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Points Of Order

Volume 227: debated on Monday 28 June 1993

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4.34 pm

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. You will recall that during last week's debate on party political funding, the hon. Member for Hammersmith (Mr. Soley), to whom I have given notice of this point of order, made a serious allegation to the effect that the President of the Board of Trade had been involved in trying to obtain foreign Governments' money to support the Conservative party. It has emerged over the weekend that the allegation was made at the behest of a newspaper simply for the purpose of ensuring that it was on the parliamentary record. Is not that a disgraceful abuse of our procedures and a clear breach of parliamentary privilege?

Very often, points of order are abuses of our procedures too, especially those that do not relate to the Chair and for which I have no responsibility.

I ended questions on the private notice question and on the statement reasonably early, because two minority parties have the right to be heard. I hope that hon. Members who wish to raise points of order will make absolutely certain that they are genuine.

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. Have you received a request or notice from the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland that he wishes to make a statement about something that he said in County Down last Saturday night? When questioned about bombings in Northern Ireland, he said that, thankfully, no one had been killed but in the opera they all were killed.

Had there been a statement, it would have been on the annunciator and we would all have known about it by this stage.

Statutory Instruments, &C

With permission, I shall put together the motions relating to statutory instruments.

Motion made, and Question put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 101(3) (Standing Committees on Statutory Instruments, &c.).

Vat (Supply Of Services)

That the Value Added Tax (Supply of Services) Order 1993 (S.I., 1993, No. 1507) be referred to a Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c.

Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning

That the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning) (No. 7) Order 1993 (S.I.) 1993, No. 1606), be referred to a Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c.— [ Mr. Wood.]

Question agreed to.