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Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael Lord): The House is obviously extremely careful about such matters. I would advise the hon. Lady to pass the document to which she has referred to the Serjeant at Arms for his examination.

Mr. David Heathcoat-Amory (Wells): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Yesterday, European Standing Committee B debated the apparent 32 per cent. increase in the size of the United Kingdom's contributions to the European Union budget for next year, which will take them to £8.3 billion. I say the "apparent" 32 per cent. increase, because that was the figure cited in the original papers submitted to the Committee; but a late paper submitted on the day of the debate suggested that the real figure might be less, although the Economic Secretary failed to give any alternative figure and failed to specify the real position. That late paper was never received by some hon. Members who attended the Committee.

In view of the lack of timely documentation about this matter and the fact that there is still confusion about the real increase in the size of our contributions to the European budget next year, I submit to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that the scrutiny requirements under Standing Order No. 119 have not been discharged. The House should not now proceed to vote on the motion before it, which would give authority to the Government to cave in to that massive increase by discharging that scrutiny requirement.

Mr. William Cash (Stone): Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I thoroughly endorse what the shadow Chief Secretary has said. As a member of the Select Committee on European Legislation and one who participated in the so-called debate yesterday in European Standing Committee B, I have never seen such outrageous behaviour. The Government treated the Committee with contempt.

24 Jul 1997 : Column 1082

The documents, which were produced incredibly late, were unsatisfactory and in a mess. They completely contradicted the recommendations by the Select Committee last year that documents should be provided to all Committees in good time. Yesterday's events were an outrage and a disgraceful slur on the activities of the House.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The Chair is not responsible for what goes on in Standing Committees. As for the budget increase, the House will have to decide on the motion when it comes before it.

Rev. Martin Smyth (Belfast, South): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I understand that the Chair is the protector of Back-Bench and minority rights, so I seek some guidance from you. In 1983, the leaders of the Northern Ireland parties were advised that there were four places on the Select Committees for Members representing Northern Ireland. This time, after names have been submitted, just one Member from Northern Ireland will sit on the departmental Select Committees.

I have written to different people about the matter, and have received no clarification. Given the new arrangement between the Liberal Democrats and the Government, perhaps we might now be the custodians of minority rights in the House.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: I have noted what the hon. Gentleman has said, but that is not a matter for the Chair.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Further to the point of order raised by my right hon. Friend the Member for Wells (Mr. Heathcoat-Amory), is it acceptable to this House of Commons that matters that could involve the spending an additional not £2 million or £200 million, but £2 billion, which would be allocated to the European Union, should deal with in a Committee upstairs rather than on the Floor of the House? Is it acceptable that the documents presented on that occasion were inadequate and that one did not appear until the day of the Standing Committee?

Is this not a matter that you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, should deal with as a custodian of the rights of Back Benchers in the House? I view it as a very serious matter that the taxpayers of this country may have to ante up an additional 32.5 per cent. as our contribution to the European Union--in sterling, equivalent to possibly £2 billion. It is wrong that we had to decide that with inadequate documents, which were provided late to the Committee. Should not this matter be properly and fully debated on the Floor of the House, so that all hon. Members could participate?

Sir Patrick Cormack (South Staffordshire): Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. May I ask you to ask Madam Speaker to issue a note for guidance on the provision of documents indicating when they should properly be available so that Members on both sides of the House have a proper and adequate opportunity to know what they will be discussing?

Mr. Dale Campbell-Savours (Workington): Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. May I ask you to recall an incident last year in the same Committee Room when we were discussing almost precisely the same

24 Jul 1997 : Column 1083

issue? Mr. Phillip Oppenheim was the then Treasury Minister, and many of the hon. Members who have made points of order today were present then, and made exactly the same case as they have done today. The Government's response was to ignore them.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Madam Speaker is always most concerned to ensure that the correct documents are before the House and I have no doubt will note what has been said. I repeat what I said earlier: the Chair--[Interruption.] Order. The Chair has no responsibility for what goes on in Standing Committees. Hon. Members will have an opportunity to vote on the matter when it comes before them.

Mrs. Theresa May (Maidenhead): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. May I seek your guidance on the provision of information to hon. Members by Ministers? Last week, I tabled a written question to the President of the Board of Trade for answer on a named day asking when she intended to publish her Green Paper on the late payment of debt. On Monday, I received a holding response to say that the right hon. Lady would respond to my question as soon as possible.

On Tuesday morning, I read the answer to my question in The Times. Following publication of that answer in the newspaper, a response was sent to me by the right hon. Lady which confirmed the information that had been made available to that newspaper. Is it right that questions that are legitimately raised by hon. Members under the Standing Orders of the House should go unanswered while those answers are given to journalists?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The Chair is not responsible for the content of answers to questions of that kind, but hon. Members certainly should be made aware of them before the press. The hon. Lady's point is well made, and will be noted.

Mr. Graham Brady (Altrincham and Sale, West): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am a member of the Select Committee on Education and Employment which met for the first time at 4.30 pm yesterday afternoon. At that meeting we discussed a number of matters, the details of which I will not go into now, but they included whether we should divide the Committee into two Sub-Committees and who should chair them.

I was somewhat concerned to find that a copy of the Evening Standard, which I have passed to you, and which was purchased at 2.30 pm, two full hours before the Committee met, quoted one member of the Select Ctte, the hon. Member for Barking (Ms Hodge), to whom I have given notice, as the Chairman of one of the Sub-Committees. That is a point of concern, because not only did that report presuppose the election of that member as one of those Chairmen: it also presupposed that the Committee would decide to form those two Sub-Committees.

