HC Deb 07 May 1985 vol 78 cc657-8 5.21 pm
Mr. David Winnick (Walsall, North)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate that you are not responsible for the business of the House, but I seek your advice because of the shortage of time.

I understand that there is not to be a statement in the House tomorrow to mark the 40th anniversary of the ending of the war. It seems strange to me, and no doubt to other hon. Members, that there will be no opportunity for brief exchanges and that an event of such historical importance is to pass without any kind of statement.

I understand that there is to be a service, but, in view of the shortage of time, I hope that the Leader of the House will be prepared to explain why there is not to be a statement. Indeed, I hope that even at this late stage there will be a change of mind on this very important topic.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Gentleman has information that has not been given to me. Normally I do not know about these matters until 12 o'clock on the day in question.

The Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. John Biffen)

I am almost all that stands between the House and the Committee stage of the Finance Bill, so my remarks will not be protracted.

I accept at once that the concern expressed by the hon. Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick) is widely felt throughout the House. The hon. Gentleman will see from the record of what happened 40 years ago, however, that on that occasion the House adjourned for a church service. In many ways, therefore, it seems appropriate that we should repeat that.

Nevertheless, as the hon. Gentleman has raised the matter, I shall look at it again.