HC Deb 22 July 1983 vol 46 c692
Mr. Speaker

Before I call the hon. Member for Dewsbury (Mr. Whitfield) to move his motion, I have a short statement to make.

I wish to say a word about the length of private Members' motions. This is made easier for me by the commendable restraint that has been shown by the three hon. Members who were fortunate in the ballot for today. I am concerned by a tendency for Members who fear that their motion will not be reached—I sympathise with the position in which they find themselves — to table motions which, in effect, amount to the printing of undelivered speeches, a practice unknown to our tradition.

I consider that a motion of at most about 15 lines, consisting of about 250 words, gives ample scope for an hon. Member to set out a proposition for the consideration of the House. I intend to instruct the Table Office to inform hon. Members, in appropriate cases, that that is my view.