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Arrangement of Business

Volume 724: debated on Thursday 3 February 2011


My Lords, I congratulate the noble Earl, Lord Clancarty, on securing the next important debate. Its importance is reflected in the length of the speakers list of 25. It may be for the convenience of the House—I discussed this with the noble Earl earlier today—if I gently remind the House of the rules governing time-limited speeches. The first debate was a model of good behaviour in this House and reminded us of the respect that all Peers give to each other in keeping to time limits within time-limited debates. I know we have many new Members, whom we welcome to this House. Sometimes it is not quite understood that when the electronic clocks within the Chamber display a time—on this occasion one minute—it means that one minute has already elapsed and the second minute has begun. At that stage, one must consider giving way to others. I refer briefly to paragraph 6.66 —perhaps an inelegant number for giving good advice—of the Companion, which says:

“Speakers in time-limited debates should respect the time guidelines and keep their speeches short, so that all those who wish to speak may do so”.