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Mr Speaker's Rulings

Volume 12: debated on Thursday 5 November 1981

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I have a brief statement to make about Mr. Speaker's private rulings—that is to say, rulings given in correspondence but not announced to the House.

Following representations which I have received from the hon. Member for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop), I understand that it is a source of great inconvenience to hon. Members that there is no full and accurate record available of private rulings by past Speakers, although such rulings may nevertheless be called into precedent. I have decided, therefore, that in future, when I give a private ruling which in my judgment is of general interest or could serve as a precedent for the future, the substance of the ruling will be published in the Official Report immediately before replies to written questions. In this way, there will be an accurate public record of all such private rulings in a form in which it is intended that the rulings should be preserved. I hope that hon. Members will find the new procedure helpful.