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Late-Night Sittings

Volume 78: debated on Monday 29 April 1985

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asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will take steps to seek to reduce the number of late-night sittings.

Business is already planned to take account of the many demands upon parliamentary time, whilst seeking to avoid late-night sittings wherever possible.

Does my right hon. Friend accept that, with the House sitting on average until 12.52 am and with the number of late-night sittings this Session being the highest for the past 11 Sessions, something should be done as a matter of urgency, especially because of the number of Government Bills being passed—60 in 1983–84? Will my right hon. Friend try to speed up decisions on this matter so that the House stops work at 12 midnight?

I have every sympathy with my hon. Friend's point. I am told that to date, this Session, the House has risen on average at 12.43 am, which is not very different from previous years.