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Point of Order

Volume 454: debated on Monday 18 December 2006

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. As I speak, a very damaging postal strike is taking place in Stafford and North Staffordshire, where about half a million people live. I am concerned for members of the public who are waiting for contact from family and friends at this time of the year, and I am concerned for postal workers and their families who can ill afford loss of wages at Christmas. I would like to keep on top of the issue by way of parliamentary questions, but when the recess begins tomorrow there will be no facility for Ministers to answer questions until the second week in January. In September, for the first time, there was a facility for Members to answer questions during a recess. Would it be in order, Mr. Speaker, for that facility to be extended to other recesses, and is there anything that you can do to make this winter recess the first of those occasions?

That is not a matter for the Chair, but tomorrow there will be an Adjournment debate in which Back Benchers can take part. It will give the hon. Gentleman an opportunity to raise the matter with the Minister who will respond to the debate.

BILLS PRESENTED

Crown Employment (nationality)

Mr. Andrew Dismore, supported by Dr. Tony Wright, Mr. Andrew Slaughter, Martin Salter, Annette Brooke, Mr. Andrew Love, Keith Vaz, Ms Karen Buck and Mary Creagh, presented a Bill to make provision for and in connection with the removal of general restrictions as to nationality which apply to persons employed or holding office in any civil capacity under the Crown; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Friday 29 June, and to be printed. [Bill 38].

Freedom of Information (amendment)

David Maclean presented a Bill to amend the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to exempt from its provisions the House of Commons and House of Lords and correspondence between Members of Parliament and public authorities: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Friday 19 January, and to be printed. [Bill 39].

Provision of Palliative Care

Jim Dobbin, supported by Mr. Frank Field, Dr. Brian Iddon, Mr. David Crausby, Mr. Lindsay Hoyle, Mr. Iain Duncan Smith, Mrs. Claire Curtis-Thomas, Paul Rowen, Mr. David Amess, Mr. Julian Brazier, John Robertson and Mr. Joe Benton, presented a Bill to require the provision of palliative care for persons suffering from a terminal illness; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Friday 19 January, and to be printed. [Bill 40].

Termination of Pregnancy

Mrs. Nadine Dorries, supported by Mr. Michael Howard, Mr. Iain Duncan Smith, Anne Main, Bob Russell, Mr. John Hayes, Dr. Liam Fox, Mr. Edward Vaizey, Mrs. Eleanor Laing, Mike Penning, Mr. Mark Field and Mr. Brooks Newmark, presented a Bill to reduce the time limit for legal terminations of pregnancy from 24 to 20 weeks; to introduce a cooling-off period after the first point of contact with a medical practitioner about a termination; to require the provision of counselling about the medical risk of, and about matters relating to, termination and bringing the pregnancy to term as a condition of informed consent to termination; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Friday 23 March, and to be printed. [Bill 41].