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Points of Order

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 23 October 2007

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I seek your guidance. It is heartening that, as a result of the business statement last Thursday, the first debate on Burma ever to take place on the Floor of the House is scheduled for Monday 29 October. Pursuant to that fact, have you received an indication that the debate will be opened by the Foreign Secretary? As Chairman of the all-party democracy in Burma group, I am very concerned that if it were opened by anyone other than the Foreign Secretary, it would send a very serious message of weakness and indifference to the butchers of Rangoon.

The hon. Gentleman will be well aware that the question of who the Government decide will lead for them on any particular debate is not a matter for me.

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. In the light of the seriousness of the issues debated in today’s statement, the content of the Gould report and the previous undertakings given by the right hon. Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire, South (Mr. Alexander), will you confirm that it is in order for a Cabinet Member to come before the House to make a personal statement? Can you advise us whether any such request has been received?

The contents of today’s statement will no doubt be digested by the entire House, but the Government’s reaction is entirely a matter for them.

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I seek your guidance, as I fear that I may have inadvertently misled the House. I had not realised that the predecessor of the Secretary of State for Scotland was also a part-time Secretary of State for Scotland, albeit that he was not simultaneously a part-time Secretary of State for Defence. Is there any way that I can set the record straight on that matter?—[Interruption.]

Order. We have had enough explanations of everyone’s jobs today. Let us move on.