Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Question No. 2. Mr. Renton, also about potatoes.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Whether or not the allegation was well founded, this is rather a waste of time.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Whether compliments come from expected or unexpected quarters, I think that on my penultimate day it would be inappropriate to acknowledge them.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Too late, I am afraid.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. I understand that the hon. Gentleman put a sort of explanatory question to the Table Office on this matter. Whether he gave specific notice or not I am very doubtful. I have had no notice in writing that he intended to make this application. Is he contending that he did give notice of this application?
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Just to clear the matter up, I understand that a telephone message, the meaning of which was subject to some dubiety, did reach my office.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I am very doubtful whether the hon. Gentleman's arguments about what will happen tomorrow or on Wednesday improve his chances of having his application accepted. As I have said so often, mine is a procedural decision only. I have to decide whether I think that it is appropriate for Standing Order No. 9 to be brought into operation. I am not allowed to give my reasons, but I am allowed to have...
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Before I call the Lord President, may I say that I am almost entranced on my last day to find that about 30 right hon. and hon. Members want to speak on procedure? This is quite a new development. This keen interest encourages me very much. I hope, however, that there will not be a repetition of what happened last Thursday when a very few right hon. and hon. Members took almost all the time...
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. Even a person on his death bed must be allowed to ask a question. When was this point put to me before?
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: May I again ask a question? Is the hon. Gentleman suggesting that no name is put at the beginning of a series of questions? I am told that the custom has been for about 50 or 60 years to put the name of the Member asking the first question in a series before the first question and then for the series to continue without stating the name again.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I said last night that I would examine the report of the debate on employment, in the course of which it was alleged that unparliamentary language had been used by the hon. Member for West Stirlingshire (Mr Canavan). I have done so. There is no reference in Hansard to the use of the words "racialist swine" by the hon. Member, although he admitted using the word "racialist". That is not in...
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. This is getting very near a speech.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. Is the hon. Gentleman seeking to impart information, or is he asking a question?
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: There are a great many "you's" going about. Even right hon. Gentlemen are addressing the Chair.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I do not think that this is a matter on which the Chair should give guidance. I think that it is a matter for Ministers.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. We have a very important debate to come. About 60 right hon. and hon. Members want to catch my eye later. There will be a debate on procedure on Monday and I should have thought that that was the time to raise these matters.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. That is not a matter for the Chair.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. In view of what I said earlier about the next debate, we must move on.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. I deprecate any reference to a private and confidential conversation that I may have had with the hon. Member.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I must express my own point of view. I take full responsibility for that decision. The reason I accepted the other motion was that it was a four-day debate. If I allow that innovation on a one-day debate, it will probably happen every time we have a three-line whip on a one-day debate. It is a difficult procedural point. I could not make such a serious innovation in our practices without...