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Noise Abatement Bill

Private Members' Bills – in the House of Commons at 2:27 pm on 2nd May 1986.

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Order for Second Reading read.

Hon. Members:

Object.

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Objection taken. Second Reading what day?

Photo of Mr Donald Dixon Mr Donald Dixon , Jarrow

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I have introduced the Bill because I suffer from industrial deafness. The Bill seeks to end abuses, so that people will be able to hear properly. I did not hear the hon. Member who objected. Would it be possible, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for the hon. Member who objected to stand up, so that we can identify that half-baked individual?

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

I distinctly heard an objection made in some part of the House.

Photo of Mr Donald Dixon Mr Donald Dixon , Jarrow

I did not hear it.

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

The hon. Gentleman is surely not that deaf. I also suffer from industrial deafness, but I can hear him.

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. I am trying to explain the difficulty that the Chair is always in. The procedure followed today is no different from that followed regularly on Fridays since I have been a Member of Parliament. That is a matter—

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. The hon. Gentleman must contain himself. I was about to point out that the position of the Chair is no different from the position that it is always in when a Question is put that evokes a response. Hon. Members do not rise in their places to say Aye or Noe. If I followed the logic of the hon. Gentleman's argument, the Chair would have to ask hon. Members to stand in their places whenever the Question was put. That has never, to my recollection, been our practice.

Several Hon. Members:

rose

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. I can take only one point of order at a time. We have merely followed the normal practice today.

Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn , Islington North

Further to the point of order raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Jarrow (Mr. Dixon), Mr. Deputy Speaker. I do not doubt that you heard "Object" from somewhere in the Chamber. I am concerned, however, because I cannot see the lips of some hon. Members who are hidden by the Clerks' Table, who appear to sink deeper into the Benches as the afternoon passes.

Secondly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, would you accept that it would be perfectly possible for someone—a stranger or an intruder—to shout, "Object," and for there to be an echo that would even mislead you, Mr. Deputy Speaker? It would be much better and it would clear up any possible doubt or misunderstanding if the hon. Member who objects—

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. I have the hon. Gentleman's point, which is one that we have heard before. I think that he should have a little more faith in the judgment of the Chair than to think that I might inadvertently pick up as a genuine response an interjection that was made expressly outside the House.

It would help the Chair enormously if Members who wished to object were clearly to identify themselves by rising in their places, but the Chair has no power to require an hon. Member to do so. It has no more power to require that to happen on an occasion such as this than it has, for example, when there is a mid-week Second Reading, when voices are heard on both sides of the House, those interjections being made usually from a sedentary position. It would be unrealistic for the Chair to expect those hon. Members to rise in their places. The Chair is in a difficulty on such occasions and all that I can do is appeal to the House, as I have done previously, that those hon. Members who wish to take objection should do so loudly and clearly and should not be ashamed to identify themselves.

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Surely there is nothing more to the point of order.

Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn , Islington North

I did not wish in any sense to impugn your judgment on this issue, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am sure that it is correct. However, I think that justice should be seen to be done as well as being heard to be done. I draw your attention to early-day motion 814, Mr. Deputy Speaker, which attempts to protect Mr. Speaker from possible misunderstandings in this respect.

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his protection.

Photo of Mr Ian Mikardo Mr Ian Mikardo , Bow and Poplar

Would it be helpful, Mr. Deputy Speaker, if you suggested to the Whip on the Government Front Bench that he should get himself a cassette? That would save him a great deal of trouble.

Photo of Mr Donald Dixon Mr Donald Dixon , Jarrow

I was not trying to be funny, Mr. Deputy Speaker, when I intervened earlier, and I did not require any lectures on my hearing. I was explaining that I did not hear the objection. Surely it is only fair that Members who introduce Bills should have the right to hear and see those who object to them.

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

I can only repeat that I heard an objection expressed in the House.

Second Reading what day?

Photo of Mr Donald Dixon Mr Donald Dixon , Jarrow

Friday 13 July. I might have more luck on that day.

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Friday 13 June — [Interruption.]—11 July. The hon. Gentleman has a disability which I share with him.

Second Reading deferred till Friday 11 July.