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Orders Of The Day

Volume 77: debated on Thursday 18 April 1985

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Social Security Bill

As amended (in the Standing Committee), considered.

4.6 pm

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I seek the recommittal to a Standing Committee of new clause 12. I understand that it is possible to recommit parts of a Bill for reconsideration by a Standing Committee.

I do not wish to detain the House, but the point is important, and we must not allow it to go by default. The Government have virtually hijacked the Social Security Bill in that they have introduced substantial parts of the Budget into it, especially into new clause 12. Forty-one Government amendments and new clauses have been selected for debate today, notwithstanding the others that were also tabled for debate. That is an abuse of our procedures. There is no objection to the Government tabling proposals that derive from Committee to be properly considered on Report. However, the practice of wholesale importation and insinuation of new and substantially different proposals is out of order and a piece of procedural chicanery. As a marker for the future, we should try to dissuade the Government from future procedural chicanery of that nature. We should tell the Government that, whenever they seek to do that, we shall seek to recommit at least some of the clauses in the Bill.

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for having given me prior notice that he might wish to raise this question with me. I have considered the matter and have decided, in pursuance of my powers of selection under Standing Order No. 34, that I should not be prepared to accept a motion for recommittal.