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Public Expenditure Debate (Opposition Motion)

Volume 928: debated on Friday 18 March 1977

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On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. It will be within your knowledge that as a result of the events last night I invited the Prime Minister to follow the precedent set by his predecessor and face the House with a motion of confidence put down in his own name. He has declined to do so or to come to the House this morning. I have therefore handed in a motion

"That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government."
I understand that the Prime Minister will give facilities for it to be taken early next week. It will obviously be for the convenience of the House to know when it will be taken and I wonder, Mr. Speaker, whether you could invite the Lord President so to inform the House.

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(Mr. Michael Foot)

In response to the right hon. Lady's last question, I can say that in the statement issued last night by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, immediately after he had had the representations from the right hon. Lady, he indicated that he thought the proper course was for the right hon. Lady, if she wished—and it was her choice—to put down a motion of no confidence, and we would provide the facilities according to the normal methods. That is what we propose. We therefore suggest that the debate should take place on Wednesday of next week.

I would ask to make a further statement on Monday about the rearrangement of the rest of the business. The business already announced for Monday will remain as I announced it yesterday.