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Adjournment Motion Debates

Volume 416: debated on Tuesday 20 November 1945

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Owing to the large number of hon. Members who wish to raise subjects on the Adjournment, and in order to avoid the inconvenience which I am afraid they have had in entering their names in the book at 12 o'clock noon, I propose from next Monday, 26th November, to arrange for the book to be available for this purpose in the Speaker's Secretary's office from 4 to 8 p.m. on the days when the House meets at 2.15 p.m. and from noon till 3 p.m. on Fridays.

A ballot will then be taken each day for a fortnight ahead, and the Member successful in the ballot will be notified. Members who have not been successful will have to enter their names again the following day, if they wish to book a date for another Adjournment. On any day when the Government Business is concluded at an hour which allows for a considerable time to be given to the Adjournment, the hon. Member who has been successful in booking that day will have an opportunity of being the first to catch my eye. It is only on days when the Government have notified the House that they propose to discuss an important subject on the Motion for the Adjournment that the hon. Member who has booked that day will be unlikely to catch my eye until the last half hour. I hope this arrangement will meet the convenience of Members.

If Government "Business finishes unexpectedly early, and some- thing else is raised at short notice on the Adjournment Motion, will the hon. Member who has booked the last half hour still be able to have that last half hour, even though he was not in his place when Government Business finished?

Certainly. It is his half-hour, sacred to him, whatever the hour at which Government Business may have finished.

May I ask, Mr. Speaker, whether your decision today has to last for any length of time, in view of the fact that the ballot is a most uncertain method of obtaining redress? I have not drawn a single ticket in the Ballot for seating accommodation and my constituents are thereby, and to that extent, disfranchised. Can I ask whether this decision will be only temporary?

With great respect, Mr. Speaker, may I suggest that under the old system one might possibly have got an Adjournment arranged for three months ahead, but that under the ballot system one may never get an Adjournment?

Three months ahead was not possible. One could book only for a fortnight ahead. Under the new arrangement, the period will remain the same.