Will all Members please ensure that mobile phones, pagers and so on are turned off or on silent mode during the sitting? If Members wish to remove their jackets, although I suspect that this morning they probably will not, that is in order. We come first to the programme motion, on which debate may continue for half an hour.
I beg to move,
(1) during proceedings on the Merchant Shipping (Pollution) Bill [Lords] the Standing Committee shall (in addition to its first meeting at 10.30 a.m. on Tuesday 7th February) meet—
(a)at 4.00 p.m. on Tuesday 7th February;
(b)at 9.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. on Thursday 9th February;
(2) the proceedings shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at 4.00 p.m. on Thursday 9th February.
Welcome to the Chair, Mrs. Anderson. This is my first opportunity to serve under your chairmanship, and I am looking forward to it. We have put together not only a distinguished but a suitably heavyweight Committee to discuss this important Bill. I welcome Committee members and also look forward to working with them. The Bill is, I hope, non-controversial, but it needs to be properly scrutinised, and the programme motion gives us more than adequate time to do that.
I, too, look forward to serving with this distinguished Committee under you, Mrs. Anderson, in what I think will be a well-tempered sitting. I thank the Minister for his recent letter, which put some of the Second Reading debate into a slightly different light. However, we shall return to that matter as Committee deliberations develop. The Opposition have no problem with the programme motion.
I remind the Committee of the money resolution and the Ways and Means resolution connected with the Bill. Copies of the resolutions are available in the room. I also remind Members that adequate notice should be given of amendments. As a general rule, I do not intend to call starred amendments.