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Volume 570: debated on Thursday 14 March 1996

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3.31 p.m.

My Lords, at a convenient moment after 3.30 p.m., my noble friend Lord Lindsay will, with the leave of the House, repeat a Statement that is to be made in another place on the Dunblane incident. I should add that if the Statement is not received from another place before my noble friend Lady Blatch rises to move the Second Reading of the Asylum and Immigration Bill, then we shall break into that debate after the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Lester of Herne Hill.

I understand that the Statement has already begun in another place. Therefore, I am rather hoping that my noble friend Lord Lindsay will arrive in your Lordships' House so that we may take the Statement before the start of the Second Reading on the Asylum and Immigration Bill.

Since standing at this Dispatch Box, I have looked to see whether my noble friend is in the process of arriving before your Lordships. He may well have come to the conclusion that we are not to have the Statement until after the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Lester of Herne Hill, and he may be working on his notes.

My Lords, I saw the noble Earl only a few moments ago and I cannot believe that he would be working on notes which were prepared for him some time ago. I imagine that he would prefer to take the Statement now. On the other hand, we are ready to observe the wishes of the Government Chief Whip. I see that the noble Earl is now just about to take his place. After he has got his breath back, I am absolutely certain that this is the right lime at which to take the Statement.