Points of Order

– in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 14th May 1991.

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Photo of Mr Patrick Nicholls Mr Patrick Nicholls , Teignbridge 3:30 pm, 14th May 1991

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I seek your guidance about an exchange of correspondence to which some of today's newspapers refer. Apparently, there has been an exchange of correspondence between my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and the Leader of the Opposition. In his letter, my right hon. Friend calls upon the Leader of the Opposition to clarify how the next Labour Government would spend more than the present Government by actually spending less—

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

Order. I see that the hon. Member has a copy of "Erskine May" in his hands. So have I. Can he come to a point of order for me? I am not responsible for exchanges of letters.

Photo of Mr Patrick Nicholls Mr Patrick Nicholls , Teignbridge

It is indeed a point of order for you, Mr. Speaker. It touches on your responsibility for the Library of the House, to which "Erskine May", on page 196 of the 21st edition, refers. I have been able to ascertain that the Chief Secretary's letter is in the Library. Can you, Sir, take steps to ensure that the response will be available in the Library within the next 24 hours?

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

So far as I know, it has never been the responsibility of the Chair to see that exchanges of that kind are placed in the Library.

Photo of Mr Gerry Bermingham Mr Gerry Bermingham , St Helens South

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The Secretary of State for Health is still in his place. In answer to question No. 9 from the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight (Mr. Field), during the chaos of Question Time

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

Order. This sounds like an extension of Question Time. What is the point of order for me?

Photo of Mr Gerry Bermingham Mr Gerry Bermingham , St Helens South

The point of order is that the Secretary of State, in reply to the question, indicated that a member of the British Medical Association, who happens to be a doctor in the Isle of Wight, ought not to perform his functions as an elected member, but should stay in his surgery. It has always been a convention of this House—

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

Order. I am not responsible for questions that are asked or for answers that are given, provided that they are in order. So far as I am aware, these were in order.

Photo of Mrs Alice Mahon Mrs Alice Mahon , Halifax

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

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

Does the hon. Lady wish to take time from that allotted to the Opposition?

Photo of Mrs Alice Mahon Mrs Alice Mahon , Halifax

On a genuine point of order, Mr. Speaker.I wonder if you have received a communication from a constituent of mine who is writing to you about a £364,000 city grant given to Barratt, the building company, to build homes in my constituency. My constituent wrote to you because of serious allegations that have arisen in recent days. On receipt of that communication, would you allow time for an inquiry into those allegations about the misuse of public funds?

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

I have to say that I have not received that letter, although I receive a wide range of letters from members of the general public. At first sight, I cannot see that it has much to do with me. However, when I receive the letter, I shall consider it carefully.