HC Deb 09 February 1960 vol 617 cc245-6
Mr. Speaker

I have some observations to address to the House about procedure.

Following on the debate on procedure yesterday, I propose, as from today, to allow the time for a Count to be extended to four minutes; to direct that as from Thursday the Prime Minister's Questions shall start at No. 40; and that after Monday the number of hon. Members' starred Questions shall be reduced from three to two.

I also propose, on and from Thursday, to change the arrangement for the Ballot for the half-hour Adjournment to conform with the recommendations of the Committee.

Details of these arrangements will be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. R. A. Butler)

May I thank you, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the House for so kindly giving us your opinion on these matters and for taking this action?

Mr. W. R. Williams (Manchester, Openshaw)

On a point of order. As one who is interested in the Adjournment debate tonight, I wonder whether you would care to enlarge on the point you just touched on, Mr. Speaker, and say whether I shall be in a position to refer to possible new legislation in connection with my Adjournment debate tonight.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member cannot advance the situation until we are armed with the new Standing Order, which is not yet.

Following are the details of the arrangements:

  1. 1. Yesterday, the Leader of the House, in opening the debate on Procedure, said that some of the Committee's recommendations could be implemented upon my authority and that unless the House, in the debate that was to follow, prayed strongly adverse to those recommendations I would put them into operation.
  2. 2. No objection was made to the proposals in question sc I shall from today allow hon. Members four minutes in which to assemble before I count the House.
  3. 3. On Thursday and thenceforth on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have directed that the Prime Minister's Questions shall start at No. 40.
  4. 4. On Thursday instead of holding a ballot for Adjournments for the following week the 246 eight days, Tuesday 16th, Wednesday 17th, Friday 19th, Monday 22nd, Tuesday 23rd, Wednesday 24th, Friday 26th and Monday 29th February will be ballotted for, the first eight names drawn successively being allotted one of the above days. Thursdays 18th and 25th February will be reserved for subjects to be chosen by me. A similar ballot will be held on subsequent Thursdays at fortnightly intervals, but no Member's name will he carried forward from one ballot to another. Members successful in a ballot may not enter their names for the one next succeeding.
  5. 5. Forty-eight hours' notice will be required for a change of subject of a ballotted Adjournment Motion, and the change of subject will be notified in the Notice Paper. When a Member does not wish to pursue the subject of a ballotted Adjournment Motion and cannot give forty-eight hours' notice, his right to the Adjournment will lapse. On Thursdays, as selection relates to the subject and not the Member, I consider that no alteration of subject should be permissible without my consent.
  6. 6. I am directing that no Member may in future give notice of more than two Questions for Oral Answer for any one day and that beginning on Monday next, 15th February, if any Member has more than two Questions for Oral Answer on the Order Paper, the third and subsequent Questions shall be unstarred unless the Member concerned has signified his desire to postpone them.
  7. 7. The revised form of Order Paper is ready to be sent to the Committee on Publications and Debates Reports.
9th February, 1960.