On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the Prime Minister's extraordinary comments last night about the shooting down of the Iranian air liner, in advance of detailed evidence or inquiry, would it be in order to ask that the right hon. Lady makes a statement to the House on the implications of her words for Britain? Once again, in the court of international opinion, Britain is seen as an uncritical admirer of every American action——
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. It may have been brought to your attention, as Mr. Deputy Speaker promised, that there was some question about the length of certain speeches during the foreign affairs debate on Thursday. It is fair to say that there was a feeling on both sides of the House that the fact that, in one of those rare debates, four Front-Bench speeches took 125 minutes should merit the consideration of the Chair and the Leader of the House. Have you had time to reflect on what happened? Many hon. Members were unable to speak in that debate.
I have the greatest sympathy, because I know that many Back Benchers wanted to take part in that debate. I well remember, in days not very long ago, when very effective speeches were made from the Front Bench in less than 20 minutes. I think that it would be a good idea if we could return to those days. Speeches should certainly not last more than 30 minutes.
The Clerk will now proceed to read the Orders of the Day.