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Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow): On a pukka point of order, Madam Speaker, that has lasting significance for the House. I refer to the difference between the questions that can be tabled in the Commons and in the Lords. I believe that your office has had some notice of the background to this matter. Today, I attempted--I make no criticism whatever of the Clerks at the Table Office--to table the following question to the Home Secretary:
In the twilight of your Speakership, Madam Speaker, could you bequeath to us a statement about the desirability of some synchronisation between the Commons Table Office and the Lords Table Office? As the Lords makes more and more claims for itself, surely it is a question of sauce for the Commons gander and sauce for the Lords goose? If the House of Lords is to change, there should be some synchronisation of the criteria used in the Table Offices. Personally, I would like the Table Office rules in the Commons relaxed so that we can ask what we really mean.
Mr. Eric Forth (Bromley and Chislehurst): Further to that point of order, Madam Speaker. Can you confirm that there has not been in the past nor will there be--certainly for as long as you are Speaker--any tightening of the
Madam Speaker: I am pleased by the tribute that the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) paid to the Clerks of the Table Office, who do a very good job on behalf of all Members of this House. I am also grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving me a little notice of what he called a "pukka" point of order. I would not quite say that, but it was long one and, having had notice of it, I have been able to make thorough inquiries.
I have seen the notice to which the hon. Gentleman referred and which he read out to the House. I am satisfied, as he is, of course, that it has been dealt with under our rules. What the House of Lords does in relation to questions is entirely a matter for that House, just as our rules are a matter for this House. As hon. Members know, our rules have evolved over many years and have been examined and reconfirmed by the House on several occasions. There are several areas in which our procedures differ from those of the House of Lords, but I see no reason why that should be changed. If the House wishes the procedures to be synchronised with those of the House of Lords, it must decide that that should happen. However, it is a matter for the House, not for the Speaker or for individual Clerks. If the House wishes to synchronise procedures with the House of Lords, it must table the proper motions to achieve that.
Mr. Dale Campbell-Savours (Workington): Further to that point of order, Madam Speaker. Just to ensure that journalists do not put a spin on the point of order raised by the right hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Mr. Forth)--that there has been a tightening of the rules on the tabling of questions since 1997--will you confirm that there has been no change whatever?
Madam Speaker: There has been no change whatever. The Clerks at the Table and all the Clerks throughout the House operate, as they have always done, on the basis of helping and assisting individual Members in the best interests of those individual Members.
Madam Speaker: Before I call the Home Secretary to move the Football (Disorder) Bill (Allocation of Time) motion, I should tell the House that two manuscript amendments to the motion have been tabled by the right hon. Member for North-West Hampshire (Sir G. Young), and that I am prepared to select them for debate.
Mr. Simon Hughes (Southwark, North and Bermondsey): On a point of order, Madam Speaker. I heard a little earlier that manuscript amendments had been tabled. Will you ensure that those amendments are made available to hon. Members?
Madam Speaker: I inquired about that some time ago. My understanding is that the amendments are available in the Vote Office. However, those concerned will have heard me raise my voice on this matter, and will no doubt make sure that they are.
1.--(1) Proceedings on the Bill shall be completed at this day's sitting.
(2) Proceedings in Committee shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion five hours after the commencement of proceedings on this motion.
(3) On the conclusion of the proceedings in Committee the Chairman shall report the Bill to the House without putting any Question and, if he reports the Bill with Amendments, the House shall proceed to consider the Bill as amended without any Question being put.
(4) Proceedings on Consideration shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion six hours after the commencement of proceedings on this motion.
(5) Proceedings on Third Reading shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion seven hours after the commencement of proceedings on this motion.
2.--(1) For the purpose of bringing any proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with paragraph 1 the Chairman or Speaker shall forthwith put the following Questions (but no others)--
(a) any Question already proposed from the Chair;
(b) any Question necessary to bring to a decision a Question so proposed;
(c) the Question on any amendment moved or Motion made by a Minister of the Crown;
(d) any other Question necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded;
and on a Motion so made for a new Clause or a new Schedule, the Chairman or Speaker shall put only the Question that the Clause or Schedule be added to the Bill.
