HC Deb 20 October 1971 vol 823 c736
Mr. Speaker

Before I call the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Mr. McManus), I want to say a word about the Common Market debate. At noon today I knew of about 140 right hon. and hon. Members who wished to take part. It will be exceedingly difficult for the Chair to deal with a list as long as this, particularly as about a quarter of those who have written to me have not told me on which side they wish to speak. I will do my best to meet the convenience of hon. Members who have told me that they cannot be here all the time. On the other hand, they do not necessarily deserve an advantage over those who are prepared to be here throughout.

I will also try to give some indication fairly early on tomorrow after the debate begins to those who are likely to catch my eye during tomorrow's and Friday's debates, but there can be no rigid lists; patience is sometimes unexpectedly rewarded.

As always, my task will be made easier if right hon. and hon. Members realise that a degree of compression does not necessarily make a speech less effective.

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. William Whitelaw)

Further to your statement, Mr. Speaker, I should perhaps add on a question of daily arrangements that the Government propose a suspension until midnight tomorrow, Thursday, 21st October. We should not propose any suspension on Friday. As to suspensions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. I suggest that that should depend on consultation with you about the number of hon. Members asking to take part. The last day of the debate will be concluded at 10 o'clock.