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Arrangement of Business

Volume 753: debated on Monday 7 April 2014


My Lords, before the Clock starts ticking for the debate in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Dannatt, perhaps I may assist the House with advice about timing. Because the Question for Short Debate is now last business, according to the rules set out in the Companion that means that instead of just one hour, he is allocated one and a half hours. I know that this will bring joy to some colleagues because it means that those who are to speak from the Back Benches and the Opposition Front Bench spokesperson will now have five minutes in which to speak before they exceed their allotted time. I know that this will not bring joy to all because they have worked their evening out on the basis that the time this debate would be held was 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm. I also ought to say that there is a speaker in the gap, who knows that the maximum time to speak is four minutes. There is a mood around the House, I think, that briefer is better, but I am sure that as always it will be a quality debate.