Representation of the People (Northern Ireland)

Orders of the Day — STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS, &c. – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th March 1992.

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That the draft Representation of the People (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) Regulations 1992, which were laid before this House on 19th February, be approved.That the draft European Parliamentary Elections (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) Regulations 1992, which were laid before this House on 19th February, be approved.That the draft Local Elections (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) Order 1992, which was laid before this House on 19th February, be approved.—[Mr. Boswell.]

Question agreed to.

Motion made, That this House do now adjourn.—[Mr. Boswell.]

Photo of Mr Harold Walker Mr Harold Walker , Doncaster Central

I shall not put the Question on the Adjournment, because that might be unfair to the hon. Member for Warrington, North (Mr. Hoyle): we have moved very fast. Accordingly, I shall suspend the sitting until 10.30 am.

Sitting suspended.

On resuming—

Photo of Mr Bob Cryer Mr Bob Cryer , Bradford South

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. An important precedent has been set today, in which the House was adjourned because the business on the Order Paper was rushed through so quickly that time was exhausted. The Sitting was then suspended to allow my hon. Friend the Member for Warrington, North (Mr. Hoyle) to come to the Chamber to move his very important Adjournment debate.

That is an excellent precedent, and I hope that that practice can be pursued in the next Parliament. When something happens very quickly in the House, it is absurd that other business on the Order Paper should, as it were drop off the end of the table, simply because the business has been rushed through.

While this may not be within your power at the moment, in your final hours as Madam Deputy Speaker, I hope that you will be able to send a letter to the Procedure Committee about what has happened, so that the next Chairman of that Committee can do something about it.

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Deputy Speaker (Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

Good try. The hon. Member is aware that that is a matter for the Procedure Committee. We must wait and see what happens in the next Parliament.

Photo of Mr Harry Greenway Mr Harry Greenway , Ealing North

Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I support the point of order raised by the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer), but I regret the fact that, for some procedural reason, it was not extended this morning to petitions. By chance, I was in the House but not in the Chamber, and had I intended to present an important petition on behalf of the residents of Northolt and elsewhere which was signed by 5,000 petitioners and the chairman of the Northolt village residents association—

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Deputy Speaker (Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

Order. The hon. Gentleman should raise a point of order with me and not present a petition. If he is about to raise a point of order, will he come to his point so that I can deal with it?

Photo of Mr Harry Greenway Mr Harry Greenway , Ealing North

My point of order is that, procedurally, I am delighted by the precedent of allowing the hon. Member for Warrington, North (Mr. Hoyle) time to move his Adjournment debate. However, can that precedent now—

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Deputy Speaker (Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

Order. I think I have the gist of the hon. Gentleman's point of order.

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Deputy Speaker (Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

Order. No, I have the gist. The hon. Gentleman was in the House, but he was not in the Chamber. That is to be regretted, but he cannot now officially present his petition formally. However, he can place it in the bag. I hope that he will do that now and allow us to get on with the Adjournment debate, the motion for which has already been moved.

Photo of Mr Hugh Rossi Mr Hugh Rossi , Hornsey and Wood Green

Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I was in the House when the sitting was suspended. As I understand it, the suspension took place in order to allow time for my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, North (Mr. Greenway) to come to the Chamber.

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Deputy Speaker (Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

The hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Sir H. Rossi) is a long-standing Member, and he is very familiar with our proceedings. However, he is not correct in this instance. The Adjournment was moved and I must now call the hon. Member for Warrington, North (Mr. Hoyle). Time is being taken from him.