(2) Proceedings under sub-paragraph (1) shall not be interrupted under any Standing Order relating to the sittings of the House.
(3) If two or more Questions would otherwise fall to be put by the Chairman or Speaker--
(a) under sub-paragraph (1)(c) on amendments moved or Motions made by a Minister of the Crown, or
(b) under sub-paragraph (1)(d) in relation to successive provisions of the Bill;
the Chairman or Speaker shall instead put a single Question in relation to those amendments or Motions or (as the case may be) those provisions.
3. No Motion shall be made, except by a Minister of the Crown, to alter the order in which any proceedings on the Bill are taken or to recommit the Bill; and the Question on any such Motion shall be put forthwith.
4. No dilatory Motion with respect to, or in the course of, proceedings on the Bill shall be made except by a Minister of the Crown; and the Question on any such Motion shall be put forthwith.
5. Paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business) shall apply to proceedings on the Bill.
6. Standing Order No. 82 (Business Committee) shall not apply to this Order.
7.--(1) The proceedings on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown for varying or supplementing the provisions of this Order shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement; and paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business) shall apply to those proceedings.
(2) If at the sitting this day the House is adjourned, or the sitting is suspended, before the time at which proceedings on the Bill are to be brought to a conclusion under paragraph 1, no notice shall be required of a Motion made at the next sitting by a Minister of the Crown for varying or supplementing the provisions of this Order.
It happens that one of those Bills was the Football Spectators Bill, for which the guillotine motion was moved exactly 11 years ago today, on 17 July 1989. It was moved by Mr. John Wakeham, now Lord Wakeham, in terms remarkably similar to the case that I have put before the House for the need for this business to proceed as quickly as possible.
However, within the imperative that the business for the rest of the week, including that for tomorrow, has to be protected, the Government are anxious to proceed by agreement. The burden of the amendments shortly to be moved by the right hon. Member for North-West Hampshire (Sir G. Young) is that the Committee stage should end at 12 midnight, and that all other Commons stages should end by 5 am. I am pleased to tell the House that the Government will be ready to accept the amendments.
It may also help the House in judging whether the motion, as amended, allows sufficient time for debate, if I say how we intend to deal with some of the principal issues raised by the amendments that will come before us. I promised in the statement that I made almost two weeks ago, on 4 July, that I and the Government would listen carefully to all representations made about the draft Bill and then about the Bill as introduced, and that we would respond positively wherever we could.
The House will know already that I responded positively to two suggestions made about the pre- legislative draft by Lord Ackner and Lord Alexander of Weedon. Lord Ackner proposed that reasons given at the point of a direction being made to require an individual to attend a court under the fourth part of the Bill should be given in writing. Lord Alexander of Weedon proposed that the Bill should contain a sunset clause and that there should be a process for reviewing the legislation. Both proposals were worked into the Bill on presentation.
I deal briefly with the other amendments, to indicate the changes that I am ready to accept, which will be obvious to those who have read through the Order Paper. Considerable concern was expressed by right hon. and hon. Members on both sides of the House in respect of the key police power, in the fourth part of the Bill. There
We have considered the provisions again in the light of the representations and the amendments which have been tabled. The criteria which are now before the House, contained in amendments Nos. 42, 43, 44, 45 and 46, seek essentially to replicate the grounds for detention and arrest, which are already provided, and have been accepted by successive Governments and Oppositions, in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. In the place of a power giving a constable a right to exercise those powers under proposed new section 21A in schedule 1 to the Bill, if it appears to him that the behaviour of the person present before him is such that he may be a candidate for a banning order, amendment No. 42 now requires that the constable in uniform
Concern was also expressed about the fact that it seems from the Bill that a police officer might hold an individual for questioning, with a view to making inquiries, for 24 hours. Under further amendments that we have tabled, the power to hold someone for questioning to find out whether there are reasonable grounds for a direction to be made to get someone into court is reduced from 24 hours to four hours, with an extension to a maximum of six hours when an inspector agrees. That period must be contained within the overall period of 24 hours specified in the Bill.