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Nuclear Power (Inquiries)

Volume 84: debated on Wednesday 23 October 1985

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Mr. James Wallace accordingly presented a Bill to enable persons desiring to give evidence or make representations to public inquiries concerning or relating to the nuclear power industry to obtain such information and advice as they reasonably require in order to present their case; and for connected purposes.

And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time upon Friday next and to be printed. [Bill 211.]

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I know that it is late in the Session and that some ten-minute Bills are unopposed because they have very little chance of being passed, but an important question of principle and democracy is involved which affects the two parties represented here.

On a matter of such importance as we have just heard about from the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace), I should have thought that you would encourage a Member of the Social Democratic party, probably the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan), who is opposed to what has just been said by the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland, to give his view of the matter. It is important that we should hear the views of both sides of the alliance. On every occasion that you have found it possible to do so you have called a Member of the Social Democratic party and a Member of the Liberal party. As they are so bitterly divided over this question, I think that you should give both of them an opportunity to present their points of view.

The hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan) has been provoked.

I am very grateful to you, Mr. Speaker, for allowing me to intervene over what is an abuse of the orders of the House. The hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) has attempted to attribute to me views which, under a point of order, I could not possibly answer, nor indicate the extent of my agreement with my hon. Friend the Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace). [Interruption.]

Order. In fairness to what was said by the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner), the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland now has an opportunity to put his case—but briefly, please.