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STANDING ORDERS—AMENDMENTS

Mr Reith (Leader of the House), pursuant to notice, moved—That the following amendments to the standing orders be made:

(1) Standing order 212 be amended to read:

  212. A Member bringing in a bill shall present to the House a fair copy signed by the Member.

(2) Unless otherwise ordered, the following amendments to the standing orders be adopted for the autumn and winter periods of sittings in 1998:

 (a) Standing order 81 be amended to read:


 Debate confined to present question—Exceptions

  81. No Member may digress from the subject matter of any question under discussion:

  Provided that—

  (a) on the question for the adjournment of the House to terminate the sitting, or on the question for the adjournment of the Main Committee prior to 1.30 p.m. on a Thursday, matters irrelevant thereto may be debated, and

  (b) on the motion for the second reading of an Appropriation or Supply Bill, except an Appropriation or Supply Bill for expenditure that is not expenditure for the ordinary annual services of the Government, matters relating to public affairs may be debated.

 (b) Standing order 91 (Time limits):

  Omit:

 Question for adjournment of House to terminate the sitting—

    Each Member 5 minutes

  (no extension

  of time to be

granted)

   Provided that, if no other Member rises  to address the House, a Member who  has already spoken to the motion may  speak a second time for a period not  exceeding 5 minutes.

  Substitute:

  Question for adjournment of House or Main Committee (on a Thursday) to terminate the sitting—

    Each Member 5 minutes

  (no extension

  of time to be

granted)

   Provided that, if no other Member rises  to address the House or the Main Committee,  a Member who has already spoken  to the motion may speak a second time  for a period not exceeding 5 minutes.

 (c) Standing order 274 (Sittings and adjournment):

  Omit paragraph (e), substitute:

  (e) the Committee shall stand adjourned upon completion of consideration of all matters referred to it by the House: Provided
that, on a Thursday, if the Main Committee is sitting at 12.30 p.m., or on the earlier completion of all matters referred to it, the Chair shall propose the question—That the Committee do now adjourn.

 (d) New standing order 274A be inserted:

  Adjournment debates

  274A. The question—That the Committee do now adjourn—shall be open to debate which must, except prior to 1.30 p.m. on a Thursday, be relevant to the question:

  Provided that:

  (a) if, on the question—That the Committee do now adjourn—being proposed, a Member requires the question to be put forthwith without debate, the Chair shall forthwith put the question;

  (b) if proceedings are interrupted, any business under discussion and not disposed of at the time of the adjournment shall be set down on the Notice Paper for the next sitting; and

(c) if the question—That the committee do now adjourn—is negatived, the Committee shall resume the proceedings at the point at which they had been interrupted:

  Provided further that, after the debate on the question—That the Committee do now adjourn—has continued for 30 minutes or until 1.30 p.m., whichever first occurs, the Chair shall interrupt the debate, at which time—

  (d) a Minister may require that the debate be extended for 10 minutes to enable Ministers to speak in reply to matters raised in the preceding adjournment debate; on the expiry of 10 minutes, or upon the earlier cessation of the debate, the Chair shall forthwith adjourn the Committee, or

  (e) if no action is taken by a Minister under paragraph (d) the Chair shall forthwith adjourn the Committee.

 No amendment may be moved to the question—That the Committee do now adjourn—on any day.

 (e) New standing order 275A be inserted:

  Statements by Members

  275A. Notwithstanding standing order 275, when the Main Committee meets before 10 a.m. on a Thursday, the Chair shall first call statements by Members. A Member, other than a Minister, may be called by the Chair to make a statement for a period not exceeding 3 minutes. The period for Members[quot ] statements may continue for a maximum of 18 minutes or until 10 a.m. whichever is the earlier.

 (f) Standing order 276 (How question decided—Division not possible):

 
 Add the following paragraph:

  Provided that, if the question—That the Committee do now adjourn—is unresolved, it shall be deemed to have been resolved in the affirmative.

Debate ensued.

Question—put and passed.