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Business of the House

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

I beg to move,

That, at this day’s sitting, the Speaker shall put the Questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on:

(a) the Motions in the name of Ms Harriet Harman relating to membership of Regional Select Committees, not later than one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the Motion for this Order; and

(b) the Motions in the name of Ms Harriet Harman relating to Green Book (Committee on Members’ Allowances), Liaison Committee (Membership) and Pay for Chairmen of Select Committees not later than three hours after the commencement of proceedings on the Motion for this Order; such Questions shall include the Questions on any Amendments selected by the Speaker which may then be moved; proceedings may be entered upon or continue after the moment of interruption; and Standing Order No. 41A (Deferred divisions) shall not apply.

This is a very simple business of the House motion. It is a slightly different version from that which was tabled and on the Order Paper last night but was objected to. It allows one and a half hours for a single debate on putting the names of various Members of the House on eight regional Select Committees. This is normally done without debate at the moment of interruption, so it seemed to the Government that an hour and a half was a perfectly adequate amount of time.

Before my hon. Friend moves from the procedure relating to the motion on regional Select Committees, let me say that I am bewildered. Why have not the names of these Members been before the Committee of Selection? We have that Committee, which costs money and so on, but these appointments were never put to it—why not?

I think, if my hon. Friend will allow, that that is a matter for the next debate—[Interruption.] I am happy to answer the question; it is a very straightforward matter. The Committee of Selection does not come into play when it is a question of Members being put on a Committee by virtue of a temporary Standing Order. These appointments are made under a temporary Standing Order that lapses at the end of this Parliament; consequently, there is no need for them to go to the Committee of Selection. However, that is for the later debate, because this is merely about the business of the House motion.

A second period of an hour and a half is allowed for relatively minor issues that have been pressed on me by Members in all parts of the House, in one instance by the chairman of the 1922 committee. I hope that hon. Members will feel able to support the motion.

Question put.

The House proceeded to a Division.

I ask the Serjeant at Arms to investigate the delay in the No Lobby.