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Lotteries Bill (Standing Committee)

Volume 888: debated on Monday 10 March 1975

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May I, Mr. Speaker, ask for your guidance on the way in which the Lotteries Bill is being put through the House? First, only 1 hour and 45 minutes was allowed for the Second Reading debate, as a result of which a number of hon. Members on both sides of the House did not have an opportunity to enter into the discussion.

Secondly, Standing Committee B, which is due to meet tomorrow to consider the Bill, is composed of 17 Members, only one of whom was against the Bill. It occurs to me that —

Order. The hon. Member began by asking for guidance, but he is putting forward what is clearly not a matter for the Chair. We have had this out before. I must ask for the support of the House in preventing matters being put to me which are not matters of order.

It is not for me to comment on the actions of the Committee of Selection. The hon. Member has put down a motion on this. He must seek in other ways to have that matter debated. He must bring pressure to bear on his Front Bench or ask the Leader of the House about it, but the matter cannot be raised with me as a point of order because I have no power to do anything about it.

:I appreciate that, Mr. Speaker, and I am most grateful to you for your guidance. The reason why it would be inappropriate to raise the matter on Thursday is that the Committee is due to meet tomorrow. By Thursday the Bill may be well advanced in Committee and it will be difficult to get its progress reversed.

I see the hon. Member's point, but I think he must seek some other way of raising it. I heard the Patronage Secretary saying something under his breath. Perhaps the hon. Member will follow the matter up in that way.