Results 181–200 of 2018 for speaker:Mr William Ross

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: The only part of the last part of the 1920 Act to be repealed was the preface, as it were, stating that Northern Ireland remains part of Her Majesty's dominions and so forth. As there was nothing in particular to bite on, it was reckoned to be redundant. I always thought that it should have remained as a simple declaration of principle. For that reason I was opposed to that repeal. As the...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: I understand now exactly where the hon. Gentleman is coming from. He knows that because of the limited time that was available to research all the implications of the Bill and the various roots from which it springs, it was not possible to go into those details. I hope that he will address the Committee when I resume my place, or at least at some stage before these debates come to an end. The...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: I thought that the purpose of the debate was to explore whether those matters arose under the clause. I believe that they do because the clause removes a section that refers to the Irish Senate. The civic forum is the nearest analogous body, under the Northern Ireland Act 1998, to that which I described earlier.

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: Hope springs eternal in the human breast and I hope that the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department will repeat his words. He is not here, but I am sure that the Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland will pass on the message that, if the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department speaks slowly, we will understand exactly what he is trying to say.

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: The Bill is superficially a simple measure. However, if it was that simple, how have we managed to spend 21 hours discussing it?

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: Would that I could agree with the hon. Gentleman. The Government's handling of the Bill is not all that inept. The apparent ineptitude conceals a clever, devious piece of Government work. We have asked questions, which have not been answered. That is why we are still here. We are asking the same questions in different ways on every aspect of the Bill. After 21 hours of debate in Committee, we...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: I admitted earlier that I need to have these complex matters explained to me time after time, so that I understand them. Unfortunately, I am getting no assistance from Ministers. All we get is confusion and attempts us blind us with smoke, to hide the reality. The Government could have spared themselves so much pain and difficulty if they had only listened to the reasonable points made...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: I have been trying not to repeat myself. It is just that I get drawn down highways and byways by right hon. and hon. Members who clearly have great difficulty understanding what is going on and seek the truth.

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: My hon. Friend is correct. The Northern Ireland statute book is to some extent a myth. We know from experience on various Committees in this House that it is maintained in some respects but ignored or overridden in others whenever that suits the Government of the day—especially in such matters as extending European law. The concept of a Northern Ireland statute book as a separate body of...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: While I am grateful to the hon. Member for Buckingham, earlier there were nods and shakes to the extent that we had to get the Minister to tell us what they meant. Words are better than nodding or shaking heads. I hope that the Minister appreciates that we want words at some length and in some detail, so that we have a clear understanding of what is going on in regard both to repealing the...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: I agree, but the hon. Gentleman used the word "assertions", which is not used in Northern Ireland or in Ireland generally. The word "allegations" is used, and they are usually made against the Royal Ulster Constabulary or the Army. The Bloody Sunday inquiry is a case in point and the bill is almost £14 million, which has been spent for no good purpose. Allegations are made time and again...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: That is a happy change, but unfortunately that Minister is not the man from whom we want a reaction. We want words, but he is apparently not in a position to give us the information that we on these Benches—both Ulster Unionist and Conservative—require. Indeed, the Liberal Democrats also raised questions, as did Labour Members.

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: If the Minister of State had behaved himself, my remarks probably would have been terminated by now. He moved me to continue. But in the light of your strictures, Sir, I will bring my brief remarks—

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that another anomaly has arisen about the day? It is Tuesday in the Chamber, but Wednesday in the Table Office.

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: The right hon. Gentleman will have noted that the First Deputy Chairman said that he was a bit slow. That means that he is tired. At one time, there used to be only one Speaker, who had to sit in the Chair—without food—for hours. That was a cruel way to do business. I think that we are being cruel to the present occupants of the Chair. Would it not be a good idea if the business of the...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: On a point of order, Mr. Martin. You ruled that my earlier remarks were not a matter for debate. However, I am concerned for your welfare. Perhaps you should reconsider my suggestion and suspend the sitting so that you can have a rest and a cup of tea.

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: This allegedly modest Bill has vast consequences. That is why we have been here since 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon. That is why we were here until 7 o'clock the night before. We have been on a very restricted timetable. Will the hon. Gentleman please remember that that which appears modest is in fact most immodest?

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Consequential Repeal (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: The hon. Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick) said—


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