§ Mr. Simon Thomas (Ceredigion)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You will shortly put motion No. 6 on the Order Paper to the House. It will establish a Joint Committee between this House and the other place to consider the Draft Communications Bill.
As you will be aware, the usual channels in this place do not include the minority parties. We are shortly to establish a Committee that will have no representative from Wales even though Wales is the only part of the United Kingdom with a distinct broadcast environment. No representative of any minority party will be on the Committee. As the Leader of the House has made it clear that there will be more of these Joint Committees, is there anything in your remit to protect the interests of the minority parties from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland so that we at least obtain information about such motions coming before us and can liaise correctly with the Whips and with other Front-Bench spokesmen on such matters? We would then, at least, be informed about such motions. Is there any way tonight in which you can re-examine the motion to see whether further consideration needs to be given to the make-up of the Committee?
§ Mr. Speaker
I thank the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. I would like to put it on the record that minority parties, no matter how small in the House, should always get the protection of the Chair. I look forward to the appropriate Whip from the hon. Gentleman's party coming to see me. On the question of the Order Paper, the Speaker has no control over what is included in it; the Government have control over that, so the main point made by the hon. Gentleman is not a matter for the Chair.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg (Sleaford and North Hykeham)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Would you be kind enough to confirm that the motion is amendable if an amendment 921 is tabled in time? It would therefore be possible, if hon. Members wished, to table an amendment changing the composition of the Committee.
§ Mr. Speaker
The right hon. and learned Gentleman's question was whether the motion was amendable if the amendment was tabled in time. If an amendment was tabled in time, that is the case; it would be examined and looked at.