My Lords, with the leave of the House, I will make a short statement about business. It is usual to do so at this time in a new Session, to try to give the House a flavour of what the next week or two may hold. I know that, with the assistance of the opposition Chief Whip, Forthcoming Business will shortly be available to the House.
All of what I am about to say will be set out in our first edition of that Forthcoming Business. However, in summary, the debate on the Motion of my noble friend Lord Cope of Berkeley that an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty in reply to the gracious Speech will continue until the end of Thursday May 17—one day more than usual. I expect that the slightly, but not wholly, unusual amendment to the humble Address, in the name of the noble Baroness the Leader of the Opposition, will be both moved and, if necessary, divided upon on Wednesday, with the debate concluding on Thursday.
The following week, we will take a debate on the Olympics and two Second Readings. On Thursday, the Session’s series of Back-Bench debates will start with two balloted debates. I understand that the ballot for those debates will be drawn in the Minute Room next Tuesday, 15 May. It is possible to continue tabling Motions for that ballot until that time.
The following week, commencing 28 May, we will take a further Second Reading and a day of one-hour Questions for Short Debate, subject to a Motion later this week. I know that noble Lords are very keen on Questions for Short Debate and that it is an important matter for Back-Benchers. We will then adjourn a day early for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Recess.
The week of our return from the Diamond Jubilee Recess will be devoted to the Second Readings of the Bills carried over in the other place last Session, and a Thursday debate.