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Volume 689: debated on Wednesday 7 February 2007

My Lords, with the leave of the House, my noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor will imminently repeat a Statement on the White Paper. For this Statement only—this is without precedent—the usual channels have agreed that the noble Lord, Lord Williamson of Horton, should have the opportunity to speak within the initial 20-minute period set aside for the Front Benches, along with the noble Lords, Lord Strathclyde and Lord McNally. As usual, there will then be another 20 minutes for noble Lords from all sides of the House to put questions. As far as I can judge, there are no losers there.

I remind the House that the Companion makes it clear that the 20-minute question period should be for questions. Obviously, the shorter the questions are kept, the more answers that can be. I reassure the House that we shall no doubt find time to return to this subject.