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Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:30 pm on 18th March 2004.

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Photo of Peter Hain Peter Hain Chair, Modernisation of the House of Commons Committee, The Secretary of State for Wales, Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal 12:30 pm, 18th March 2004

The business for next week will be as follows:

Monday 22 March—Continuation of the Budget.

Tuesday 23 March—Conclusion of the Budget.

Wednesday 24 MarchOpposition half-day [7th allotted day] (part one). There will be a debate on an Opposition motion, subject to be announced, followed by, if necessary, consideration of Lords amendments.

A debate on the Equitable Life inquiry on a motion for the Adjournment of the House.

Thursday 25 March—If necessary, consideration of Lords amendments, followed by programme motion relating to the Employment Relations Bill, followed by a debate on defence policy on a motion for the Adjournment of the House.

Friday 26 March—Private Members Bills.

The provisional business for the following week will be:

Monday 29 March—Remaining stages of the Employment Relations Bill, followed by, if necessary, consideration of Lords amendments.

Tuesday 30 March—Opposition Day [8th allotted day]. There will be a debate on an Opposition motion, subject to be announced, followed by, if necessary, consideration of Lords amendments.

Wednesday 31 March—Remaining stages of the Higher Education Bill.

Thursday 1 April—Motion on the Easter recess Adjournment.

I should also like to inform the House that the business in Westminster Hall for April will be:

Thursday 1 April—Debate on the report from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee on by-catch of dolphins and porpoises.

Thursday 22 April—Debate on the report from the Treasury Committee on transparency of credit card charges.

Thursday 29 April—Debate on the report from the International Development Committee on development assistance and the occupied Palestine Territories.

It might be helpful if I update the House on the incident in Parliament square this morning. Shortly before 9 am, a van carrying chemicals was involved in a traffic accident. The police and the fire brigade were alerted immediately, and the square was cordoned off because the van contained two chemicals that, if mixed, might have produced harmful gas. The fire brigade took action with regard to chemical control and decontamination procedures. The closure resulted in severe traffic disruption, and both Westminster and Lambeth bridges were closed. Black Rod's Garden remained open to Members' vehicles. I should like to thank the emergency services and the Serjeant at Arms for dealing with the situation so quickly.