HC Deb 16 January 1978 vol 942 c30
30. Mr. Spearing

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will now make arrangements for motions relating to business announced on a Thursday to be placed on the Remaining Orders of the Day at the earliest subsequent opportunity.

Mr. Foot

No, Sir.

Mr. Spearing

Does not the Lord President agree that this should be done in respect of European Economic Community matters? Is he aware—I refer to his answer to me on 14th December last—that on at least five occasions recently EEC motions relating to documents have appeared only on the day on which they were debated although they were announced for business up to a week previously? Does he not think that he can do better than that?

Mr. Foot

My hon. Friend's original Question referred to all motions. Now he has asked that I should adopt the procedure he suggests in dealing with EEC motions. If that were to be done, as I have said to him before, there would then be a special arrangement about EEC motions. That would also in turn inhibit to some extent the way in which Business Statements might be made on Thursdays. I believe that it is better for us to proceed as we are doing at the present stage. If my hon. Friend and others think that this is extremely inconvenient for the House or that there should be an improvement or a change, he is entitled to say so, and so are others. Maybe the best way, therefore, would be to refer the Matter to the Procedure Committee. I am quite prepared to do that, although I think that the present procedure is satisfactory.