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Lord Shepherd: My Lords, the noble Lord is being a little harsh on the Chief Whip when he seeks an assurance at this moment in time. The assurance we must ask of the Chief Whip is that he will use his best judgment at the time. I suggest that we return at eleven o'clock, as has been proposed.

Lord Carter: My Lords, for once I must disagree with my noble friend Lord Shepherd. He said that I had been harshly dealt with, but I am used to that. We will review the position through the usual channels at some time before eleven o'clock. At that hour I shall announce the decision of the usual channels. I certainly do not wish to enter into a debate on the hour of the clock.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

[The Sitting was suspended from 10.10 to 11 p.m.]

Lord Carter : My Lords, it seems unlikely that we shall receive the Bill tonight at a time which would enable us to debate it properly. Therefore, I think that we should adjourn the House, return at three o'clock tomorrow for public business, conclude the business on the Bill and prorogue tomorrow, not on Friday. If we meet at three o'clock, there will have to be Questions. We shall then deal with the Bill in good order and, it is to be hoped, deliver it and then prorogue. Therefore, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Moved, That the House do now adjourn.--(Lord Carter.)

Lord Henley: My Lords, I thank the Government Chief Whip for those remarks and I thank him for agreeing to the points that were put to him outside the Chamber by the usual channels. I thank him for

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agreeing that these matters should be dealt with in a seemly manner, as I always said was appropriate. I hope that there can be further discussions concerning when we should deal with these matters. We will meet at three o'clock and we give our commitment that we shall try to ensure that the business can be dealt with in an appropriate manner tomorrow afternoon.

The Earl of Caithness: My Lords, I am grateful to the Government Chief Whip for his Motion. Earlier this evening there was mention of the Railways Bill. I took the trouble to look it up because I took the Bill through the House and it also happened to be my birthday on the day we had the same discussion as we are having now. I recall the words of the noble Lord, Lord Richard, when he was Leader of the Opposition. Referring to my noble friend Lord Wakeham, who moved a similar Motion, the noble Lord said that,


    "he subjected the House and, I think, a large part of the Palace of Westminster and certainly an interested public to the farce of watching the Government do a total U-turn. May I say to the Leader of the House what I think that one of his colleagues once said to another Member of Parliament? Perhaps at this stage he should go and lie down in a darkened room, keep on taking the pills and ponder on his future".--[Official Report, 3/11/93; col. 1151.]

Lord Harris of Greenwich: My Lords, what the Government Chief Whip has proposed is reasonable and it is probably unavoidable. We have had discussions outside the Chamber and I think that the House should accept what he has recommended.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Immigration and Asylum Bill

Returned from the Commons earlier this day with an amendment disagreed to with a reason for such disagreement; with an amendment agreed to with an amendment; and with the remaining amendments agreed to; the Commons amendment and reason ordered to be printed pursuant to Standing Order 50.

        House adjourned at three minutes past eleven o'clock.


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