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Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 15 February 1984

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3.9 p.m.

My Lords, with the leave of the House I should like to say a word about the two short debates this afternoon. In the normal way, adopting the principle that the mover is entitled to 15 minutes and that the Minister should rise to reply no later than 20 minutes before the scheduled end of the debate, I should have announced the maximum time that could be taken by each noble Lord without incurring the danger of depriving later speakers in the debate.

As such a limit would have been as much as 14 minutes in the case of the second debate, standing in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Lockwood, and even longer in the case of the first, standing in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Caradon, no such formal limits need be proposed. But I believe that the House would appreciate it if noble Lords would exercise a similar discipline voluntarily in order that the essential character of these short debates should be preserved.