 17th May and 5th July;

(3) Private Members' Notices of Motions shall have precedence over Government business on 30th November, 7th and 14th December, 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th March and 7th June and ballots for these Notices shall be hald after Questions on Wednesday 14th November, Wednesday 21st November, Wednesday 28th November, Wednesday 13th February, Wednesday 20th February, Wednesday 27th February, Wednesday 6th March, Wednesday 13th March and Wednesday 22nd May.

(4) On Monday 17th December, Monday 11th February, Monday 13th May and Monday 1st July, Private Members' Notices of Motions shall have precedence until Seven o'clock and ballots for these Notices shall be held after Questions on Thursday 29th November, Thursday 24th January, Thursday 25th April and Thursday 13th June;

(5) No Notice of Motion shall be handed in for any of the days on which Private Members' Notices have precedence under this Order in anticipation of the Ballot for that day.—[Mr. Biffen.]

Photo of Mr David Steel Mr David Steel Leader of the Liberal Party 2:58 pm, 7th November 1984

The motion is slightly unusual. It differs from the usual annual motion setting out the days for private members' business in that it seeks to alter Standing Order No. 6. The alteration will no doubt be welcomed by the whole House as it will increase by one the number of days allocated for private members' business as against Government business in the forthcoming Session.

My point, however, is this. If an alteration to a Standing Order of the House can so easily be proposed through a routine business motion of this kind, why did not the right hon. Gentleman propose at the same time a further alteration to the same Standing Order in relation to the number of days allocated to the Opposition? I should like an increase in the number. Even if that is not possible, there is a continuing feeling of injustice on the part of alliance Members in that all Opposition days are allocated to the Labour party. The Leader of the House should come to the Dispatch Box and explain why he continues to say that the matter is for the Select Committee on Procedure when the Committee has batted it back to the House.

It is as easy for the Leader of the House to propose another alteration under Standing Order No. 6 as the one he proposed this afternoon. The Gracious Speech is so thin that there is plenty of opportunity and room for manoeuvre on his part to give us more Opposition days and to ensure that minority parties are justly treated. He has an obligation to explain his position as Leader of the whole House.

Photo of Mr Robin Maxwell-Hyslop Mr Robin Maxwell-Hyslop , Tiverton 3:01 pm, 7th November 1984

The leader of the Liberal party made a wholly untrue statement about the Select Committee on Procedure. It arranged its day of sitting to suit the convenience of the leader of the Liberal party who scarcely ever bothered to turn up, and it never said that the matter was not for it. [Interruption.] His Chief Whip asked to meet it on a certain afternoon but did not turn up. The Select Committee on Procedure has not at any stage said that the matter was not for it. It decides its own priorities for discussing business which falls partly within its domain. The right hon. Member for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale (Mr. Steel) made a wholly untrue statement about the Select Committee, doubtless in the good faith of ignorance, and should withdraw it.

Too often the Liberal party has abused the House in that it wishes all other hon. Members to organise their affairs to suit it. Despite that, all hon. Members know that the Liberal Benches are empty during debates. Generally, one Liberal Member comes in, speaks and then disappears. [Interruption.] That is the truth of the matter. Therefore, for the right hon. Gentleman to use an occasion when the Government are proposing to increase time for private Members' Bills to air a grievance which is untrue and to make a complaint against the Select Committee on Procedure—of which I am a member—which is also untrue, is deliberately to deceive hon. Members who do not know what is done in that Committee.

Photo of Mr John McWilliam Mr John McWilliam , Blaydon 3:03 pm, 7th November 1984

It ill becomes the leader of the Liberal party to seek to implement his party conference decisions by raising points such as this when they could have been raised by his Chief Whip in the Select Committee. The hon. Member for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop) put the case clearly. During the last Parliament the Select Committee discussed the matter and decided to reduce the total number of Opposition days, among other matters. The present Select Committee under the chairmanship of the hon. Member for Honiton (Sir P. Emery) discussed the matter when it was raised by the hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith), and decided that, since it had made the change as recently as 1983, it would be inappropriate to consider a further change in Opposition days now. The Select Committee's priority was to consider the proposals for shorter speeches, which we dealt with last week, and for procedure in Standing Committees, with which we are dealing now. I deplore the attempt by the leader of the Liberal party to waste the time of the House with such a narrow party point on such an important day.

