Results 281–300 of 2018 for speaker:Mr William Ross

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

Mr William Ross: That is one reason why I treat this as a probing amendment. Someone who goes to either part of the legislature of the Irish Republic must be an Irish citizen. However, as I pointed out yesterday, those in the Irish football team might not always be considered as members of the Irish nation. Some of them qualify to play for it because they have an Irish grandfather. I have heard the team...

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

Mr William Ross: That is a matter which could be resolved only by reference to the rules of the Dail and by reference to the Government of the Irish Republic. Perhaps, we could set up a committee between this House and the Dail to discuss and explore all the problems that might arise if we made a mistake. For example, we would not want to say that the hon. Gentleman could go to the Dail and then find at the...

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

Mr William Ross: On many occasions, it has been breakfast time on the second day before the result is announced.

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

Mr William Ross: The hon. Gentleman draws attention to a failing. However, he will understand that the Member who was carrying out his duties in this place would be throwing an extra burden on the other Members of the Dail elected. It would be possible for him to be only a representative of his party. The boundaries are often drawn as they are by the governing party because it knows how people vote. That...

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

Mr William Ross: The STV was wished upon us in Northern Ireland by the House of Commons. I note that the Government have cold feet and do not want to wish it upon themselves. Long may that happy situation persist because it is the most abominable system. Having had experience of other forms of proportional representation in this place, there is a certain coolness among those on the Government Benches towards...

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

Mr William Ross: As the hon. Gentleman will be aware, my response to my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) arose because of his intervention. That being so, I did not have time to explore the point that he was raising. I wish that that time had been available to me because it might have been possible to have considered the issue in more depth. I shall keep in mind what he said and I hope...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill (24 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: I listened carefully to the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes), for he made a very interesting speech. Indeed, he made a number of interesting points last week on the Representation of the People Bill. However, if he gets round to writing anything into the Oath about the constitution, he will find that not only Irish nationalists but Scottish and Welsh nationalists...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill (24 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: There is that legal impediment, but one need only look at its football team to see how widely the definition of a citizen of the Republic of Ireland can be spread.

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill (24 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: No, it would not include the right hon. and learned Gentleman. He is a generation—

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill (24 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: I repent in sackcloth and ashes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for having been carried away by an interesting side issue. In many ways, this House of representatives of the people of the United Kingdom is the very heart and soul of the nation. As such, its duty is to preserve the national interest and to provide for the welfare of all its citizens. That welfare is not merely economic; it extends...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill (24 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: I shall address that point later in another context. However, I can tell the hon. Gentleman that any Minister in the Dail and the President of the Republic of Ireland must take an oath to uphold the constitution of that state. That is their first duty. If a person who had taken that oath were to be asked to serve in another legislature, there would be an immediate and deep conflict of...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill (24 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: Members do not even have to be electors here. That point was made earlier. I am not sure whether their sponsors have to be electors—

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill (24 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: The Minister indicates that the sponsors have to be electors, but not the candidates, who can come from anywhere. That is somewhat daft. A litany of similar great and small concessions have been made to the IRA in recent weeks, to try to persuade it to divest itself of its weaponry and become a normal political party. Such actions are to no avail, because the IRA's overriding imperative is...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill (24 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: My hon. Friend is right. The Government's actions convince us that no matter what the IRA says or does, its demands will be met and it will have to pay nothing in return. The Belfast agreement was supposed to bury old arguments about the constitutional position of Northern Ireland. I never believed that that would happen. However, those who believed that will find that the Bill will reignite...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill (24 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: The hon. Gentleman makes an interesting point, which has not escaped the notice of Ulster Unionist Members. During the Falklands war, there were very different opinions in the House and the Dail. What would happen to a Member who was sitting in both places in such circumstances?

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill (24 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: Will the Minister give way?

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill (24 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: The Minister said earlier that Members of Parliament could also be elected to the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly. However, the Bill does not bar them from becoming Ministers in those devolved Administrations. Why not?

Points of Order (24 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: On a point of order, Madam Speaker. Do you agree that questions that are more than about two sentences long give the person responding too much scope? Would not it be better if questions were restricted to a couple of sentences? We would get through business much more quickly.

Orders of the Day — Representation of the People Bill: Pilot Schemes (20 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving way. There is a point which, as far as I am aware, has not been raised in the debate—the integrity of the ballot box which, I assume, will have to be sealed and collected at the end of the first day of voting. Where will the ballot boxes be stored? Who will look after them and ensure that they are not tampered with? Who will make sure that the...

Orders of the Day — Representation of the People Bill: Revision of Procedures in the Light of Pilot Schemes (20 Jan 2000)

Mr William Ross: I entirely agree with what was said by the right hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Mr. Forth). We are discussing an important part of the Bill, which I think should have been dealt with by means of primary legislation. I have been in the House long enough to know what "made by statutory instrument"—words that appear in clause 11(4) —means. Many statutory instruments appear on Order...


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