Orders of the Day — Scottish Development Agency Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:06 am on 21st October 1987.

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Photo of Mr Archy Kirkwood Mr Archy Kirkwood , Roxburgh and Berwickshire 2:06 am, 21st October 1987

I do not want to take any interventions, because I want to make a brief speech.

I oppose the Government's motion because it sets a worrying precedent to start interrupting and adjourning Second Reading debates. Opposition parties have precious little weaponry available to them in their armoury in any case. We have become accustomed to the Government having increasing recourse to guillotines. I understand that there are occasions when Governments have to use guillotines, but guillotining Second Reading debates is altogether different. It is new to me. [Interruption.] My experience may not be as great as the 150 years that the hon. Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro) seems to have been in the House, but I believe that guillotining Second Reading debates on such issues is a worrying precedent. I should like an assurance from whoever winds up the debate, if anybody does—none of the Ministers looks as if he is itching to do so—that there will be no more repetitions of motions to adjourn the debate on Second Reading being moved in this fashion because it would be a retrograde step.