Skip to main content

Tenants' Rights, Etc (Scotland) Bill

Volume 975: debated on Wednesday 5 December 1979

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

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The Government have announced the publication of the Tenants' Rights, Etc. (Scotland) Bill for presentation to the House this afternoon. Ministers are holding a press conference this afternoon and are appearing on television in Scotland this evening to describe the details of the Bill. However, the Vote Office cannot tell hon. Members whether they may have sight of the Bill. We do not know whether we can see the Bill today or whether we must wait until tomorrow. Is that in order?

The control of Government business is not within my discretion. I cannot help the hon. Member.

Later

Further to the point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is it not serious for the Government to place on the Order Paper a notice that a Bill is to be published today when that Bill is not available in the Vote Office? The Vote Office has indicated that it may be available later, although there is no certainty about it, and Ministers are to appear on television to explain it. Is that not a serious contempt of the House? It seems to be happening with regular monotony.

I am afraid that I cannot add to what I said to the hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson).

Order. I shall take no more points of order about the Tenants' Rights, Etc. (Scotland) Bill. There is no point of order that I can settle. This is not time for business questions. I cannot answer any point of order on that Bill. I have explained to the House that it is a matter for the Government.

Order. I am not pursuing the question of the Tenants' Rights, Etc. (Scotland) Bill. That is a matter for the Government. There is no point of order that I can deal with. I have explained to the House that it is not in my hands to decide how the Government come to the Hosue to make their statements.

Order. If what the hon. Gentleman is about to say is on the matter I have just mentioned, I shall not hear it.

Since we both agree that it is not a point of order, Mr. Speaker, may I ask for your guidance? Is it within your knowledge that on any previous occasion when a matter of deep importance to the House about the presentation of Bills has been referred to in the presence of the Leader of the House the Leader of the House has not immediately responded? If you know of such an occasion, I should be glad to hear of it. If not, is not the Leader of the House being extremely ungracious to the House today?

I have allowed the hon. Gentleman to make his point, and he prefaced it with remarks that were strictly correct.