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Before I take a point of order, I should tell the House that it would be inappropriate to raise in the Chamber matters from a Select Committee which has not reported.

Photo of Mr Russell Johnston Mr Russell Johnston , Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber

It is a fact that Liberals do not often make trouble in the House—[Interruption.] You know that to be a fact, Mr. Speaker. This is one of the few opportunities that we have openly in the House to raise such a matter, and my right hon. Friend raised it in the knowledge that the Select Committee on Procedure had the matter before it, but decided to postpone its discussion until after a long discussion on public Bills procedure.

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Order. That is just the point that I made a moment ago. We must not discuss in the Chamber matters that are discussed by a Select Committee which has not reported.

Photo of Mr Russell Johnston Mr Russell Johnston , Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber

Our point is that we get one Supply day out of 19, and that is—

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Order. That is as may be, but it is not what the motion is about. The motion is about private Members' Bills, not about Supply days.

Photo of Mr Russell Johnston Mr Russell Johnston , Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber

May I ask for your guidance, Mr. Speaker? Is it proper to ask questions about Standing Order No. 6, the amendment of which is dealt with in this motion?

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Yes, provided that it is related to what is on the Order Paper. If the hon. Gentleman can do that, fair enough.

Photo of Mr Russell Johnston Mr Russell Johnston , Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber

That is what we are seeking briefly to do, Mr. Speaker. We are seeking to argue to the Leader of the House that he should not concern himself only with a marginal matter—it provides only one more day for private Members' Bills—but that he should give equal attention to the fact that a considerable minority group, the Liberal party and the Social Democratic party, which together obtained only 2 per cent. fewer votes than did the Labour party at the general election, should get more than one day out of 19 in a year.

Photo of Dr David Owen Dr David Owen , Plymouth, Devonport 3:07 pm, 7th November 1984

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. It is appropriate to draw attention to all of Standing Order No. 6, since the Leader of the House has chosen, with the agreement I believe of the entire House, to make an important change and to respect the views of private Members and give greater opportunity for private Members' legislation. It is recognised, especially when there is a large Government majority, that there is greater scope for private Members' time.

However, the alliance parties wish to bring to the attention of the Leader of the House, the House as a whole and those Members who serve on the Select Committee Procedure—I do not challenge their rights as members of that Committee to determine the order of business which they consider to be important—the fact that there is a strong feeling among a minority in the House that the allocation of Opposition days does not reflect the realities of the political position in the House. I do not even extend it beyond the House to the country as a whole.

What is even worse is that the 19 Opposition days are allocated to the Liberal party, the SDP and the Scottish National party by the Labour party. The allocation lies completely within the gift of the Labour party. The House should know how the allocation is sometimes exercised. At the time of the Crosby by-election, when it was obvious that all members of the alliance would be fighting during that campaign, half a day was allocated to the alliance — [Interruption.] Conservative Members make my point. Television cameras have not yet come in to record our proceedings, but radio has, and the 26 per cent. of the electorate who voted for alliance candidates can hear what is happening. In the constituencies of many Conservative Members at the general election, the Labour party candidates lost their deposits, and the main challenge to Conservative Members came from SDP and Liberal candidates. The country will recognise that Conservative Members do not want a credible Opposition; they want the Labour party to continue as the only Opposition. The Labour Opposition can be described as "official" until hon. Members are blue in the face, but the House needs a credible Opposition, which in their hearts is what I believe Conservative Members wish to have.

Photo of Mr Enoch Powell Mr Enoch Powell , South Down

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is it not wildly out of order to refer to the matters which the right hon. Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Dr. Owen) is raising on a motion which is in no way concerned with them?

