HC Deb 02 March 2004 vol 418 cc755-6 12.30 pm
Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow) (Lab)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Statements in the House before the facts of a situation are fully known are deeply unsatisfactory. However, in the circumstances of what has happened in Karbala—an iman showed me around there in 1994, and I appreciate that the situation is complicated—could a statement be made tomorrow? The coalition is deeply affected by the tragic events. I do not blame the Foreign Office for not saying more today, but surely tomorrow the position merits serious consideration.

Mr. Speaker

That is for the appropriate Minister to determine. No doubt the Father of the House's remarks have been heard and noted.

Mr. Oliver Heald (North-East Hertfordshire) (Con)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You will know that last Thursday I asked the Leader of the House for an urgent debate on Zimbabwe in the light of the deteriorating situation there and the Government's new emphasis on Africa, and in that context you will have heard the question that my hon. Friend the Member for West Suffolk (Mr. Spring) asked a moment ago. Given the urgency of the position, the importance of the subject and the new focus on Africa about which the Government have spoken, has the Leader of the House suggested to you that he wants to make a short statement to say that a debate will take place on Zimbabwe?

Mr. Speaker

I imagine that the shadow Leader of the House sees more of the Leader of the House than I do.