Memorandum by Tam Dalyell MP, Father of
1. List of Speakers in Debates
Should not be made avalable, as MPs will "blow
in, blow up and blow out", with minimum time in the Chamber.
I am against time limits8, 10, 12 or
15 minutes. If Michael Foot and John Mendelson had been confined
to 8-15 minutes in 1967, Harold Wilson would have succumbed to
Lyndon Johnson's request for a symbolic "battalion of bag
pipers" (Johnson's words), and taken us into the Vietnam
War! The Speaker should use his discretion to call people with
an obvious "locus", rather than rely on "Buggins'
3. Printing Undelivered Speeches
I'm against it. Who would read them? Besides
"a speech is a speech", an article would be better.
If no one writes an article, possibly the substance was not worth
saying in the first place!
4. Private Members' Bills
I think the occasional 10 Minute Rule Bill should
be given a fair wind.
5. The Speaker's Role in the recall
of the House
It should be Mr Speaker, and the Speaker ALONE.
I would like to give oral evidence on this crucial issue.
6. I regret that the opportunity for balloted
Friday motions has been stolen from back benchers. In my 35 years
of Friday debates, the topics chosen often resulted in action
which would not otherwise have taken place.
7. The Royal Prerogative
The Royal Prerogative always was suspect and
has been ABUSED by this Prime Minister, in relation to potential
war with Iraq.
2 February 2003