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Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.-- [Mr. John M. Taylor.]
Mr. Dennis Skinner (Bolsover) : The reason for this debate is partly to try to redress much of the imbalance that has occurred in the Tory press in Derbyshire and nationally about rates and rate support grants--
I refer you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, to today's Order Paper and in particular to page 1891, of the remaining Orders of the Day and Notice of Motions. No. 36, tabled in my name and the name of my hon. Friends the Members for Erewash (Mr. Rost) and for Derbyshire, West (Mr. McLoughlin), refers to the services of Derbyshire county council and states that, since 1988, it
"has wasted public money on political propaganda, including television advertising and publishing a tabloid newspaper." I shall not read it all, but it highlights the fact that ratepayers of Derbyshire have had to suffer a 168 per cent. increase since 1982.
Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Paul Dean) Order. What is the point of order for me?
Mr. Knight : If you turn to page 1858 of the Order Paper, Mr. Deputy Speaker, you will notice that the terms of the Adjournment debate standing in the name of the hon. Member for Bolsover refer to Derbyshire county council services. I refer you to Erskine May, page 372 and the section headed :
"General restrictions on motions for the adjournment of the House."
It says in paragraph (a) :
"Members are precluded, under the rule of anticipation from discussing on an adjournment motion a notice of motion or an order of the day which already stands upon the notice paper or order book." I have already on the order book for today a notice of motion dealing with the disgraceful waste of ratepayers' money by Derbyshire county council-- [Interruption.] --and I submit to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that the hon. Member for Bolsover is precluded from raising this matter on the Adjournment under the rule of anticipation.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Order. Under Standing Order No. 26 it has to be determined whether a discussion is out of order on the ground of anticipation. Regard must be had by the occupant of the Chair "to the probability of the matter anticipated being brought before the House within a reasonable time."
I know of no plans for the motion standing in the name of the hon. Member for Derby, North (Mr. Knight) being brought forward for debate, and indeed that was confirmed by the Leader of the House at business questions today. I am not, therefore, prepared to apply the rule of anticipation in this case.
Column 612today. But I have re-tabled my motion for tomorrow morning and I wondered whether--indeed, it could be the case--it would be reached in tomorrow's business.
Several Hon. Members rose --
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Order. I will listen to the point of order from the hon. Member for Derbyshire, West (Mr. McLoughlin). I must remind him and the House that we are now taking time out of the Adjournment debate.
Mr. McLoughlin : My point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, relates to the Official Report of 8 March 1988, column 296. I refer to an Adjournment debate which I had about Derbyshire county council. I draw to the attention of the House--and I have previously drawn it to the attention of the Clerks --the fact that the county council responded to my Adjournment debate in its usual hysterical way by accusing me, in having an Adjournment debate, of hiding behind parliamentary privilege. It is--
Mr. McLoughlin : I raise an important point with you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, because I have heard tonight from various sources that the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) and his hon. Friends--some of whom I permitted to speak in my debate--intend to speak for the entire time of the Adjournment debate and not allow time for a Minister to reply--[H on. Members :-- "Shame."]
Several Hon. Members rose --
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Order. I remind the House that the last half hour of every day is given up as very precious time for an hon. Member to raise a point and for a Minister to reply to it. I remind the House also that the Member whose Adjournment subject is tabled for Thursday night is chosen by Mr. Speaker. I hope that the House will respect that, and that right hon. and hon. Members will not interrupt the Adjournment debate with further points of order.
Mr. Richard Holt (Langbaurgh) : Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I listened carefully to your comments about the selection of Thursday night Adjournment debates. To paraphrase your remarks, you said that Mr. Speaker chooses which debate is to be selected on the basis of the right hon. or hon. Member in whose name it is. I refer you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, to "Erskine May", which states that the choice has nothing to do with the right hon. or hon. Member concerned, but is made on the basis of the subject matter. In the light of that, will you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, reflect on whether it is the hon. Member who has the Floor of the House or the subject matter? Is it conceivable that my hon. Friend the Member for Derbyshire, West (Mr. McLoughlin) has the ear of Mr. Speaker, rather than the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner), who, apart from the fact that he makes a lot of noise, carries no special weight in the House?
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Order. The Adjournment debate that concludes each day is a very special half-hour for the right hon. or hon. Member concerned, who may be from either side of the House. I hope that all right hon. and hon. Members will respect the Adjournment, knowing that they may on some future occasion have that opportunity themselves.
Mr. Holt rose--
Mr. Holt rose--
Mr. Ken Hargreaves : I beg to move, That strangers do withdraw. Notice being taken that strangers were present, Mr. Deputy Speaker,-- pursuant to Standing Order No. 143 (Withdrawal of strangers from House), put forthwith the Question, That strangers do withdraw :--
The House divided : Ayes 1, Noes 46.
Division No. 101] [12.23 am
Tellers for the Ayes :
Mr. Nicholas Bennett and
Mr. Alan Amos.
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn
Column 614Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)
Hunt, David (Wirral W)
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Pike, Peter L.
Sackville, Hon Tom
Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)
Twinn, Dr Ian
Waddington, Rt Hon David
Young, Sir George (Acton)
Tellers for the Noes :
Mr. Robert G. Hughes and
Mr. Edward Leigh.
Question accordingly negatived.