Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: This is a private Members' day, and there are other motions on the Order Paper. I was not embarrassed by this matter. I consider private notice questions on their merits, and that is the basis on which I granted the private notice question today.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: After that handsome apology, I do not think that there is anything more to be said.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order. I have already said that I cannot comment. It is not for me to comment on these matters. As I have said, this is a private Members' motions day. The hon. Member knows—he has often been in this position himself—that it would be unfair to take up time with points of order that I cannot answer.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Of course that is true. The hon. Member correctly states the criteria against which I judge applications for private notice questions.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order. I have heard nothing out of order.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order. The hon. Gentleman must not say that.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order. The hon. Gentleman is attempting to raise a question with the Minister through the guise of a point of order, and that is out of order.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: An opportunity may arise tomorrow if such a statement is made in Scotland.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: I understand that, following an application by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food early this morning stating that letters were required to be delivered urgently today to each Member of the House, they were accepted for handling by the Members' letter board. I am informed that the correct postage was paid on all those letters, should they need to be forwarded to Members. I have...
Mr Bernard Weatherill: I have not had a chance to read it yet. I can dispose of the matter by saying that I will certainly look into it.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: I do not think I need to hear it. I shall look into the matter now.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Hon. Members sometimes complain that they have not received information before they depart for their constituencies at a weekend, so the matter needs to be balanced. I have no idea how urgent the letter was.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: I think that we had better move on.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: I should announce to the House that, in view of the late start of the debate and the number of right hon. and hon. Members who wish to participate, I propose to put a precautionary limit of 10 minutes on speeches between 7 pm and 9 pm. If hon. Members who are called before that time are brief, it may be possible, in the general interests of the House, to relax that limit.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order. I know that this is an important statement, but we have an equally important debate on Welsh affairs today. I will allow questions to go on until 4.55 pm; then we really must move on because I will have to put a limit on speeches in any event in the Welsh debate.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: I refer again to what the Leader of the House just said. Let us deal with next week's business, please.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order. That seems rather wide of the business for next week.
Mr Bernard Weatherill: Order. In business questions, can we have one question only, please?