12th Sitting of the House of Representatives
1st Session - 9th Republican Parliament
The following Members sought leave of absence:
The Member for Chaguanas East (Hon. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, MP) from 28 March-31 March, La Horquetta/Talparo (Mr. Roger Joseph, MP) from 25 March-29 March, Naparima (Mr. Nizam Baksh, MP) from 8 March-4 April, Tabaquite (Mr. Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, SC, MP) for today’s sitting and St. Augustine (Mr. Vasant Bharath, MP) from today’s sitting of the House.
Leave was granted.
Having been passed in the Senate with amendments on 18 March 2008, the Bill was read a first time in the House of Representatives.
Two papers were laid in the name of the Minister of Finance (Hon. Karen Nunez-Teshiera, MP), one of which was referred to the Public Accounts (Enterprises) Committee, and the other to the Public Accounts Committee.
See the Order Paper and Supplemental Order Paper for details.
24 Questions qualify for oral answer on the Order Paper. Five questions were answered by the Leader of the House on his own behalf and on behalf of the Minister of National Security (61, 64, 65, 66 and 68). The remaining questions were deferred for two weeks.
See the Order Paper for details.
12 Questions qualify for written answer on the Order Paper.
The Trinidad and Tobago National Steel Symphony Orchestra Corporation Bill, 2008 was read a first time.
Prior to commencing Private Business, the Speaker reiterated part of a communication sent to members dated February 25, 2008 pertaining to the established practice for the use of laptop computers in the House. He then asked two members (Port-of-Spain North/St. Ann’s West and Couva North) who had laptops open in the Chamber, whether they intended to use their laptop computers as an aide for their contributions during this sitting. The Member for Port-of-Spain North/St. Ann’s West indicated in the affirmative, but the Member for Couva North did not.
The Speaker, after repeated attempts to get an answer from the Member for Couva North, first asked the Member to withdraw for the rest of the day’s proceedings. When the member refused to comply the Speaker ruled that the Member was showing disregard for the authority of the Chair. He then named the Member and called upon a Minister to move that the Member for Couva North be suspended from the service of the House (S.O. 43(5)). The Leader of the House put the Question and by a margin of 23 for and 11 against, the motion was carried. The Speaker then suspended the sitting for 10 minutes to allow the Member to leave the Chamber.
At the resumption, when the Member for Couva North remained in his seat, the Speaker called attention to the House that resort to force was necessary in order to compel obedience to his direction (S.O. 43(10)). Under this standing order the member is suspended from the service of the House for the remainder of the Session. The Speaker then invoked the assistance of the police officers in the Chamber to forcibly remove the Member. (S.O. 43(11)).
Before Standing Order 43 (11) could be executed, the Speaker adjourned the House under Standing Order 43(12). (grave disorder)