Orders of the Day — Scotland Bill (Programme)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:10 pm on 30th April 1998.

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Photo of Donald Gorrie Donald Gorrie Liberal Democrat, Edinburgh West 8:10 pm, 30th April 1998

I found the past hour remarkably educational. As I understand it, the House agreed that it should spent three days on Report and Third Reading of the Bill and that the debate would end at 10 o'clock. The Government are now saying that, if there is a statement or the debates take place on a Thursday when the Leader of the House answers questions, that time will be made up. All that we are discussing today is whether there will be three debates that are guaranteed to last six and a half hours or whether on one or more of those days the debate may last only five and a half hours or four and a half hours.

The measure is an admirable concept, which I hope will be extended in future timetables for Bills, so that they are not adversely affected by extraneous events. That is a simple, straightforward and honourable concept, which I am happy to endorse.