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Points Of Order

Volume 173: debated on Wednesday 6 June 1990

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3.41 pm

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You must be aware, Sir, of the great respect in which you are held in the House in defending the rights of individual Members and the rights of the House of Commons. Will you tell us whether you have made the views of the House known to the other place—the latter-day 1930s appeasers—on the War Crimes Bill? Have the Government made available any knowledge to you that an early statement will be made so that the Bill can be sent back to the other place and their Lordships sent packing in the interests of the democracy of this country?

I am surprised that the hon. Gentleman should ask me whether I have let my views be known on that matter. He certainly heard the views of the Prime Minister yesterday. The matter is one for the Government, not for me.

Order. The hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Beaumont-Dark) has prompted a rash of points of order on an Opposition day. Points of order will take time out of the time for the debate.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You have heard the views of the hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Beaumont-Dark) on the powers of the other place, and there are Opposition Members who believe in abolishing the House of Lords. We are still battling to get that proposal into a policy review before the general election. Apart from all that, I think that there is a matter that you should clarify. Many Speakers go to the House of Lords when they have finished their stint here. I reckon that, on the basis of what was said yesterday about Members declaring their interests, you should tell us what your intentions are, Mr. Speaker, before you consider your response to the point of order.

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman has given me a lead. That is precisely why I shall say nothing.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Whatever your plans may or may not be—I hope that you will be in this place for quite a while yet—may I ask whether there will be some way in which the House will be able to express clearly the fact that, on a free vote, there was an overwhelming majority in favour of the War Crimes Bill, which has been entirely ignored by the other place? There has been much speculation in the press that there will be an opportunity for a debate, when the House can reaffirm its decision. Have you been notified, Mr. Speaker, whether such a debate will take place in the near future?

I have not been notified. However, we have business questions tomorrow, and if the hon. Gentleman is fortunate enough to catch my eye, he may be able to put his question to the Leader of the House. The right hon. and learned Gentleman is in his place and I am sure that he has heard what has been said.