In order to meet the wishes of the House to allow as many hon. Members as possible to take part in the Debate, we propose to extend the Sitting to-day until such time as the House may think con- venient. We are prepared to sit to as late an hour as the House wishes. The Debate will be concluded on the next Sitting Day, and as at present advised it is not proposed to extend the Sitting on that day as there will be ample time to-day. We propose on the next Sitting Day to move the Motion fixing the dates of the Whitsuntide Adjournment.
May I put again a point which my right hon. and learned Friend put rather unfortunately? He said "if the Minister of Defence thought it necessary to attend." Surely if the House asked, in a proper and courteous manner, for the Minister of Defence to come down and answer any point, the Minister should be prepared to do so?
He will be the best judge of that. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] He will be the judge on the Debate of whether, in his opinion, it is necessary, in order to satisfy the House, for him to come here and make a statement.
Surely the right hon. and learned Gentleman is taking this a little bit too far. Surely it is not for the Minister of Defence to be the sole judge as to whether he should attend the House and participate in the Debate. It should be for the House to express its views as to whether the subject warrants the presence and participation in the Debate of the Minister of Defence?