On a point of order, Mr. McWilliam. I realise that you were not in the Committee this morning, but at the end of our proceedings on clause 51 I raised a point with the Economic Secretary about the interpretation of subsection (4). He replied after a moment's hesitation that the matter had been dealt with on Tuesday, when I was not in the Committee, and had I been present, I would have known about it. He got a slight cheer from some of his supporters—I do not know whether it was a cheer of relief—for having said that and for so elegantly disposing of the problem. However, I made use of the lunch hour to check the Hansard for Tuesday and can find no explanation of the point that I raised this morning. It was not even raised, let alone answered.
Not only was the Committee bluffed, if I may use parliamentary language on this occasion, but the public were deprived of an explanation. Nobody, not even the Economic Secretary, denied that the point was worthy of explanation; indeed, his reply this morning indicated that it needed elucidation. I wonder whether it might be in order for him to revert to that point and give me an explanation, which I am sure exists and which needs to be set out publicly if those who send us to Parliament are to understand that aspect of the Bill.
I am constrained by Standing Orders, which tell me that the Committee has disposed of clause 51. However, it has not been disposed of finally; that is, there will be an opportunity to raise points about it at other stages that the Bill will go through, such as Report, and in another place. However, that opportunity does not exist here and now.Clause 52 Amendment of enactments that operate by reference to accounting practice