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Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley

Paisley, Rev Ian

Patnick, Irvine

Patten, John (Oxford W)

Pawsey, James

Pike, Peter L.

Rhodes James, Robert

Richardson, Jo

Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)

Rossi, Sir Hugh

Ruddock, Joan

Rumbold, Mrs Angela

Ryder, Richard

Sackville, Hon Tom

Sayeed, Jonathan

Sedgemore, Brian

Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')

Shelton, Sir William (Streatham)

Shersby, Michael

Shore, Rt Hon Peter

Sims, Roger

Skeet, Sir Trevor

Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)

Speed, Keith

Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)

Stanbrook, Ivor

Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John

Steinberg, Gerry

Stern, Michael

Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)

Sumberg, David

Summerson, Hugo

Taylor, John M (Solihull)

Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)

Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)

Thorne, Neil

Thurnham, Peter

Tracey, Richard

Tredinnick, David

Waddington, Rt Hon David

Wakeham, Rt Hon John

Wall, Pat

Waller, Gary

Wheeler, John

Whitney, Ray

Widdecombe, Ann

Wiggin, Jerry

Wigley, Dafydd

Wilkinson, John

Winnick, David

Winterton, Mrs Ann

Tellers for the Ayes :

Mr. Alan Howarth and

Mr. Sydney Chapman.


Abbott, Ms Diane

Allen, Graham

Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy

Banks, Tony (Newham NW)

Beith, A. J.

Cohen, Harry

Corbyn, Jeremy

Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)

Fearn, Ronald

Gordon, Mildred

Heffer, Eric S.

Hughes, Simon (Southwark)

Johnston, Sir Russell

Livingstone, Ken

Loyden, Eddie

Madden, Max

Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)

Nellist, Dave

Parry, Robert

Skinner, Dennis

Snape, Peter

Steel, Rt Hon David

Wise, Mrs Audrey

Tellers for the Noes :

Mr. Bob Cryer and

Mr. Andrew F. Bennett.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Several Hon. Members rose --

Mr. Speaker : I am on my feet and I shall take the Business of the House motion first.



That, at the sitting on Monday 23rd January, notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Orders No. 14 (Exempted business) and No. 15 (Prayers against statutory instruments, &c. (negative procedure), Motions in the name of Mr. Secretary Rifkind or of Mr. Neil Kinnock relating to Housing (Scotland) may be proceeded with, though opposed, for three hours after the first of them has been entered upon ; and if proceedings thereon have not been previously disposed of, Mr. Speaker shall, at the expiration of that period, put successively the Question already proposed from the Chair and the Question on the remaining Motion which may then be made.-- [Mr. John M. Taylor.] Several Hon. Members rose --

Mr. Speaker : Order. I shall take Miss Widdecombe first.

Miss Widdecombe : On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I consider that the proceedings in the Chamber today whereby I, in whose name the main motion of the day stood, have not been allowed to speak at all, have brought Parliament and the democratic workings of this place into

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disrepute. I have only one thing to say as a message to all those who have held up this motion today--we shall be back, and back, and back.

Several Hon. Members rose --

Mr. Speaker : Order. I will deal with all the points of order at once.

Mr. A. J. Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed) : Will the Leader of the House reflect on whether he can say anything by way of a brief statement today or later about how the House can be enabled to arrive at a decision on matters that have been before it for many hours, without private Members' business being disrupted?

Mr. Cryer : Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the remarks that have been bandied about by the hon. Member for Maidstone (Miss Widdecombe) in respect of our proceedings will you confirm that you and your Deputies have conducted the proceedings entirely within the framework of the Standing Orders of the House and that there has been no parliamentary mugging or filibustering? My hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) was never once called to order throughout his speech. I should be grateful if you would confirm that Parliament has been conducted entirely properly today.

Several Hon. Members rose --

Mr. Speaker : Allow me to deal with this point now.

I was here for the beginning of the debate and, as the House knows, for the last hour. While I was in the Chair--and, I am sure, while my Deputies were in the Chair--the debate proceeded in order. When occasionally that was not so, the hon. Members concerned were called to order.

I regret that the hon. Member for Maidstone (Miss Widdecombe) was unable to put her motion today, as it was first on the Order Paper, but it was a procedural motion. I strongly endorse what the Chairman of the Procedure Committee has said and hope that we shall not go through this kind of thing again.

Sir Bernard Braine : What has emerged today is not that anything was out of order ; the Chair would not have permitted that in any case. What was said was perfectly permissible and had to be listened to. However, it is clear from today's experience, and all that has gone before, that procedures which are firmly rooted in the 19th century are totally incapable of permitting Bills that have passed through several stages in the House with a substantial majority to make any further progress. There is something so wrong in that that we can expect a considerable public backlash.

Perhaps you, Mr. Speaker, as the guardian of our liberties and I, as Father of the House, can say--not necessarily better than anyone else, but because it is based on many years of experience--that the reputation of Parliament is now seriously at stake. Mr. Speaker, I hope that somehow or other you will be able with your advisors, the Government and Opposition Leaders, to ensure that the Procedure Committee takes action. We should take note of that here and now before greater harm is done to the reputation of the House.

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Mr. Speaker : It is for the Leader of the House, who has a very influential and respected position, to put his proposals to the Procedure Committee. I am sure that it will consider them and I hope that it will.

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