Points of Order

– in the House of Commons at 4:34 pm on 24th June 1993.

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Photo of Mr Barry Porter Mr Barry Porter , Wirral South 4:34 pm, 24th June 1993

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. I am very much aware of the effect that the recent announcements have on people in Scotland, but are you aware that, in two or three days, the shipyard of Cammell Laird—a Scottish name—in Birkenhead is to close? That has a significant effect on the economy of Merseyside, and I put this hypothetical question: if I asked for the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 20, would you grant it?

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Speaker of the House of Commons

The question may be hypothetical, but I must tell the hon. Gentleman and the House that I take these matters very seriously. He may have raised that point in some joviality, but I take such things seriously, and I will consider any Standing Order No. 20 application that he puts to me.

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

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. Reported in the newspapers today is a copy of a letter sent by a Member of Parliament to an officer of the Crown. I need not say which letter it is, because all know about it. What concerns me gravely is that this letter has been intercepted and leaked. It can have been leaked only by the sender, the receiver, or a firm of accountants that carried out a raid on a certain gentleman's house. That must be a breach of privilege. I ask you, as the Speaker of this House, to set in motion inquiries to ascertain who leaked and who——

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Speaker of the House of Commons

Order. The hon. Gentleman mentioned privilege. If he thinks that this is a matter of privilege, he must write to me, not raise it on the Floor of the House. I have not seen the letter. I know nothing about it. I shall look at his letter when it comes to me.