Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to
That the following proceedings shall apply to the Mental Capacity Bill for the purpose of supplementing the Order of 11th October 2004, as varied by the Orders of 12th October 2004 and 14th December 2004:
Consideration of Lords Amendments
1. Proceedings on consideration of Lords Amendments shall be completed at this day's sitting and shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.
2. Any further Message from the Lords may be considered forthwith without any further question being put.
3. The proceedings on any further Message from the Lords shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.—[James Purnell.]
The House divided: Ayes 277, Noes 97.
That is correct, unless we dispose of other amendments in the hour at our disposal and are thus able to get to your amendment.
Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I seek clarification on this matter. There will be a Division on the amendment tabled by my right hon. Friend Mr. Duncan Smith, and I believe that there may be a subsequent vote on the lead amendment in the group. However, will the House have an opportunity to express its opinion on the remaining amendments in the group and on the amendments in the other two groups? If not, will the votes on the remaining amendments in the first group and on the amendments in the other two groups be taken separately?
That would be the scenario, if we take the full hour on the first group. It is then a case of the knife coming down and everything else falling.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You will recall that when the Bill was last debated in the House, letters exchanged between the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and the Archbishop of Cardiff were circulated to hon. Members. Has it been indicated to you whether further correspondence has taken place, and whether the Archbishop of Cardiff has made a statement following the proceedings in the other place?
That is information that the right hon. Gentleman can draw out in the course of the debate.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. For guidance, can you clarify that what you are saying to us essentially is that the House now has a choice between debating these important issues or voting on them? The Government's timetable has forced that on us, and here in the House of Commons we can have neither a proper debate nor the votes that we need to tease out these important issues. Is that the position?
The right hon. Gentleman is using a point of order to express an opinion, which he is entitled to do from time to time, but I will not be drawn into whether I agree with that opinion or not.