§ 43. Mr. Latham
asked the Lord President of the Council if he will propose an amendment to Standing Orders so that the Question on a Bill which has been discussed on previous occasions shall, if the Bill is reintroduced, be put after not more than two hours' debate.
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
I have been asked to reply.
This, of course, is a matter which the Procedure Committee could examine if it so wished and which will, I am sure, have noted the hon. Member's suggestion.
§ Mr. Latham
While thanking the hon. Gentleman for that reply, may I ask whether he accepts, regardless of whether it is reasonable or unreasonable, that although a Measure may be talked out once it is monstrous that it should be possible for it to happen on several occasions as occurred, for example, to the Hare Coursing Bill? Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that it would be reasonable to make an amendment to procedure so that the Chair, in deciding whether to accept a closure, could have regard to the amount of time spent on previous occasions, thus ensuring that the will of the House was not frustrated by a minority?
§ Sir Robin Turton
Will my hon. Friend reconsider this attitude? Surely this matter is one involving the exercise of your discretion, Mr. Speaker. It cannot be the function of the Select Committee on Procedure to inquire into or give directions to Mr. Speaker about how he exercises his discretion on the closure.