Mr Selwyn Lloyd: That is not really a matter of order.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I have said that it is not a point of order. I have allowed the House considerable latitude this afternoon in asking about ministerial statements and answers which are nothing to do with the Chair.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. First, that is not a point of order. Second, I hope that each side will treat the House with courtesy.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I call the Secretary of State for Social Services.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. Has this anything to do with the supply of documents, or is it a different point of order?
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. The hon. Member is trying hard and ingeniously, but what the Government do is not a matter for the Chair. This can come within the ambit of privilege only if it refers to the proceedings of a Committee of the House. The hon. Member's point is a legitimate one to make in a speech in a debate, but it is not a matter of order, and I must so rule.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I have to inform the House that for the debate on Thursday 18th December on the Second Reading of the Consolidated Fund Bill, hon. Members may hand into my office by 9.30 on the morning of Wednesday 17th December their names and the topics which they wish to raise. The ballot will be carried out as on the last occasion. An hon. Member may hand in only his own name and one topic. The debate...
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. I had serious doubts whether I should allow this Question. I thought it right to allow it so that we could possibly ascertain the facts, in the chance that by ascertaining the facts in this case a similar tragedy might be avoided. I had no intention of allowing it to become an argument on the merits of the doctors' dispute.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Mrs. Thatcher—Business question.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I ask the House to calm down. I have allowed the Minister to speak extremely frankly. It is not a matter of one side or another. The Minister said exactly what he thought. I have been perfectly fair. If the hon. Gentleman would use that kind of epithet about me, he must do it by motion.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. I hope that the House will calm down. I allowed the Minister to express his view very firmly. He has done so in no uncertain terms. I have been perfectly fair.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. I listened carefully, and the hon. Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Shersby) did not say that. However, he brought in the whole question of the hospital dispute. He did not make the direct suggestion that the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) claims. I would not have allowed him to do so.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I hope that the House will calm down. It is a difficult problem for the Chair to know when to allow a Private Notice Question. In this instance I considered it proper to do so as I thought that some facts might be brought out which might obviate a similar tragic event. I allowed the hon. Member for Uxbridge to ask a supplementary question and there was a robust reply from the Minister. I...
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I ask for the help of the House. My efforts to curtail the last item of business were not altogether successful. I must inform the House that nearly 40 right hon. and hon. Members want to speak in the debate on the death penalty. I hope that hon. Members will ask brief questions about the business of the House.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. I call the hon. Member for Nuneaton (Mr. Huckfield).
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Before I call the next speaker, I should announce that I have not selected either of the amendments.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I think that the hon. Member is wrong. However, I take note.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. Let us have short speeches so that both sides of the argument can be put.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I call the hon. Member for Belfast, South (Mr. Bradford). He has promised to be very short.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: We all have an interest in the Queen. Every hon. Member decides for himself whether he has an interest to declare to the House.