On a point of order. You said, Mr. Speaker, that hon. Members who were called to put questions to the Chancellor might find their chances decreased of catching your eye in the two-day debate. May we take it that other hon. Members who were standing and did not catch your eye have increased their chances?
On a point of order. I wonder, Mr. Speaker, whether you will reconsider your earlier statement. I think it is out of character of the Chair that it should issue anything which either stops a Member from asking a question or impedes him, or which might indicate that the Chair has any reservations. The Chair must surely face the debate at the time. With great respect, I wonder whether you, Mr. Speaker, will reconsider that statement.
With respect to the right hon. Gentleman, I consider very carefully the number of times hon. Members have spoken, the extent to which they have taken part in Questions and sometimes, also, the kind of interjection which they have made from a sedentary position. Those are all very relevant matters when the Chair is exercising its discretion.
Further to that point of order. On the question, Mr. Speaker, of your taking into account sedentary interruptions, may I ask how they are assessed? You implied that I myself had been guilty of making a sedentary interruption today. If you did not, I accept that my chances are very good in the two-day debate. But now that you have told us that you take into account such interruptions, I wonder whether you will enlarge upon how you make an assessment. Speeches and questions are all recorded and can be accurately assessed from the OFFICIAL REPORT. But I wonder how those who advise you judge the other matter of interruptions from a seated position.
On a point of order. Arising from your statement, Mr. Speaker, about people who ask questions, am I to assume that in future any Member who gets up to ask a question to elicit information which may be of use to him in making a speech in a subsequent debate will be ruled out?
Certainly not. I did not say that that governed my decision. I said that it was a factor which I took into account, particularly if it related very much to a debate which was about to take place. It is very much a matter of judgment.