Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I must ask the right hon. Gentleman to be very specific. I thought that he was asking me to allow a debate on the question of some action by the Syrian Government. Is the right hon. Gentleman suggesting that that action was not known before 12 o'clock by anybody?
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I really do not think that the right hon. Gentleman can bring himself within the terms of the Standing Order. I should have had notice.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. May I ask the right hon. Gentleman when he received this information? When did this information arrive?
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: No suggestion was made to the Chair until about twenty-five minutes past three. The right hon. Gentleman must try to raise it by a Private Notice Question tomorrow.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. The right hon. Gentleman must allow me to be quite firm and definite with him. On what he said, certainly I do not think that I should allow the matter to be raised under Standing Order No. 9 on a telephone call. I should need to know much more about it. I had no notice of it at all until about twenty-five minutes past three. My answer must certainly be "No". I am not prepared to...
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: As I indicated last Thursday, I have selected the amendment in the name of the right hon. Lady the Leader of the Opposition and her right hon. and lion. Friends, and thereafter—if that first amendment is defeated —I have selected for a Division the amendment in the names of the hon. Members for Western Isles (Mr. Stewart) and for Carmarthen (Mr. Evans) and their hon. Friends.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. There has already been one intervention to that effect. I must point out that nearly 50 right hon. and hon. Members wish to speak in this debate.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. This is an abuse. I intend, if there is time, to call a member of the SNP to speak in the debate. The hon. Gentleman is taking up his time.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: According to the Business Motion already approved by the House, I call upon the hon. Member for Western Isles (Mr. Stewart) formally to move his amendment.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: The hon. Member for Melton (Mr. Latham) raised a point of order yesterday regarding Prime Minister's Questions. The content of the answer to a particular Question, or type of Question, is a matter for the Minister concerned, and I do not think that this is something on which Mr. Speaker can make rulings. So far as Questions on engagements are concerned, a blocking answer is not a new...
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: It is my intention to indicate later this afternoon, without having had the advantage of reading the passage in The Times, my decision in the matter.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I hope that the House will allow the business to proceed. Well over 60 right hon. and hon. Gentlemen wish to speak in the debate on devolution.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I agree with the hon. Member for Melton (Mr. Latham) as to the importance of this point of order. I also agree with what has been said by the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Mendelson). My views on this "peg" system are well known. It is completely unsatisfactory, and I only wish that the Procedure Committee could find another way. However, I shall consider the matter. I shall examine what the...
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Before calling the first speaker, I shall deal with a matter referred to earlier relating to the Order Paper and the amendments. As some hon. Members will have seen, there are printing errors in the references to the lines to which the amendments relate. They have arisen because of the difference between the typewritten copy and the printed copy of the motion. The errors will be corrected. I...
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. May I remind the hon. Gentleman that he has been speaking for 22 minutes.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I am obliged to the hon Member.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. I think that is a reflection on the Chair. One hon. Member from the Scottish National Bench spoke for two minutes and another for six minutes. I hope that the hon. Member for Motherwell and Wishaw (Dr. Bray) will follow their example.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Are we finishing the debate now? This situation has never occurred before. No one has risen.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I do not know about that. From my negotiations with the Front Bench I understand that the winding-up speeches will not begin until 10.20 p.m. The extraordinary spectacle of no hon. Member rising has amazed me.