Immigration (Members' Representations)

– in the House of Commons at 4:57 pm on 11th January 1988.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Max Madden Mr Max Madden , Bradford West 4:57 pm, 11th January 1988

Mr. Speaker, I wish to raise a matter with you who are the guardian of the rights of Members and to ask whether you will make urgent inquiries into reports published during the recess that the Government are proposing to introduce rules that would stop hon. Members making representations to Ministers on matters about immigration and nationality. This would be a—

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

Order. Is this the matter about which the hon. Gentleman has written to me alleging a matter of privilege?

Photo of Mr Max Madden Mr Max Madden , Bradford West

Yes, Mr. Speaker, but it was not in that—

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

Order. I have not yet had an opportunity to study the hon. Gentleman's letter in detail. He cannot raise a privilege matter in the House in this way.

Photo of Mr Max Madden Mr Max Madden , Bradford West

I am aware of that, Mr. Speaker, and I do not wish to raise it in that context. I wish to raise it in the context that I should like you to make urgent inquiries into whether the Government are seeking to make such a proposal. It would represent the denial of the longstanding rights of Members. It would clearly create very considerable difficulties, because the representations that we make are usually against the advice and recommendations of officials. However, I understand that the Government will insist that in future we should make representations only to officials and not to Ministers. Lastly, it would create—

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

Order. That is a matter for the Government, not a matter for me. I have listened to the hon. Gentleman, and I shall consider what he has said in his letter and reply to him.