47. Mr. VYVYAN ADAMS
asked the Prime Minister whether, in the interests of public efficiency, he will consider amending the Standing Orders with a view to limiting the possible duration of any sitting of the House?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I doubt whether any practicable proposal could be devised to limit the duration of any 1295 sitting of the House. While all Members will agree that it is desirable to avoid late night sittings, I am afraid that they are a necessary evil on certain occasions. Members who have been in Parliament for a long time will, I think, agree with me that in recent years there has been a growing tendency for late sittings to become less frequent, and that, on the whole, the House adjourns at an earlier hour than used to be the case.
May I ask my right hon. Friend whether, now that Parliamentary Government is subjected to so much novel criticism, he considers that public respect for it is enhanced by these all night sittings, which largely consist of Motions to report Progress and to apply the Closure?
§ Mr. MAXTON
May I ask the Prime Minister if these late sittings would be considerably obviated if the Prime Minister would operate the Standing Orders instead of so frequently suspending them?