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Auld Report Debate(Selection Of Speakers)

Volume 79: debated on Thursday 16 May 1985

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5.20 pm

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, relating to next Monday's debate. It is the custom of the House that the Chair always exercises fairness in calling hon. Members from each side to speak in a debate. On this occasion the debate will be of a cross-Bench type. At the heart of the question there will be a matter on which hon. Members on both sides will have set opinions. May we be assured that there will be a balance in the debate so that the different points of view, whether from this side or from that, can be heard? Secondly, if the Chair is aware that a large number of hon. Members wish to take part in the debate, will the ten minutes rule be operated?

That is a hypothetical point at the moment, to the extent that I do not know how many hon. Members will wish to take part in the debate. In an issue of this kind, however, I carefully weigh the balance of opinion as well as the balance of the parties. I shall consider carefully the question of a limit on the length of speeches when I have some idea of how many hon. Members wish to take part in the debate.