HC Deb 31 January 1983 vol 36 c19 3.30 pm
Mr. Speaker

I promised to make a statement today on the new procedure for Consolidated Fund Bills, which the House will be following for the first time next Monday.

Under the new Standing Order No. 93A, proceedings on the Bill are to be formal: the various motions to dispose of it will be put to the House without debate. The ensuing debate will take place on the Adjournment and will not be confined to the contents of the Consolidated Fund Bill, which will already have been passed.

Under the Standing Order, the debate on the Adjournment may continue throughout the night until 9 am on Tuesday morning. The Standing Order, however, says nothing about the organisation of this debate. Accordingly I propose to follow the recommendations of the Select Committee on Procedure (Supply), which have generally commended themselves to the House. I shall hold a Ballot to determine the order of the subjects which Members wish to raise; and where identical or similar subjects have been put in by different Members whose names are drawn in the Ballot, only the first name drawn will be shown on the list.

I propose also to set a limit on the time of each debate, which, in accordance with the Select Committee's recommendation, will not normally exceed one and a half hours. I propose, however, to retain a discretion to allow one or two debates to continue for rather longer, as I do on holiday Adjournments, though no single debate would last longer than three hours. As some debates may not last as long as one and a half hours, Members will need to keep in touch with developments if they are not to miss their turn.

The Ballot will be held on Wednesday evening next. Members should submit their subjects to my office by not later than 4 pm on Wednesday. A list showing the subjects and times will be published on Thursday morning.