Mr Bernard Weatherill: (in the Clerk's place at the Table): I have to acquaint the House that the House has been to the House of Peers, where a Commission under the Great Seal was read, authorising the Royal Assent to the following Acts: Consolidated Fund (No. 2) Act 1992Appropriation Act 1992Finance Act 1992Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992Offshore Safety (Protection against Victimisation) Act 1992Prison...
Mr Bernard Weatherill: I have further to acquaint the House that the Lord High Chancellor, being one of the High Commissioners, delivered Her Majesty's Most Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament, in pursuance of Her Majesty's Command, as follows:
Mr Bernard Weatherill: I am now required under Standing Order No. 50(3) to put, without further debate, the Question on each of the remaining ways and means motions. My understanding is that hon. Members do not require a Division until we get to motion No. 23; in which case, with the leave of the House, I will put the motions before that together.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: It is now my duty to put the motion moved by the Prime Minister.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order. I think that it was Speaker Brand who created the closure by saying, "I have had enough." [Laughter]. I have very nearly had enough, but I shall call Mrs. Margaret Ewing.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: I have a brief statement to make of a valedictory kind. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Now that the date for the general election is known, I hope that the House will allow me to end my Speakership by expressing, briefly, a word of appreciation and thanks. It goes, first, to all hon. Members for their consideration and kindness to me, and also for their support. I am well aware that a good Speaker is...
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order. I ask the House to listen to questions in silence because it is difficult to hear at this end of the Chamber.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: The hon. Gentleman should not quote. Please paraphrase.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Dr. Norman Godman.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order. There is a great deal of excitement this afternoon. I hope that the House will settle down.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Mr. Ralph Howell.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: I am sorry—that was entirely my fault.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order. This is the public debate.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order. We must get on.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order. Let us settle down. Several of the hon. Members who are rising to put questions seek to participate in the debate. It will make it difficult if they take time now.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order. This takes time out of the speech by the Opposition Front-Bench spokesman.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order. I am sorry to interrupt the right hon. and learned Gentleman, but I was taken aback by all this noise. In view of the large number of right hon. and hon. Members who want to participate today, I propose to put a precautionary 10-minute limit on speeches between 7 pm and 9 pm, but I hope that it will not be necessary if Members called to speak before then are brief.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order. There is no need for this.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order. Interventions will take a great deal of time out of the subsequent debate.