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

What I said earlier is correct. The right hon. Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Dr. Owen) and other hon. Members who wish to participate in this debate must relate their remarks to what is on the Order Paper. We are seeking to amend paragraph (3) of Standing Order No. 6, not paragraph (2), which relates to the 19 allotted Opposition days. The right hon. Member for Devonport must therefore advance an argument relating to private Members' time, not to Opposition days.

Photo of Dr David Owen Dr David Owen , Plymouth, Devonport

The Leader of the House has moved that Standing Order No. 6 (Arrangement of public business) shall have effect for this Session with the following modifications". Surely we have not reached the stage where we cannot argue that there should be further modifications of Standing Order No. 6. While welcoming the modifications which the Leader of the House has proposed —[Interruption.] I know that it is inconvenient, but this situation will recur. We shall not be silenced because we feel strongly about this—[Interruption.] A Government Whip asks why we do not table an amendment. I think I am right in saying that we are unable to do so. It is extraordinary that the Whips do not even know that we are not able to amend the motion. Had we been able to do so, and had the Leader of the House consulted us, we would then have sought a proper debate. We do not want debates such as we had yesterday and today so that we can make our case. However, you, Mr. Speaker, know better than anyone that this House operates on the basis of a certain understanding in all sections of the House. We feel aggrieved, and beyond the House millions of voters feel aggrieved. That feeling will not go away.

The Leader of the House has two responsibilities. He is a member of the Cabinet and the Conservative party; but he is also Leader of the House. The right hon. Gentleman may smile, but he knows well that he must wear these two hats. He must square his loyalty to the Government and the Conservative party with his wider loyalty to this House. I believe that he thinks that the Labour party can create more trouble for him than we can, and therefore believes that it is not worth the aggro further to change this Standing Order because the Labour party has more disruptive power. I am afraid that that may have to be put to the test — [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] We do not particularly wish to do so, but we are not prepared to—[Interruption.]

Photo of Dr David Owen Dr David Owen , Plymouth, Devonport

Minorities in this House have rights. They have fought for them and will continue to fight for them. No one is more aware of the rights of minorities than the right hon. Member for South Down (Mr. Powell), who has protected the rights of minorities. He was on a different point, which was the question—

Photo of Mr Enoch Powell Mr Enoch Powell , South Down

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is it in order to seek to debate on one amendment an amendment on an entirely different subject?

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Order. I have a right to protect minorities as well. The point made by the right hon. Member for Devonport is correct. We are discussing the motion that, Standing Order No. 6 (Arrangement of public business) shall have effect for this Session with the following modifications". As I understand it, the right hon. Gentleman is arguing that there should be other modifications as well.

Photo of Dr David Owen Dr David Owen , Plymouth, Devonport

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. You are the protector of minorities, and we are grateful to you. We do not wish to filibuster on this motion. We wish an explanation from the Leader of the House showing why he has sought to make only this modification. Why he does not think it right to come before the House with a proposal to make modifications to the issue that aggrieves us—that is that there should be an allocation of Opposition days to the Social Democrats, the Liberals, the Scottish nationalists and the Ulster Unionists? It should not be left to the whim of the leader of the Labour party, or Labour party groups, to allocate the days. The Labour party won 28 per cent. of the votes in the last election and, on the basis of an extra 2 per cent., we are not prepared to treat it as if it had a monopoly in the allocation of Opposition days. We shall have to debate that reality.

Therefore, the Leader of the House, having already listened to this debate not once but twice in this Session, will have to come to the House with concrete proposals. That is what we want. If not, he owes it to the House and the public to explain why he thinks that the Labour party should control the allocation of time. That is not fair, and the Leader of the House knows that it is not fair. It makes the House a laughing stock and it reduces the influence and prestige of the House, and he knows that in his heart of hearts. The only reason why he will not change the system is that he believes that offending the Labour party will cause more difficulty for him. That is an unworthy reason, and I hope that he will give the House other reasons, and then promise that at an early date he will introduce subsequent modifications to Standing Order No. 6 that meet our objections.

