Armed Conflict (Parliamentary Approval)

Part of Opposition Day — [11th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:19 pm on 15th May 2007.

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Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Chair, Modernisation of the House of Commons Committee, Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal 4:19 pm, 15th May 2007

Indeed. It seems as though the recommendations of the Modernisation Committee are moving in that direction. We are certainly proposing to change the title "Adjournment debate"; it is ludicrous and outdated and even in the House no one can understand why we move to go home and then spend six hours discussing not whether we are going home but issues of major importance. The Government have tried to make better use of substantive motions for subject debates as well as for debates on specific issues. Of course, judgments have to be made; for example sometimes—as I have done myself—in foreign policy areas it is better for there to be open debate without a specific resolution, as sometimes there may be, too, in respect of reviewing the progress of military action. Finally, it is always open to the Opposition to table a substantive motion, although neither Opposition has tried to do so in respect of military action during my 28 years in this place.