Skip to main content

Statutory Instruments, &C

Volume 928: debated on Friday 18 March 1977

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

In order to save the time of the House, I propose to put together the first three motions on the Order Paper.

Ordered,

That the draft Compulsory Acquisition by Public Authorities (Compensation) Amendment No. 2 (Wales) Order 1977 be referred to a Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c.—[Mr. Stallard.]
That the draft Acquisition from the Crown (Grants) Amendment No. 2 (Wales) Order 1977 be referred to a Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments &c.—[Mr. Stallard.]
That the draft Community Land (Excepted Development) Amendment (Wales) Regulations 1977 be referre dto a Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c.—[Mr. Stallard.]

We come now to the first of the three motions relating to Commission documents.

Motion made.

That Commission Document No. R/1966/76 relating to Toxic and Dangerous Wastes be referred to a Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c.—[Mr. Stallard.]

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I ask for your guidance? You will know the difficulties which the House had had in dealing with EEC secondary legislation. We have now reached the point where motions to refer EEC secondary legislation to a Committee are put on the Order Paper only on Friday, and the first opportunity to oppose such motions is at 11 o'clock when the House meets. It is impossible in the time available for hon. Members to decide whether the instruments are important enough to justify debate on the Floor of the House. In addition, on this occasion the explanatory memorandum which assists hon. Members to decide was not even available in the Vote Office up until 11 o'clock. This is an extremely undesirable procedure, Mr. Speaker, and I wonder whether you or my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House could give some guidance on how we may avoid it in the future. Perhaps my right hon. Friend will withdraw these three motions so that we may have more time for consideration.

I listened with deep concern to the right hon. Gentleman's point of order. It is, of course, in order for these motions to be tabled, and that is all that concerns me. I have had no request from anybody else that they be withdrawn, so I must put the Question.

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. You will have such a request from at least one other person. I understand from the Select Committee on Procedure that the item relating to dentists concerns the free movement of dentists, whether in an employed or self-employed capacity, throughout the Community. The Government's explanatory memorandum was not in the Vote Office at 10.45 a.m., when I called for it. Therefore, it has not been possible for hon. Members to consider what course they should take, particularly this morning. I wish to reinforce my hon. Friend's point of order. Because papers are not available to hon. Members, the Question perhaps should not be put, and I hope that my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House will decide that the motions should not be moved.

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am very concerned about the document relating to dentists. We are in exceptional circumstances as a member of the Community in that we have the only National Health Service and a unique arrangement for the employment of dentists. The document deals with the employed and the self-employed, and we have contractural arrangements under the NHS. I am not certain how the matter will work out and whether there has been sufficient discussion with the British Dental Association and other interests concerned for us to be able to deal with this matter without further time.

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I wonder whether you would think it appropriate in these circumstances for the Lord President to intervene for the guidance and assistance of the House. This has not only to do with the points that have already been made. It concerns also the future rôle and status of the EEC Statutory Instruments Committee, which is still unclear. It was recently suggested by another Minister that that Committee might be used only for non-legislative instruments. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman can give some guidance to a still-confused House.

I am required to put these motions forthwith. The House must decide what it wishes to do.

Question put and agreed to.

Ordered,

That Commission Document No. R/1966/76 relating to Toxic and Dangerous Wastes be referred to a Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c.

Ordered,

That Commission Document No. R/2196/76 relating to the Rights of Establishment of Dentists be referred to a Standings Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c.—[Mr. Stallard.]

Ordered,

That Commission Document No. R/2697/76 relating to Data Processing be referred to a Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c.—[Mr. Stallard.]