Results 221–240 of 2018 for speaker:Mr William Ross

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Disqualification for Ministerial Office in Northern Ireland (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: Will the right hon. Gentleman allow me to intervene?

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Disqualification for Ministerial Office in Northern Ireland (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: The right hon. Gentleman has omitted two important elements. The procedures and rules of the two establishments would be totally different. In the short debate on the last group of amendments, we discussed whether there could be a series of votes or only one vote. I have been in the House a long time, but I am not totally clear about that the present rules. The rules change and someone who is...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Disqualification for Ministerial Office in Northern Ireland (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: The Minister referred earlier to the Spanish civil war. It is a subject that I have not studied; perhaps he could recommend a good book.

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Disqualification for Ministerial Office in Northern Ireland (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: We should never be grovellingly grateful to a Minister. We should be thankful for his good sense.

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Disqualification for Ministerial Office in Northern Ireland (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: I had not realised that we would run out of speakers to the amendment so quickly, but I have been thinking seriously about some of the comments made earlier by the Minister. Various questions remain unanswered. I do not know how on earth we could go along with the idea that the office of Chair or Vice-Chair could be held by a person who is also a Minister. Currently, the legislation would...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Disqualification for Ministerial Office in Northern Ireland (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: That is perfectly correct; I indicated earlier that the element of having two classes might make the Bill hybrid, although I am not sure. Hybridity is difficult to define, but I understand that experts recognise it as soon as they see it. It is like seeing one's wife, mother or father a long distance away; we glance at them and know who they are but if we had to describe them we could not....

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Disqualification for Ministerial Office in Northern Ireland (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: That is the difficulty. One of the Deputy Speakers concluded earlier that that was not the case. However, if he were to consider the points that have been raised since he made that decision, he might be in time to change his mind. I hope to have a chance, later in the day, to examine the issue more closely to see whether there is a danger of hybridity. The Bill would then have to go through...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Disqualification for Ministerial Office in Northern Ireland (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: I thought that the Bill was absurd, that it fell far short in the expertise of its drafting, and that it fell below the philosophical standards to which we are accustomed. However, I realise that the Government have a huge majority. In Northern Ireland, we have the word "thrawn"; it means being awkward for the sake of it. That describes the attitude of the Government. They have a huge...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Disqualification for Ministerial Office in Northern Ireland (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: Fond as my memories are of the two gentlemen in question when they were Members of the House, I will not follow up the question put by the hon. Member for Mid-Bedfordshire (Mr. Sayeed), other than to point out that if Mr. Harrison were still a Whip, there would not be so few Labour Members in the Committee—they would all be here. They would all have to answer to him—heaven help them if...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Disqualification for Ministerial Office in Northern Ireland (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: Of course, Mr. Lord. However, I hate to leave the subject of Mr. Harrison because I had such high regard for him. We all like to remember our departed friends—departed only from the House, not in any other sense. The Bill is a bad one. We have endeavoured to improve it with these amendments and others. The Government know that all the amendments are perfectly acceptable, but they cannot...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Disqualification for Ministerial Office in Northern Ireland (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: The problem is, Mr. Lord, that the procedures of the House will determine whether we can have a separate Division on each amendment, so I am just serving notice that we want separate Divisions on them. There is also the question of amendments Nos. 7 and 9. I want to know whether the Minister is prepared to accept the wording of those two amendments, or whether he will go away, think about...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Amendment of Section 1(1)(E) of the Disqualification Acts (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: I moved the amendment and there has been a small amount of debate on it. Many questions have been put to the Minister but, sadly, he has declined to answer them. The Minister suggested that clause 2 was inserted at the insistence of the Ulster Unionist party leader, the First Minister. Was the entire clause inserted at his insistence? It would have been a remarkably short Bill without it....

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Amendment of Section 1(1)(E) of the Disqualification Acts (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: On the face of it, that is correct. However, we have been told that, under certain circumstances, manuscript amendments would be accepted. If the Minister tabled a manuscript amendment, no doubt the Table Office would accept it and you, Sir Alan, could select it so that we could discuss and rapidly agree to it. It is just a matter of the Minister scribbling it out, perhaps with a little help....

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Amendment of Section 1(1)(E) of the Disqualification Acts (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: The Minister refers to representations made after the Bill was published, but I am talking about the consultations, which he has already disclosed in part, that took place before the Bill was drawn up.

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Amendment of Section 1(1)(E) of the Disqualification Acts (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: No doubt, the Minister will want to intervene on me.

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Amendment of Section 1(1)(E) of the Disqualification Acts (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: As my hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, South (Rev. Martin Smyth) has already pointed out, members of our party are not involved in the usual channels. Two weeks ago, he made representations asking for information, but received none.

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Amendment of Section 1(1)(E) of the Disqualification Acts (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: That makes us more suspicious. I was even more annoyed that I caught the flu bug over Christmas and so was not in any state to plough through a Bill, even one as short as this one. The Minister has still not dealt with my point, which is that there is a difference between representations made after the Bill was published and the consultation that he admits took place with Sinn Fein and the...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Amendment of Section 1(1)(E) of the Disqualification Acts (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: Regrettably, Sir Alan, my right hon. Friend the Member for Upper Bann (Mr. Trimble), who composed the amendment, is not present. I do not know whether it arose from his consultation with the Government, or whether he tabled it in sheer frustration at not having had the opportunity for full consultation before the Bill was published—

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Amendment of Section 1(1)(E) of the Disqualification Acts (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: As you know, Sir Alan, I am always willing to move amendments, no matter how scant my knowledge. I do so in the sure expectation, which has been fulfilled in today's debate, that as the debate proceeds more information will seep out. As more information has been provided throughout today's debate and yesterday's, we have become more suspicious about the intentions underlying the Bill—

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Amendment of Section 1(1)(E) of the Disqualification Acts (25 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: That was a welcome decision by the House, because it gives us time to explore the issues in moderate detail. We still have a long time to go—we do not even have to stop until this time tomorrow morning. There is no reason not to keep going, as everyone appears perfectly content and well settled down for a long stay. I was a Member of Parliament in the 1970s, when such evenings were quite—


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