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Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 9 December 1987

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My Lords, with the leave of the House I should like to say a brief word about the length of speeches in this afternoon's debate standing in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos, to which your Lordships have just agreed to apply a five-hour time limit.

On the principle that the mover is allowed approximately 20 minutes and that the Minister should rise to reply not less than 25 minutes before the scheduled end of the debate, all other speeches should be limited to a strict upper limit of nine minutes, and if any noble Lord were to speak at greater length he would be doing so at the expense of other speakers later in the debate.