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Rate Support Grant Supplementary Report (England) (No 2) 1982

Volume 33: debated on Tuesday 7 December 1982

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4.25 pm

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I apologise to the House, after it has been dealing with such a grave issue, for raising a technical matter. I hope, however, that the House will accept that it is right that I should raise this point of order. It relates to the Rate Support Grant Supplementary Report (England) (No. 2) 1982 which stands upon the Order Paper for debate, although the date for the debate has not been set. Hon. Members will find appended to the motion on the Order Paper—it appears on page 649—relating to the rate support grant supplementary report a note saying

"The Select Committee on Statutory Instruments have drawn the special attention of the House to the Instrument in their First Report (H.C. 30-i)."

It will be within your knowledge, Mr. Speaker, that the report to which the note refers is not available to hon. Members. I have made inquiries. I understand that the report has not yet been printed. I make no criticism of the Select Committee for the fact that the report is not available. I understand that it has encountered difficulties over producing the report. However, as it is likely to be a long report, it would clearly be unacceptable to the House if hon. Members did not have the chance to study it carefully especially as we are told that the Select Committee is drawing special attention to the rate support grant before the business of the rate support grant supplementary report is put down for debate.

I wish to ask you, Mr. Speaker, if you will use your good offices to see whether the publication of the report can be speeded up before the business is set down for debate in the House. As the Leader of the House is kindly present—I gave notice to you, Mr. Speaker, that I would be raising this matter—may I ask, through you, that the right hon. Gentleman should undertake that the rate support grant supplementary report will not be set down for debate in the House until the Select Committee's report has been published and is available to hon. Members?

The right hon. Gentleman will appreciate that I listened with care to what he said. It is not an issue on which I can rule. Most of the matters that he has raised are not within my control. His remarks will have been heard by the House.