§ Mr. Douglas Hogg (Sleaford and North Hykeham)
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I have been trying to get the Speaker's selection list for the next Bill on the Order Paper. I had hoped to participate in the debate on the Sexual Offences Bill and that the selection 624 list would be available before it began, because it is difficult to prepare for the Criminal Justice Bill without it.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst)
I can tell the right hon. and learned Gentleman that one reason why the Speaker is not in the Chair and that I, as Chairman of Ways Means, am occupying his place is that he is currently engaged on that matter. I expect the selection list to he published imminently.
§ Mr. Hogg
Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am grateful for that, but surely the situation highlights the desirability of the Government not cramming and compressing business in such a way, because if they did not, the Speaker would not be in the difficulty in which he finds himself.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
I can only express sympathy to the right hon. and learned Gentleman, but it is not an uncommon occurrence in the annals of parliamentary history.
§ Mr. Eric Forth (Bromley and Chislehurst):
Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Perhaps you and Mr. Speaker might consider a brief suspension of the sitting between consideration of one Bill and another. As my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Mr. Hogg) pointed out, it is unreasonable to expect hon. Members to participate in the proceedings on the next item without knowing what will be selected for the subsequent item. Would not a brief suspension be appropriate so that hon. Members could acquaint themselves with the selection and prepare for the following debate?
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
I do not believe that a suspension would be helpful. I am sure that once the Speaker's selection is known, hon. Members can ascertain the extent of the business that faces the House later.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, pursuant to Orders [28 June 2001 and 29 October 2002],
§ Consideration of Lords Message
§ Proceedings on consideration of the Lords Message shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement at this day's sitting.
§ Subsequent stages
§ Any further Message from the Lords may be considered forthwith without any Question put.
§ Proceedings on any further Message from the Lords shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.—[Charlotte Atkins.]
§ Question agreed to.