Banking (Special Provisions) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:15 pm on 21st February 2008.

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Photo of Lord Davies of Oldham Lord Davies of Oldham Deputy Chief Whip (House of Lords), HM Household, Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords) 12:15 pm, 21st February 2008

I am grateful to all noble Lords who have spoken in the debate. I shall seek to answer the questions that were properly directed to me. I begin by apologising to the noble Lord, Lord Forsyth, if he felt that last night's reply was inadequate. He will recognise that we had a protracted debate. It took me 20 minutes to answer the central points that were raised in a considerable number of speeches. Had I directed myself then to all the detailed questions that were asked, I would have at least doubled that time. Of course, it may be thought that we have plenty of time at our disposal, but I am conscious of the fact that a Minister ought to speak only for a certain time. That is why at the beginning of the debate I dispensed with the usual formula of going through the Bill clause by clause, although my speech was drafted in those terms, and addressed myself to the fundamental issues that had been raised—we had the advantage of the other place having discussed it only the day before—so that I could as far as possible reassure the House on those questions. That was the purpose behind my opening speech. Although I did not at that stage do much in the usual way of going through the Bill clause by clause, I still spoke for 30 minutes. Noble Lords must recognise that I have to balance the proper response to a debate with the time available.