Clause 7 — President of the Courts of England and Wales

Orders of the Day — Constitutional Reform Bill [Lords] — 1st Allotted Day – in the House of Commons at 7:30 pm on 31 January 2005.

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Amendments made: No. 19, in page 4, line 10, leave out 'Minister' and insert 'Lord Chancellor'.

No. 20, in page 4, line 13, leave out 'Minister' and insert 'Lord Chancellor'.—[Mr. Leslie.]

Clause 7, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Patrick Cormack Patrick Cormack Conservative, South Staffordshire

On a point of order, Mrs. Heal. My hon. and learned Friend Mr. Garnier just said in an extremely brief speech that something was a shame. To quote my favourite entertainer, Stanley Holloway, it is a shame and a sin that this Committee has not had the opportunity to discuss clauses 6 or 7 in the first three hours allowed for the Bill. I realise that you can do nothing about this matter tonight but could you, on behalf of the House, speak to Sir Alan and Mr. Speaker and see whether any representations can be made to those who draw up programmes to ensure that there can be some built-in flexibility, so that when the House is faced with a major constitutional Bill of this nature, it does not end up without any opportunity to discuss significant parts of it?

Photo of Edward Garnier Edward Garnier Conservative, Harborough

Further to that point of order, Mrs. Heal, I wish to explain to you that what I thought was a shame was precisely what my hon. Friend has just said. Vast sections of this important Bill will never be discussed by the House. What is the point of the House if it is not allowed to discuss anything that the Government wish to impose on the people of this country?

The First Deputy Chairman:

The remarks that have been made are now on the record, but as has been suggested, I have no authority to make any such changes.

Photo of Oliver Heald Oliver Heald Shadow Secretary of State (Justice), Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

On a point of order, Mrs. Heal. The role of the Master of the Rolls and the effect of the provisions on his role in the courts of England and Wales has not been mentioned. Perhaps it would be possible for the Minister to consider whether, in commenting on some of the other clauses that deal with judicial matters, he might reflect on the position of the Master of the Rolls.