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Orders Of The Day

Volume 778: debated on Tuesday 18 February 1969

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Parliament (No 2) Bill

Considered in Committee [ Progress, 12th February].

[Mr. SYDNEY IRVING in the Chair]

3.50 p.m.

On a point of order. I wanted to raise a point about the selection of Amendments. I understand that this cannot be questioned, and I would not try to do so if it were not for the fact that, on a constitutional matter of this magnitude, one cannot avoid making comparison between the treatment of this Bill in the Amendments selected and the treatment of other Bills.

The least that I could do, with due respect to you, Mr. Irving, and all others who occupy your responsible position, was to make my feelings felt.

Last Wednesday, I ruled provisionally on the subject of Amendments to the Preamble to the Bill. I am happy to say that, having looked further into the question, I can confirm what I then said.

As regards Amendments to the Preamble, the moving of which would depend on the making of Amendments in the body of the Bill, the Committee will have seen from the selection list that a certain number of such Amendments to the Preamble had been grouped with Amendments to the Bill, and that some of these had been underlined.

It will also be possible to move Amendments to the last part of the Preamble, from page 1, line 17, to the end. In considering whether to select any such Amendments, I shall, of course, have regard to the course of discussion on the Bill. The Committee will have noted that certain Amendments to this part of the Preamble already on the Notice Paper have been grouped for discussion with Amendments to the body of the Bill. I hope that that will be for the convenience of hon. Members.

Would you please clarify that Ruling slightly, Mr. Irving? As I understood it—I wanted to get this clear—you had ruled that Amendments would be in order to those parts of the Preamble which bear no relationship to the body of the Bill.

Would it also be correct to say that Amendments seeking to amend that part of the Preamble may themselves contain matter which has no reflection in the body of the Bill, in the same way that the Government has chosen to do?

The Chair must reserve its position on selection, but that is the purpose of the second part of my statement to cover those parts of the Preamble which are not reflected in the Bill.

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(Mr. Fred Peart)

I am sorry to interrupt, Mr. Irving, but, for the convenience of the Committee, could you say which groups of Amendments will be taken together?

Hon. Members will see from the list of Amendments selected that, with Amendment No. 7, we will discuss Amendments No. 8, in Clause 1, page 2, line 27, leave out 'or applies for it within six months thereafter'; No. 83, in Clause 1, page 2, line 28, leave out 'six months' and insert 'one year'; and No. 102, in Clause 1, page 2, line 30, leave out 'that he intends to apply' and insert 'applying'.

On a point of order. You have just referred, Mr. Irving, to the list of selected Amendments. On coming into the Chamber, much earlier, I found that there were no lists out there. Could you arrange, in future, for the convenience of hon. Members, for a larger number of those lists to be available?