HC Deb 28 June 2000 vol 352 cc921-2 4.22 pm
Mr. Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden)

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. First, I apologise for having used an improper word, but is there any precedent for a Secretary of State failing to apologise for repeating a statement for which his own deputy has previously apologised to the House?

Madam Speaker

I fear that that is barely a point of order for me. I can well understand that there are some problems and difficulties with exchanges across the Floor of the House from time to time, and 1 refer hon. Members, as I did yesterday, to the wise words of "Erskine May" about good temper and moderation in our language. I hope that Front Benchers will have heard what the right hon. Gentleman said, and will take his point to heart.

Mr. Humfrey Matins (Woking)

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. I am not sure whether this is a point of order, but I hope that it is. The whole House will have heard the Secretary of State say in his statement that the importance of the Post Office cannot be underestimated. It is clear that the right hon. Gentleman must have meant "overestimated". He may want to correct that, because Hansard is bound to record what he said—namely, that its importance cannot be underestimated.

Madam Speaker

The hon. Gentleman is being very helpful to us all, as well as to Hansard.