Amendments made: No. 229, in page 14, line 35, leave out 'Subordinate legislation may' and insert
Her Majesty may by Order in Council'.
No. 230, in page 14, line 36, leave out
the person making the legislation'
and insert 'She'.
§ No. 231, in page 14, line 37, leave out 'subordinate legislation' and insert "Order'.—[Mr. McFall.]608
§ Clause 29, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Clauses 30 to 40 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ It being after Ten o'clock, THE CHAIRMAN left the Chair to report progress and ask leave to sit again.
§ To report progress and ask leave to sit again.—[Mr. McFall.]
§ Committee report progress; to sit again tomorrow.
§ Mr. Dalyell
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I think that your predecessors in the Chair, the Chairman of Ways and Means and the Second Deputy Chairman, would agree that, in the past five or so hours, there has been no time wasting or filibustering by any hon. Member on either side of the House, and that all the discussion was relevant and serious.
In the circumstances, surely it is deeply unsatisfactory—I shall not use the word "travesty" or anything of that kind—that crucial clauses of this constitutional Bill, covering matters such as changes to the list of reserved powers, scrutiny of Bills in relation to legislative competence and, for heaven's sake, the power of Secretary of State to intervene, have gone undiscussed in the House of Commons. That cannot be right.
I do not doubt for a moment that the business managers produced the schedule in good faith. However, I doubt that they anticipated that there would be a statement of 55 minutes by the Prime Minister on the events of 1972, in addition to business questions. I suppose that I am asking, is there no possibility of injury time of some kind if this happens again? I realise that these clauses have been overtaken, but none of us can be proud of the fact that the House of Commons has not looked at crucial clauses on a constitutional issue.
Mr. Deputy Speaker
The occupant of the Chair is in the hands of the House in these matters, because Committee stages are programmed. It is therefore up to the Committee to use the time wisely. I do have some sympathy with what the hon. Gentleman has to say, because he may recall that, last night, I made the point that, if people spent a certain amount of time on one set of amendments or clauses, other matters would be neglected—but these are matters for the Committee, and I am sure that the Committee has heard what the hon. Gentleman has had to say.