HC Deb 06 July 1982 vol 27 cc147-8
Q4 Sir David Price

asked the Prime Minister if, pursuant to her reply on 18 June, Official Report, column 353, she is now in a position to announce the result of her consideration of a suitable form of commemoration for the recovery of the Falkland Islands and their dependencies for the British Crown.

The Prime Minister

As I said in the House on 1 July, a service of thanksgiving and remembrance for those who fell in the campaign will be held in St. Paul's cathedral on Monday 26 July at 11 am. Her Majesty the Queen, together with other members of the Royal Family, will attend. The next-of-kin of those who died will be invited, together with representatives of the Services, Merchant Navy and other direct participants in the conflict. Representatives of those involved in the support of the Falklands operation from Britain will also be invited. Seats will be available for the public and they will be allocated by ballot.

Sir David Price

While thanking my right hon. Friend for making those proper and traditional arrangements to commemorate our victory in the Falkland Islands, may I ask whether she will also ensure that our victorious Service men have an opportunity to parade through our capital city?

The Prime Minister

We have not yet made arrangements for such a parade. It is likely that there will be one in the autumn. In addition to the Government, the lord mayor of the City of London is considering the matter, so that we may provide some entertainment.

Mr. Christopher Price

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I do not dispute your decision to release the terms of reference of the Falkland Islands inquiry exceptionally at 2.45 pm. Many hon. Members who have questions down for written answer for a specific day would wish the terms of the answers to those questions to be available so that they might put supplementary questions to Ministers in the House. Are you aware, Mr. Speaker, that it is not right that the Government, at their caprice and whim, should be allowed to switch the traditional time for answering questions tabled for written answer simply for their political convenience?

Mr. Speaker

I understand that this was the wish of both the Leader of the House and the Prime Minister and that it meets the wishes of the House. [HON. MEMBERS: "No".] The House has had information that it would not otherwise have received because it could not have been revealed until later. Secondly, I am following precedent; it has been done before. I did not create the precedent and, as the hon. Gentleman knows, from time to time, in the interests of the House, we find the appropriate precedent to follow.

Mr. Faulds

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. As Prime Minister's Question Time started two or three minutes late, why should the Prime Minister be defended by not allowing it to run for 15 minutes rather than terminating it after 12 minutes?

Mr. Speaker

When the hon. Gentleman is appointed Speaker, he can put that point of view, but in the meantime the House has asked me to accept that responsibility.

Mr. Ashton

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. As there is some dispute about the flexible rostering of the business of the House, may we have a secret ballot on it?