Photo of Mr Allan Roberts Mr Allan Roberts , Bootle

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Order. The hon. Gentleman must raise a new point of order, as I have already dealt with the previous point of order.

Photo of Mr Allan Roberts Mr Allan Roberts , Bootle

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am concerned about the rights of minorities on Supply days, and about private Members' days. As a Merseyside Labour Member of Parliament, I am sick and tired of coming to debates and—

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Order. I shall stop the hon. Gentleman there. This is not a point of order. I think that he wishes to make a speech.

Photo of Mr Allan Roberts Mr Allan Roberts , Bootle

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Order. I think that the hon. Gentleman wishes to make a speech. He is at liberty to do so, but he must not abuse the system by seeking to make a speech on a point of order. If he resumes his seat, I shall call him at the appropriate time.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Finsberg Mr Geoffrey Finsberg , Hampstead and Highgate 3:18 pm, 7th November 1984

The right hon. Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Dr. Owen) has uttered a serious threat—to make life difficult. I am sure that none of us would wish to see the right hon. Member for Glasgow, Hillhead (Mr. Jenkins) or the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Smith) brought in to back up his demand. Equally, I deplore the playboy attitude of the Liberal and Social Democrat alliance, which seeks to bypass the normal procedures of the House. The right hon. Member for Devonport has been in the House longer than I have and he knows full well that a proposal such as his is a matter for the Select Committee on Procedure to investigate. [Interruption.] Those who are interrupting from a sedentary position can speak later if they wish. I did not interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, and I am sure that the House would like to hear what I am suggesting.

I resent the fact that the antics of Members on the Opposition Benches will deprive Back Benchers of the opportunity to speak in the major debate today which has a 10 o'clock limit, just as they did yesterday.

Here is an opportunity for the matter to be brought to a head and for my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House to say, as he said before, that this is a matter for the Select Committee on Procedure and that it should be put at the top of the Committee's agenda.

Photo of Mr Allan Roberts Mr Allan Roberts , Bootle 3:21 pm, 7th November 1984

I have listened to the debate and to the right hon. Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Dr. Owen) and I am sick and tired of being told that the Social Democrats and the Liberals do not have fair representation in the House. I represent Merseyside and I am secretary of the Merseyside group of 12 Labour Members and I am fed up with coming to debates here and not being called. I then have to return to my constituents on Merseyside and explain that the hon. Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill (Mr. Alton) is automatically called, knows that he will be called and, because he knows that, is reported in the local newspapers.

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Order. What the hon. Gentleman is saying has nothing to do with the motion. If the motion is passed, there will be an extra day on which he may be called.

Photo of Mr Allan Roberts Mr Allan Roberts , Bootle

I am speaking to the Standing Order because I am answering the points made by the right hon. Member for Devonport. He continues to quote, in justification of his Supply days proposal, that the alliance has 26 per cent. of the votes as opposed to 28 per cent. for the Labour party. He must realise that he got that 26 per cent. of the votes on a first-past-the-post system when people were urged to vote tactically. Hundreds of thousands of people in Britain who are Labour voters voted tactically to get the Tory Government out and many Tory voters voted tactically to get Labour Members out in a first-past-the-post system. That happened when people did not think that their first preference had a chance. Had they thought that those votes would be totalled nationally to justify extra time being given to the alliance as opposed to their first choice, they would not have so voted.

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Order. As has been said, we have an important debate before us and a long list of right hon. and hon. Members who wish to speak. The hon. Member for Bootle (Mr. Roberts) must stick to the point. He is now miles and miles wide of it.

Photo of Mr Allan Roberts Mr Allan Roberts , Bootle

Will the Leader of the House consider special Supply days for the Merseyside group of Labour Members?

Photo of Mr John Biffen Mr John Biffen , North Shropshire 3:23 pm, 7th November 1984

It might be helpful if I were to intervene at this stage before the debate reduces the issue of the environment to the status of an Adjournment debate.

