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Sixth Standing Committee On Statutory Instruments

Volume 978: debated on Thursday 7 February 1980

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

I wish to raise a point of order, Mr. Speaker, of which I have given you notice.

In page 2394 of the Order Paper for today's business, under the title "Memorandum", it is stated in paragraph 2 that
"The Sixth Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c., will meet on Wednesday 20th November at half-past Ten o'clock to consider the draft Sea Fish Industry Act 1970 (Increase in Rate of Levy) Order 1980."
It is true that 20 November is a Thursday, and I would be very happy to welcome this increased levy order being postponed until November, especially in view of the very severe crisis in the fishing industry. But there are other complications which require your ruling, Mr. Speaker.

In my mail this morning I received an intimation from the Committee of Selection to the effect that the Committee had nominated me as a member of the Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments in respect of the draft Sea Fish Industry Act 1970 (Increase in Rate of Levy) Order 1980, and that the Committee would meet on Wednesday 20 February 1980 at half-past Ten o'clock. But added to this confusion is the fact that on page 2396, under "Orders of the Day and Notice of Motions" for today's business, under item 12 the House is being asked to approve
"the draft Sea Fish Industry Act 1970 (Increase in Rate of Levy) Order 1980, which was laid before this House on 28th January."
Is there any point in the Committee of Selection appointing a Committee—regardless of the date on which it may meet, be it February or November—to discuss a matter which the House is being asked to approve? I should like to have your ruling on these very confusing matters, Mr. Speaker.

I am much obliged to the hon. Gentleman for giving me notice this morning. I understood that he would also be asking me what he should do—and I came prepared to tell him.

The date "20 November" should be 20 February. There has been a human error, and it will be put right. I remind the House that those who serve us as printers are under great pressure at the moment. They produce a great deal of very accurate work. It is only the occasional slip that comes to our attention. However, I assure the hon. Gentleman that the necessary corrections will be made.