Skip to main content

Foreign Secretary (Statement)

Volume 22: debated on Thursday 22 April 1982

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs apparently returned to the Chamber after his statement to make a further explanation. I am not quarrelling with that. It was his right. You, Mr. Speaker, and the House agreed to it. My question is this. In view of the importance of the content of the Secretary of State's subsequent explanation, made, I believe, some 20 minutes later, would it not have been useful for hon. Members to have had some information that the Foreign Secretary had decided to make it? Most hon. Members were unaware of what was happening.

I should like to explain to the House that the Foreign Secretary came to me during the Ten-Minute Bill that immediately followed his statement. It was not, therefore, 20 minutes. It was at the end of the Ten-Minute Bill. I considered it in the national interest that the right hon. Gentleman should make his statement at once.

Further to the point of order, Mr. Speaker. In case there is any misunderstanding, I am not quarrelling with your judgment. I merely ask that when a supplementary statement is to be made—this is more for the Foreign Secretary than yourself—hon. Members who are not in the Chamber might be notified. Yesterday the vast majority of hon. Members were, for various reasons, not present.

I understand the hon. Gentleman. It was not a supplementary statement. The right hon. Gentleman was correcting one sentence. The Opposition Front Bench was well represented throughout the period. I understand that some hon. Members saw the name appear on the indicator and hurried into the Chamber only to find that it was all over.