The motion is narrowly drawn and refers to private Members' time. With all the charity in the world, I cannot regard the great lesser Opposition parties as an adjunct to private Members. It has been suggested that there is something startlingly novel about what is now being proposed. It is perfectly true that it is a deal which accords to private Members rather more days than a strict interpretation of Standing Order No. 6. However, I cannot claim to be a reformer, because exactly the same arrangement was made in 1982–83. On that basis, I most earnestly recommend the motion to the House.

I appreciate that issues of real moment to the right hon. Members for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale (Mr. Steel) and for Plymouth, Devonport (Dr. Owen) have been raised. We immediately encounter certain procedural booby traps, as has been pointed out by the right hon. Member for South Down (Mr. Powell), when trying to assess the arguments. I do not think that this is the appropriate moment to deal with the matter, standing as I do in the way of the resumption of the debate on the Queen's Speech, but I have the responsibility of winding up the debate and I shall certainly take account of what has been said this afternoon.

Photo of Alan Williams Alan Williams , Swansea West 3:25 pm, 7th November 1984

We welcome the measure that the Leader of the House has introduced.

We might be a little more worried about the fact that the right hon. Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Dr. Owen) feels aggrieved if the issues about which he feels aggrieved had a modicum of consistency. I cannot recollect any occasion when he expressed anxiety about the way in which Opposition time was allocated when he sat on these Benches, even though it might sometimes have led to a degree of rough justice for his new-found allies, the Liberals.

I remind the House that when the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues deserted these Benches and scuttled down the Chamber to the Bench that they now occupy they immediately accosted the House and demanded that they should be allowed time on the ground not that they represented a single voter anywhere in the country for their new-found party but that they represented a certain percentage of the membership of the House. They now suddenly represent an even smaller percentage of the membership, so they are trying to change the ground yet again and are arguing that the matter should be judged not by the number of hon. Members in the House but by the votes cast in the country. When the right hon. Gentleman has got his act together, he might be taken seriously.

Photo of Mr Alex Carlile Mr Alex Carlile , Montgomery

Despite the pain in your voice, Mr. Speaker—I say that with great respect—I am most grateful to you for calling me. This debate is important. It is vital that we should be realistic—as I hope hon. Members always try to be—in deciding whether this is the appropriate time to raise this issue. I would argue that it is the appropriate time and it is worth putting the reason why on the record. The Select Committee on Procedure has refused to consider this matter in the near future, so our only opportunity of obtaining urgent consideration for it is on the Floor of the House.

Standing Order No. 6 is one of the most important Standing Orders, because it sets out the rules by which debates are timetabled. The House is judged in the country not only by the quality of debates and the behaviour of hon. Members but by its conduct and the timetabling of debates. It must therefore be asked whether the House is fair in its attitude towards not only the Government and the Labour party but towards all the other parties in the House, including the Liberal and Social Democratic parties, which between them represent 7·75 million electors and their children—

Photo of Mr John McWilliam Mr John McWilliam , Blaydon

On a point of order of substance, Mr. Speaker. Is it in order for any hon. Member to claim to represent the electors in another hon. Member's constituency? That is what the hon. and learned Gentleman is doing.

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

That is one thing; but it is quite another to claim to represent the votes of children.

Photo of Mr Alex Carlile Mr Alex Carlile , Montgomery

I should like to make a simple but telling point — [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] It is extremely surprising that Conservative Members should be unwilling to take Standing Order No. 6 seriously since it decides the way in which debates should be distributed. Their levity is a disgrace to the House.

The simple point at issue is that this House is part of the High Court of Parliament. Surely Conservative Members will agree that this High Court of Parliament should act according to the rules of natural justice—[Interruption.] Obviously, some of them do not agree with that, which is most surprising. I believe that this High Court of Parliament should act in accordance with the rules of natural justice that are incumbent on every court and organisation that exercise a similar function. The rules set by Standing Order No. 6 are offensive to the rules of natural justice. How can the House command the nation's respect for its procedures if the procedures are so offensive to the rules of natural justice?

