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Sittings of the House (21 June)

Volume 546: debated on Wednesday 13 June 2012

I beg to move,

That, at the sitting on Thursday 21 June—

(1) the House shall meet at 9.30 am, and will first proceed with any private business, petitions, and motions for unopposed returns;

(2) Standing Order No. 9 (Sittings of the House) shall apply to the sitting on that day with—

(a) the omission of paragraph (1) and of the proviso to paragraph (7); and

(b) the insertion of references to 2.30 pm as the moment of interruption;

(3) notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business), no opposed business shall be taken after the moment of interruption;

(4) no questions shall be taken, save as provided in paragraph (5) below;

(5) at 11.00 am the Speaker may interrupt the proceedings in order to permit questions to be asked which are in his opinion of an urgent character and relate either to matters of public importance or to the arrangement of business, statements to be made by Ministers, or personal explanations to be made by Members;

(6) if the House is in committee at 11.00 am, and the Speaker’s intention to permit such questions, statements or explanations has been made known, the occupant of the chair shall leave the chair without putting any question, and report that the committee has made progress and ask leave to sit again;

(7) the proviso to paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 88 (Meetings of general committees) shall not apply;

(8) no general committees shall meet after 2.30 pm;

(9) when a substantive motion for the adjournment of the House has been made by a Minister of the Crown, the Speaker shall put the question forthwith; and

(10) there shall be no sitting in Westminster Hall.

It seems only yesterday that I last had the opportunity to address the House on a procedural motion as a result of an objection from the hon. Member for Christchurch (Mr Chope), but of course I am delighted to do so again. I am just saddened that he does not seem to have joined us.

The motion is simple. As you know, Madam Deputy Speaker, Mr Speaker and the noble Lady the Lord Speaker have invited that remarkable lady, Aung San Suu Kyi, to address Members of both Houses in Westminster Hall on Thursday 21 June. The motion simply adjusts the hours of the House on that day as if it were a Friday sitting to accommodate that visit and to allow Members to hear her. The House will therefore sit at 9.30 am. I hope this will be for the convenience of hon. Members on both sides of the House, and I commend the motion to the House.

We support the motion. It is a simple change in the business to accommodate the important address to both Houses of Parliament by Aung San Suu Kyi, which I think most Members will be looking forward to. I note that there will also be a business statement, which will, of course, give us the opportunity of listening once again to the Leader of the House and the shadow Leader of the House.

Question put and agreed to.