§ 3.23 p.m.
§ Lord Denham
My Lords, it may be for the convenience of the House if I announce that, subject to the progress of business—and it may become necessary to make a further business statement later—the Report stage of the Football Spectators Bill may be adjourned at some period for approximately one hour and that during such an adjournment the Second Reading of the Southampton Rapid Transit Bill may be taken.
§ Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede
My Lords, I thank the Government Chief Whip for making that statement. If it is necessary to alter or vary the order 387 of business because the debate tabled by the noble Baroness, Lady Robson, has overrun its expected time I trust that he will let Members of the House know as soon as possible.
On behalf of Members on this side of the House, I should like to take this opportunity to thank the Hansard staff for preparing and publishing a complete version of last Friday's marathon debate by first thing Saturday morning. I understand it has been such a bestseller that it has already sold out.
§ Lord Tordoff
My Lords, I should like to endorse the noble Lord's last remarks. In relation to the business statement, I hope that the announcement can be made reasonably early. Noble Lords speaking on the Second Reading of the Southampton Rapid Transit Bill have already seen that moved on the order paper from first business to first business during the dinner hour. Clearly, they will wish to know as soon as humanly possible the time at which that business will start.
§ Lord Denham
My Lords, I should like to thank both noble Lords for their comments. I should also like to add the thoughts of noble Lords on these Benches and express their thanks to the Hansard staff.
I appreciate what was said by the noble Lord, Lord Tordoff. The evening adjournment is for the benefit of those noble Lords taking part in the Report stage of the Football Spectators Bill rather than for those taking part in the business during the adjournment. However, I understand that it is only fair to let noble Lords know exactly what will happen as soon as possible.
The reason for having to make such an obscure business announcement—and usually announcements make matters clearer rather than more obscure—is that a number of noble Lords added their names to both speaking lists late this morning.