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Parliamentary Business (Arrangements)

Volume 763: debated on Thursday 2 May 1968

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On a point of order. I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 9, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter requiring urgent consideration, namely,

"the failure of the Government adequately to protect Parliamentary government and to make suitable arrangements for the proper conduct of our parliamentary affairs."
The matter is specific, in that the Government are trying to kill Parliament by separating Parliament from the people. On that ground it should be discussed urgently. It is certainly urgent, because if we go on like we are going on there will soon be no Members in the Chamber, because they will all be incarcerated in Committees upstairs. This is to the detriment of Parliament, and people in the country are getting very angry about it. [Interruption.]

Order. Even if the people are getting angry, the House must not get angry.

The people are getting very angry about the fact that Parliament itself is being eliminated by the Government in favour of incarcerating hon. Members in Committees where there is no publicity and where many Members are prevented from putting forward the views that they hold. On the question of urgency, the people do not want to see their Parlimentary system eliminated. They want to have confidence in Parliament. They therefore have no confidence in the Government, who are trying to kill Parliament.

Order. I cannot take from any hon. Member another submission when an hon. Member is submitting to me an application for leave to move the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 9.

The hon. Lady asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 9, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter which she thinks should have urgent consideration, namely,
"the failure of the Government adequately to protect Parliamentary government and to make suitable arrangements for the proper conduct of our Parliamentary affairs."
The House will remember that under revised Standing Order No. 9, agreed to on 14th November, 1967, Mr. Speaker is directed to take into account the several factors set out in that Order, but to give no reasons for his decision. In the light of the new provision, I now rule that the hon. Member's submission does not fall within the provisions of the revised Standing Order. Therefore, I cannot submit her application to the House.

On a point of order. As on the last occasion when the House had important business to discuss and the hon. Lady wanted to take part in the discussion she was in the Dining Room, would it be in order for me to suggest that the Dining Room should be closed?

On a point of order. The statement which has just been made is absolutely inaccurate. The trouble was caused by the non-arrival of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, who ought to have been sitting on the Government Front Bench but who was not. That put the whole Parliamentary programme for the day out of gear. It was nothing to do with me.