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Points Of Order

Volume 175: debated on Wednesday 27 June 1990

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3.31 pm

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the great parade in London today, representing so many facets of our national life, to celebrate the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, would you be good enough on our behalf to send Her Majesty the best wishes of the House of Commons?

I understand that there may be an opportunity to do that officially a little later in the year. However, I share the hon. Gentleman's view and look forward to going to the parade myself this evening.

On a different point of order, Mr. Speaker. Although I realise that you are not responsible for the answers that Ministers give to questions, you will recall that, in a supplementary question to question 10, I raised the appropriate matter of local authority efficiency and asked the Minister whether he would contact the Department of Energy about a matter relating to British Gas. However, the Minister replied on the subject of electricity, which had nothing whatsoever to do with the question. Is there any possibility of you having a word with either the Leader of the House or the Patronage Secretary to ascertain whether we can get the quality of the Ministers at the Department of the Environment up a peg or two?

The hon. Gentleman knows that that is not a matter for me. I am not responsible for answers. It might have been a slip of the tongue.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. My hon. Friends and I at this end of the Chamber distinctly heard the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Small Heath (Mr. Howell) shout to my hon. Friend the Minister for Sport that my hon. Friend is the biggest football hooligan in the country. That demonstrates the right hon. Gentleman's complete lack of knowledge because I have it on the most excellent recommendation that one or two others are even larger than my hon. Friend. The right hon. Gentleman should be asked to withdraw that comment which shows his complete lack of knowledge and an inability to discharge his duty.

I am afraid that things are occasionally said from a sedentary position, but they do not form part of our parliamentary proceedings. I did not hear that particular remark, and I am sure that the Minister concerned is not thought of in anything like those terms.

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I ask you to defend the House against such insults, particularly as "the tartan army", as it has been called, returned from the world cup without one of its members being arrested for anything. That matter is not one that I would wish to display against our dear friends south of the border.

Order. I know that I have not been able to call the hon. Member, but is his a point of order or a point of frustration? Perhaps it is both.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. There was an exchange in the House last week in which you were involved, and which I am afraid led to some bad publicity. May I personally apologise to you, Mr. Speaker, and to the House, for the embarrassment that I caused.