HC Deb 20 December 1989 vol 164 cc388-9

Members successful in the ballot were:

Mr. Jeremy Hanley (Richmond and Barnes)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I fully understand your difficulties in choosing hon. Members to speak on statements. I also understand the privileges afforded to Privy Councillors and, indeed, the practices of the House. On the last three occasions that we have discussed Hong Kong and the Vietnamese refugees and migrants, very much the same list of personnel have been called. While I recognise that there is an element of precedence, I wonder whether just once, for an experiment, you could start at the bottom of the heap—with me?

Mr. Speaker

What the hon. Gentleman has said is not entirely accurate. If he were to see some of the letters and visits that I receive from Privy Councillors and other distinguished Members after statements, alleging that they are the world's greatest experts and should have been called, I think that the hon. Gentleman would accept that they are not always called.

I say sincerely to the whole House that I do my best to ensure that the limited time of the House is spread as fairly as possible. It is not easy.