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Arrangement of Business

Volume 719: debated on Tuesday 29 June 2010


My Lords, there are 67 speakers signed up for today’s debate. If Back-Bench contributions are kept to seven minutes, the House should be able to rise at around midnight.

My Lords, is it really satisfactory to ask people whose average age is about 1,006 to stay up till 12 o’clock, and to have 67 speakers all on one day on one Motion? I would hope that the usual channels could look into this and come up with something which was slightly more satisfactory.

My Lords, when the Motion was set down, no one had any idea how many speakers there would be. It so happens that 10 per cent of your Lordships are desirous of speaking. In those circumstances, seven minutes is about right for a midnight rising time. Of course, if noble Lords spoke for five minutes, they could be ready to go at 10 pm.

Given that we now know the number of noble Lords who wish to take part in this debate, what on earth is the problem about finishing it at the more reasonable time of 10 o’clock and going into a second day? If the Government do not want to hear the views of noble Lords all around the Chamber, they should say so. This is nonsense; it is just waffling.