Photo of Mr David Steel Mr David Steel Leader of the Liberal Party

My hon. Friend should remind the House that Standing Order No. 6 was drafted in the last Parliament when the arithmetical balance within the House, let alone outside, was wholly different. Our complaint is that not only did the Select Committee on Procedure in the last Session fail to deal with the matter and reported its refusal to the House, but that the Leader of the House is not willing to amend Standing Order No. 6 on this occasion, as he could, to meet our just demands. The Leader of the House has not taken up the suggestion that he should ask the Select Committee to put the issue at the top of its agenda for this Session. If he agreed to any of those steps, we could move on.

Photo of Mr Alex Carlile Mr Alex Carlile , Montgomery

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend, and I agree with him. I remind the House of what the Secretary of State for the Environment—I am glad to see him in the Chamber — said in Bristol on 5 October. When criticising the Labour party, he said: The real opposition will come increasingly from the alliance parties. Of course he is right, and it is high time that our procedures recognised that.

Question put:—

The House divided: Ayes 222, Noes 15.

Division No. 2][3.30 pm
AYES
Adley, RobertGardiner, George (Reigate)
Alexander, RichardGardner, Sir Edward (Fylde)
Amess, DavidGarrett, W. E.
Ancram, MichaelGoodlad, Alastair
Anderson, DonaldGow, Ian
Atkins, Rt Hon Sir H.Gower, Sir Raymond
Atkins, Robert (South Ribble)Grant, Sir Anthony
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E)Greenway, Harry
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Vall'y)Ground, Patrick
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset)Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)
Barron, KevinHamilton, James (M'well N)
Bellingham, HenryHamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Bermingham, GeraldHanley, Jeremy
Best, KeithHannam, John
Bevan, David GilroyHardy, Peter
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnHarris, David
Biggs-Davison, Sir JohnHarvey, Robert
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir PeterHaselhurst, Alan
Body, RichardHawkins, C. (High Peak)
Boscawen, Hon RobertHayes, J.
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Hayhoe, Barney
Braine, Sir BernardHayward, Robert
Brandon-Bravo, MartinHeathcoat-Amory, David
Brinton, TimHeddle, John
Brown. M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes)Henderson, Barry
Browne, JohnHickmet, Richard
Buck, Sir AntonyHiggins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Budgen, NickHind, Kenneth
Bulmer, EsmondHirst, Michael
Butterfill, JohnHogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M)Hooson, Tom
Carlisle, John (N Luton)Hordern, Peter
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Howard, Michael
Cash, WilliamHowarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)
Chapman, SydneyHowarth, Gerald (Cannock)
Clark, Dr David (S Shields)Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk)
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)Jessel, Toby
Clwyd, Mrs AnnJohnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Conway, DerekJopling, Rt Hon Michael
Coombs, SimonKershaw, Sir Anthony
Cope, JohnKey, Robert
Couchman, JamesKing, Roger (B'ham N'field)
Currie, Mrs EdwinaKnight, Gregory (Derby N)
Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly)Knowles, Michael
Dicks, TerryKnox, David
Dixon, DonaldLang, Ian
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.Lawler, Geoffrey
Durant, TonyLennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Eastham, KenLewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Edwards, Bob (W'h'mpt'n SE)Lightbown, David
Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)Lilley, Peter
Eggar, TimLloyd, Ian (Havant)
Evans, John (St. Helens N)Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Eyre, Sir ReginaldLord, Michael
Farr, Sir JohnLoyden, Edward
Fenner, Mrs PeggyLuce, Richard
Finsberg, Sir GeoffreyLyell, Nicholas
Forman, NigelMcCrindle, Robert
Forth, EricMacfarlane, Neil
Fox, MarcusMacGregor, John
Freeman, RogerMacKay, Andrew (Berkshire)
Fry, PeterMacKay, John (Argyll & Bute)
Gale, RogerMaclean, David John
Galley, RoyMcNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st)
McQuarrie, AlbertShaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Major, JohnSheerman, Barry
Marek, Dr JohnShepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Marlow, AntonyShersby, Michael
Marshall, Michael (Arundel)Silvester, Fred
Mather, CarolSims, Roger
Maude, Hon FrancisSkeet, T. H. H.
Maxwell-Hyslop, RobinSmith, C.(lsl'ton S & F'bury)
Mayhew, Sir PatrickSmith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Meyer, Sir AnthonySpeed, Keith
Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon)Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Molyneaux, Rt Hon JamesSquire, Robin
Montgomery, FergusStanbrook, Ivor
Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)Stern, Michael
Moynihan, Hon C.Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Mudd, DavidStevens, Martin (Fulham)
Murphy, ChristopherStewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Needham, RichardStewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Newton, TonyStradling Thomas, J.
Nicholls, PatrickTaylor, Rt Hon John David
Norris, StevenTaylor, John (Solihull)
Onslow, CranleyTemple-Morris, Peter
Ottaway, RichardThompson, Donald (Calder V)
Page, Richard (Herts SW)Thurnham, Peter
Park, GeorgeTownend, John (Bridlington)
Pawsey, JamesTownsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Peacock, Mrs ElizabethTracey, Richard
Percival, Rt Hon Sir IanTwinn, Dr Ian
Pike, Petervan Straubenzee, Sir W.
Powell, Rt Hon J. E. (S Down)Viggers, Peter
Powley, JohnWaller, Gary
Price, Sir DavidWardle, C. (Bexhill)
Proctor, K. HarveyWareing, Robert
Pym, Rt Hon FrancisWatson, John
Rathbone, TimWatts, John
Rhodes James, RobertWeetch, Ken
Ridley, Rt Hon NicholasWiggin, Jerry
Rippon, Rt Hon GeoffreyWilkinson, John
Roberts, Allan (Bootle)Williams, Rt Hon A.
Robinson, Mark (N'port W)Winterton, Mrs Ann
Rost, PeterWood, Timothy
Rowe, AndrewWoodcock, Michael
Rumbold, Mrs AngelaYeo, Tim
Ryder, Richard
Sackville, Hon ThomasTellers for the Ayes:
Sainsbury, Hon TimothyMr. Tristan Garel-Jones and
Sayeed, JonathanMr. Michael Neubert.
NOES
Alton, DavidSteel, Rt Hon David
Bruce, MalcolmStewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)
Carlile, Alexander (Montg'y)Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Cartwright, JohnWainwright, R.
Howells, GeraintWilson, Gordon
Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Hillh'd)Tellers for the Noes:
Johnston, RussellMr. James Wallace and
Owen, Rt Hon Dr DavidMr. Ian Wrigglesworth.
Penhaligon, David

