Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons Fourth Report


PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMMITTEE RELATING TO THE REPORT

WEDNESDAY 4TH MARCH 1998

Members present:


Mrs Ann Taylor, in the Chair

Mr David DrewMr Clive Soley
Sir Peter EmeryDr Phyllis Starkey
Mr Mike HallMr Andrew Stunell
Mr Peter L PikeMr Stephen Twigg
Mrs Gillian Shephard Mr Paul Tyler
Mr Richard Shepherd Mr Nicholas Winterton


The Committee deliberated.

Draft Report [Conduct in the Chamber], proposed by the Chairman, brought up and read.

Ordered, That the draft Report be read a second time, paragraph by paragraph.

Paragraphs 1 to 26 read and agreed to.

Paragraph 27 read, as follows:

"There will be of course occasions when a Privy Councillor has a good case for being called, not simply because he or she is a Privy Councillor, but for some other reason. He or she may be Chairman of the appropriate Select Committee or party committee, or may formerly have been the Minister responsible for the policy being debated. All other Members, senior and new, may have equally good claims to be called, whether for constituency reasons, expertise on the subject perhaps acquired before coming to the House, or on some other grounds. The essential point which we cannot stress too strongly is that the Speaker must have freedom to regard all Members as equal. In so far as she or her predecessors have felt obliged to follow the guidance set out in the current edition of Erskine May, there has not been such absolute freedom. Henceforth there should be".

Amendment proposed, in line 7, to leave out the word 'must' and insert the word 'should'.-(Sir Peter Emery.)

Question put, That the Amendment be made.

The Committee divided.

Ayes, 1 Noes, 9
Sir Peter Emery   Mr David Drew
Mr Mike Hall
Mr Peter L. Pike
Mrs Gillian Shephard
Mr Richard Shepherd
Dr Phyllis Starkey
Mr Andrew Stunell
Mr Stephen Twigg
Mr Nicholas Winterton

Another Amendment proposed, in line 8, to leave out the words 'regard all Members as equal' and insert the words 'call whomsoever is considered as likely to contribute most to the debate'.-(Sir Peter Emery.)

Question put, That the Amendment be made.

The Committee divided.

Ayes, 1 Noes, 9
Sir Peter Emery   Mr David Drew
Mr Mike Hall
Mr Peter L. Pike
Mrs Gillian Shephard
Mr Richard Shepherd
Dr Phyllis Starkey
Mr Andrew Stunell
Mr Stephen Twigg
Mr Nicholas Winterton



Another Amendment proposed, in line 9, to leave out from the word 'May' to the end of the paragraph and insert the words 'we understand that by service or position in the House Privy Councillors play a particular part in the working of Parliament but this need not ensure a right to be called whenever they rise'.-(Sir Peter Emery.)

Question put, That the Amendment be made.

The Committee divided.

Ayes, 1 Noes, 9
Sir Peter Emery   Mr David Drew
Mr Mike Hall
Mr Peter L. Pike
Mrs Gillian Shephard
Mr Richard Shepherd
Dr Phyllis Starkey
Mr Andrew Stunell
Mr Stephen Twigg
Mr Nicholas Winterton


Question put, That the paragraph stand part of the Report.

The Committee divided.

Ayes, 9 Noes, 1
Mr David Drew Sir Peter Emery
Mr Mike Hall
Mr Peter L. Pike
Mrs Gillian Shephard
Mr Richard Shepherd
Dr Phyllis Starkey
Mr Andrew Stunell
Mr Stephen Twigg
Mr Nicholas Winterton


Paragraph 28 read, as follows:

"We therefore recommend that the Speaker need be under no obligation to give any precedence to Privy Councillors in debate. We do not regard it as necessary for the House to pass any specific resolution to this effect; the simple act of adopting this Report will suffice".

Amendment proposed, in line1, to leave out from the word 'that' to the word 'to' in line 2 and insert the words 'whilst considering the role of Privy Councillors the Speaker should not be under any obligation for precedence to have to be given'.-(Sir Peter Emery.)

Question put, That the Amendment be made.

The Committee divided.

Ayes, 1 Noes, 9
Sir Peter Emery   Mr David Drew
Mr Mike Hall
Mr Peter L. Pike
Mrs Gillian Shephard
Mr Richard Shepherd
Dr Phyllis Starkey
Mr Andrew Stunell
Mr Stephen Twigg
Mr Nicholas Winterton

Question put, That the paragraph stand part of the Report.

The Committee divided.

Ayes, 9 Noes, 1
Mr David Drew Sir Peter Emery
Mr Mike Hall
Mr Peter L. Pike
Mrs Gillian Shephard
Mr Richard Shepherd
Dr Phyllis Starkey
Mr Andrew Stunell
Mr Stephen Twigg
Mr Nicholas Winterton

Paragraphs 29 to 81 read and agreed to.

Summary of Recommendations read and agreed to.

Question put, That the Report be the Fourth Report of the Committee to the House.

The Committee divided.

Ayes, 9 Noes, 0
Mr David Drew
Mr Mike Hall
Mr Peter L. Pike
Mrs Gillian Shephard
Mr Richard Shepherd
Dr Phyllis Starkey
Mr Andrew Stunell
Mr Stephen Twigg
Mr Nicholas Winterton


Ordered, That the Chairman do make the Report to the House.

The Committee further deliberated.

  [Adjourned till Wednesday 11th March at half-past Nine o'clock.


 
previous page contents

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 1998
Prepared 9 March 1998