HC Deb 22 July 1982 vol 28 cc540-1 3.55 pm
Mr. Speaker

I have three short statements to make.

The House is aware that applications for a second Adjournment debate are not acceptable after 8 pm, for reasons that have been outlined before.

I have decided that it is in the interests of the House that applications for second Adjournment debates on a Friday will not be accepted after 10 am. It would be unreasonable to expect the people concerned to change their arrangements far a Friday after that hour.

For the debate on Thursday 29 July on the Second Reading of the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill, hon. Members may hand in to my office by 9 am on Wednesday 28 July, their names and the topics they wish to raise. The ballot will be carried out as on the last occasion. An hon. Member may hand in only his or her own name and one topic.

The debate will cover ail the main Estimates originally presented for the current financial year in House of Commons Papers Nos. 212 and 214, and the Supplementary and Revised Estimates presented since then in House of Commons Papers Nos. 429, 430, 431, 432 and 440. It will be in order on Second Reading to raise any topic falling within the compass of those Estimates.

I shall put out the result of the ballot later on 28 July.

I remind hon. Members that on the motion for the Adjournment of the House on Friday 30 July, up to eight hon. Members may raise, with Ministers, subjects of their own choice. Applications should reach my office by 10 pm on Monday next. A ballot will be held on Tuesday morning and the result made known as soon as possible thereafter.

Mr. James Wellbeloved (Erith and Crayford)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I ask you to consider the possibility that in due course you might wish to review your first statement in the light of experience? I make this point because on a normal week roughly five hours elapse between the start of proceedings and the expiration of the time at which applications for a second Adjournment debate can be made.

On a Friday morning only half an hour is being allowed and that is insufficient time for Back Benchers, first, to assess likely progress of the House, and, secondly to make the application to you. I accept that your ruling will stand for the time being, but I would ask you to give further consideration in the light of experience.

Mr. Speaker

Of course, I shall review the position after a period. I am trying to consider those who have to answer debates as well as those who initiate them. People try to make their arrangements for the weekend. If the House does not approve, the position can easily be changed.

Mr. Peter Bottomley (Woolwich, West)

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I hope that, in reviewing the position in the light of experience, you will consider that 11 o'clock is perhaps a more suitable time than 10 o'clock. That is the time when statements are normally made.

On another point, I should be grateful, Mr. Speaker, if you would look at c. 407 of yesterday's Official Report where two of the paragraphs are out of order.

Mr. Speaker

I have noticed. There are mistakes in Hansard, and they will be corrected in the revised edition.

Mr. John Silkin (Deptford)

The House is grateful, Mr. Speaker, for your decision to consider the matter raised a moment ago. It is more difficult for the Opposition than for the Government.

Mr. Speaker

There should be conversations through the usual channels and then with me. I want to serve the interests of the House as a whole.