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House Of Lords Debates (Quotations)

Volume 390: debated on Thursday 3 June 1943

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I beg to ask you, Mr. Speaker, a question of which I have given you notice, whether you will be good enough to give guidance to the House as to the conditions under which quotations may be made from speeches made in another place, either in the current Session or another Session?

I am obliged to the hon. Member for giving me notice. The Rule is that Hon. Members must not refer to any Debate of the same Session in the House of Lords—Rule 155 (III), Manual of Procedure. This Rule is not always easy of enforcement. My predecessor has ruled that an announcement of Government Policy made in the House of Lords could be debated in the House of Commons. This therefore should be regarded as the only exception to the above Rule.

In these days, when daily reports of Debates in the other House are published, there is often a temptation to take notice of what has been said there, but it must be remembered that the Rule that allusions to Debates in the other House are out of Order prevents fruitless arguments between Members of two distinct bodies who are unable to reply to each other.

I have stated the conditions under which quotations may be made from speeches in the House of Lords, and I hope that this will remove uncertainty from the minds of hon. Members. The application of the Rule often presents difficulties, and I think the Chair can be safely entrusted with some latitude in its enforcement.