Question accordingly agreed to.

Ordered,

That—

(1) Standing Order No. 6 (Arrangement of public business) shall have effect for this Session with the following modifications, namely:—
In paragraph (3) the word 'twelve' shall be substituted for the word 'ten' in line 16; and in paragraph (6)the word 'nine' shall be substituted for the word 'ten' in line 41;

(2) Private Members' Bills shall have precedence over Government business on 18th and 25th January, 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd February, 19th and 26th April, 3rd, 10th and 17th May and 5th July;

(3) Private Members' Notices of Motions shall have precedence over Government business on 30th November, 7th and 14th December, 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th March and 7th June and ballots for these Notices shall be held after Questions on Wednesday 14th November, Wednesday 21st November, Wednesday 28th November, Wednesday 13th February, Wednesday 20th February, Wednesday 27th February, Wednesday 6th March, Wednesday 13th March and Wednesday 22nd May.

(4) On Monday 17th December, Monday 11th February, Monday 13th May and Monday 1st July, Private Members' Notices of Motions shall have precedence until Seven o'clock and ballots for these Notices shall be held after Questions on Thursday 29th November, Thursday 24th January, Thursday 25th April and Thursday 13th June;

(5) No Notice of Motion shall be handed in for any of the days on which Private Members' Notices have precedence under this Order in anticipation of the Ballot for that day.