Neither of those decisions had been taken by the Committee, because it had not even met. I regard it as a matter of the gravest concern that that information should have appeared in the press. Could you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, investigate that matter on behalf of the House?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The Chair is not responsible for speculation that may appear in the press in advance of such events.

24 Jul 1997 : Column 1084


Mobile Telephones (Prohibition of Use in Designated Places)

Mr. Michael Fabricant presented a Bill to prohibit the sending or receiving of mobile telephone calls in restaurants, railway carriages, buses, cinemas, theatres and other designated places: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Friday 13 February 1998, and to be printed [Bill 57].


Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 119(9) (European Standing Committees),

1998 Preliminary Draft Budget

The House divided: Ayes 319, Noes 111.

Division No. 65
[5.49 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)
Armstrong, Ms Hilary
Ashton, Joe
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne (Aberd'n S)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony
Bennett, Andrew F
Benton, Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Blunkett, Rt Hon David
Boateng, Paul
Borrow, David
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brown, Rt Hon Nick (Newcastle E)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond (Kilmarnock)
Buck, Ms Karen
Burgon, Colin
Byers, Stephen
Caborn, Richard
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Cann, Jamie
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Chisholm, Malcolm
Church, Ms Judith
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain (Hammersmith)
Colman, Tony (Putney)
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cooper, Yvette
Corbett, Robin
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Ms Jean
Cousins, Jim
Cox, Tom
Cranston, Ross
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Dalyell, Tam
Darvill, Keith
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Rt Hon Ron (Caerphilly)
Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, John
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, David
Drown, Ms Julia
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Ellman, Ms Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Ewing, Mrs Margaret
Fearn, Ronnie
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Don (Bath)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foster, Michael John (Worcester)
Foulkes, George
Fyfe, Maria
Galbraith, Sam
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Mrs Linda
Godman, Dr Norman A
Goggins, Paul
Golding, Mrs Llin
Gordon, Mrs Eileen
Grant, Bernie
Grogan, John
Gunnell, John
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Harman, Rt Hon Ms Harriet
Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, Ms Patricia
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Hodge, Ms Margaret
Hoey, Kate
Home Robertson, John
Hoon, Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Howells, Dr Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian (Tamworth)
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Ms Fiona (Newark)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Ms Jenny
(Wolverh'ton SW)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jowell, Ms Tessa
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Mrs Ann (Brentford)
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Lawrence, Ms Jackie
Laxton, Bob
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Linton, Martin
Livingstone, Ken
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Lock, David
Love, Andrew
McAllion, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McDonagh, Siobhain
Macdonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Ms Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNulty, Tony
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Marek, Dr John
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Meale, Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, Alun
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute)
Milburn, Alan
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Morgan, Rhodri (Cardiff W)
Morley, Elliot
Morris, Ms Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Morris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon)
Mountford, Kali
Mowlam, Rt Hon Marjorie
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Olner, Bill
Osborne, Mrs Sandra
Pearson, Ian
Pendry, Tom
Perham, Ms Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Pollard, Kerry
Pope, Greg
Pound, Stephen
Powell, Sir Raymond
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prescott, Rt Hon John
Primarolo, Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Quin, Ms Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie (Scarborough)
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd
Raynsford, Nick
Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Reid, Dr John (Hamilton N)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Cov'try NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rogers, Allan
Rooker, Jeff
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Rowlands, Ted
Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Ms Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Ryan, Ms Joan
Salter, Martin
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Ms Helen
Spellar, John
Squire, Ms Rachel
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stott, Roger
Straw, Rt Hon Jack
Stuart, Ms Gisela (Edgbaston)
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Swinney, John
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Touhig, Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Vaz, Keith
Vis, Dr Rudi
Wallace, James
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Ms Claire
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Willis, Phil
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wise, Audrey
Wood, Mike
Woolas, Phil
Wray, James
Wright, Dr Tony (Cannock)
Wright, Tony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Kevin Hughes and
Mr. Jon Owen Jones.


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Amess, David
Ancram, Rt Hon Michael
Arbuthnot, James
Baldry, Tony
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Burns, Simon
Butterfill, John
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney
(Chipping Barnet)
Chope, Christopher
Collins, Tim
Colvin, Michael
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cran, James
Curry, Rt Hon David
Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice)
Day, Stephen
Donaldson, Jeffrey
Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Duncan, Alan
Duncan Smith, Iain
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Evans, Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Flight, Howard
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Fox, Dr Liam
Fraser, Christopher
Gibb, Nick
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair
Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Gray, James
Green, Damian
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Gummer, Rt Hon John
Hague, Rt Hon William
Hammond, Philip
Hawkins, Nick
Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David
Horam, John
Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lansley, Andrew
Letwin, Oliver
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Lidington, David
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
McIntosh, Miss Anne
MacKay, Andrew
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Madel, Sir David
Major, Rt Hon John
Malins, Humfrey
Maples, John
Maude, Rt Hon Francis
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Merchant, Piers
Nicholls, Patrick
Norman, Archie
Paterson, Owen
Prior, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Ross, William (E Lond'y)
Rowe, Andrew (Faversham)
Ruffley, David
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs Gillian
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Richard
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Streeter, Gary
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Temple-Morris, Peter
Townend, John
Trend, Michael
Tyrie, Andrew
Walter, Robert
Whitney, Sir Raymond
Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Willetts, David
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Woodward, Shaun
Yeo, Tim
Young, Rt Hon Sir George

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Oliver Heald and
Mr. John Whittingdale.

Question accordingly agreed to.

24 Jul 1997 : Column 1087

24 Jul 1997 : Column 1088

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