The Lord Privy Seal (Viscount Cranborne)
My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.
Moved, That the debate on the Motion in the name of the Lord Borrie set down for this day shall be limited to two hours and that in the name of the Lord Clinton-Davis to three hours.—(Viscount Cranborne.)
§ Lord Ezra
My Lords, I should like to ask the noble Viscount, the Lord Privy Seal, on what basis it was decided that the speakers in the first debate should be limited to eight minutes and the speakers in the second debate to 13 minutes. I believe that the two debates are of equal importance and that, therefore, speakers should be given an equal amount of time to speak.
§ Lord Graham of Edmonton
My Lords, perhaps I may assist the noble Lord, Lord Ezra. It is for the party which has tabled the debates to decide how much time should be given to them. Yesterday evening when I looked at the lists of speakers, there were certainly fewer people to speak on the first debate than appeared this morning and at least half as many to speak on the first debate as on the second. The Labour Benches do not like debates to last for more than five hours. We felt that two two-and-a-half hour debates would be unfair, because the second debate had more speakers than the first. That is why we decided that the debates should be timed as they are.
On Question, Motion agreed to.