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Further Minor And Consequential Amendments

Volume 405: debated on Monday 19 May 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Amendment made: No. 103, in page 302, line 22, at end insert—

'33A (1) Section 77 (orders and regulations) is amended as follows.
(2) In subsection (5)—
  • (a) after "No", there is inserted "regulations or" and
  • (b) after "section" there is inserted "6A or".
  • (3) In subsection (6)(b) after "regulations" there is inserted "(other than regulations under section 6A)".'

    On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. You kindly said that you would revert to me when you had gone through the proper course of action.

    In view of the fact that there were no fewer than 46 Government new clauses and amendments in the category that has just been discussed, which fell into two subdivisions, and that the Solicitor-General, despite her considerable eloquence and succinctness, had the opportunity to speak on only four of them, are you, Madam Deputy Speaker, able to advise me and other Members whether, in the history of our programming arrangements, there is any precedent for the violence to parliamentary opportunity that has been done today?

    Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker, would you also bear in mind your important role of defending the rights of Back Benchers? This Back Bencher was hoping to speak on one particular amendment as it was the only one on which I do not find myself opposing the Government from the left, which is very embarrassing for me. I thus wanted at least to be able say that I thought bail ought to be extended to those aged under-18.

    Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker, I understand entirely the fact that, for one brief second, you thought that we had not yet addressed part 5, because in fact we have not addressed it. Part 5 deals with the important matter of disclosures in trials. Not only do we seek to defend the rights of Members of the House, but, more important, we seek to defend the rights of those who are arraigned in our courts. Is there no way in which a Committee of the House could have the opportunity even to see an explanation from the Government of the amendments before they go to another place, which is not elected?

    I regret to say that I can save hon. Members from neither embarrassment nor from disappointment at being unable to contribute to the debate. I am governed by the programme motion, which, as I said earlier, was agreed by the House. I must, therefore, follow the instructions of the House.