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Business Of The House

Volume 961: debated on Wednesday 24 January 1979

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

With permission, I will make a short statement about business tomorrow. The Supply day subject chosen by the Opposition has been changed and there will now be a debate on the economic situation, which will arise on an Opposition motion.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Are we not allowed to question the Lord President?

The question arises on tomorrow's business and the business following that debate. Will the House be permitted to have three hours to debate the important matter of the steel industry which, as the Lord President knows, is subject to certain EEC documents? I understand that one motion has been tabled which, I presume, would normally restrict us to one and a half hours. This has given rise to serious trouble between Back Bench and Front Bench speakers in the past. Is the Lord President in a position to assure us that we will have at least three hours on the steel debate tomorrow?

Some of my hon. Friends raised this question last Thursday. I would still hope that we could discuss it in an hour and a half, but I am happy to have conversations with my hon. Friends to see what representations they wish to make. I will take those into account before making a final decision.