HL Deb 26 January 2005 vol 668 c1266
Lord Grocott

My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend the Leader of the House, I beg to move the Motion standing in her name on the Order Paper.

As your Lordships will know, the normal time for party-chosen debates on Wednesday is six hours, and it would be normal in these circumstances to have two three-hour debates. However, because of the large number of noble Lords who have put down their names to speak, the usual channels have agreed to take three and a half hours for the second debate, which reflects the enormous popularity of these two debates chosen by the Labour Party. Together with the Statement that is coming up, that will take us past the normal finish time on a Wednesday, which is 10 o'clock, but it will not take us too far past that time.

On behalf of the Whips, I plead with the House that simple arithmetic tells you that when you have a large number of people speaking in a time-limited debate, if every single contributor goes over their allotted time by a mere 30 seconds, the amount left at the end is not much. That is within the power of the House, and it would ensure that there is no Minister winding up at the end if everyone goes a minute over, about which there may be mixed feelings. These are fixed, time-limited debates. That means that in the debate where we have five minutes each, as soon as the six goes up, it is time to finish—

Noble Lords


Lord Grocott

My Lords, I beg noble Lords' pardon—I am making the mistake that I am accusing everyone else of making. As soon as the five goes up, it is time to finish. Please assist us all in that respect.

Moved, That the debate on the Motion in the name of the Baroness Whitaker set down for today shall be limited to three hours and that in the name of the Lord Hunt of Kings Heath to three and a half hours.— (Lord Grocott. )

On Question, Motion agreed to.