HL Deb 10 May 1999 vol 600 cc133-4WA
Lord Campbell of Croy

asked the Leader of the House:

Whether the time allowed for an individual Starred Question and its associated supplementary questions is now limited to 10 minutes, as indicated by her on 28 April (H. L. Deb., col.313), even if more time is available, within the 30 minutes allotted daily to Starred Questions, because of withdrawals or expeditious treatment of the other three Questions. [HL2305]

The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington):

No. In the self-regulating Chamber, self-restraint in the use of time is essential. Time limits have increasingly been required because more Lords wish to participate. Noble Lords now regard the time provided as a right rather than a maximum. It is well understood that Starred Questions should end within 30 minutes; within that period no time limits are enforceable other than to ensure that all Questions tabled have a fair share of the time. The report from the Working Group on Procedure in the Chamber. chaired by the noble Baroness Lady Hilton of Eggardon, did recommend an expectation that the Clerk would call the next Question when the clock showed a certain number of minutes had elapsed on each Starred Question, but the Procedure Committee did not support this change. Where they are fewer than four Starred Questions, noble Lords may still use the time available; it would not he right for the Leader of the House to suggest that less time should be used for three Questions.