The debates were among five scheduled Westminster Hall debates that gave MPs an opportunity to raise local and national issues and to receive a response from a Government minister.
Schedule of Westminster Hall debates: 4 June 2013
9.30am - 11am: Vocational Education
Nic Dakin, Labour MP for Scunthorpe, moved a debate on the future of vocational education. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Skills, Matthew Hancock, responded on behalf of the Government.
11am - 11.30am: Houses of Memories Programme
Steve Rotheram, Labour MP for Liverpool, Walton, moved a debate on the Houses of Memories programme in Liverpool. The Minister of State for the Department of Health, Norman Lamb, responded on behalf of the Government.
2.30am - 4pm: Science and Research
Dr Julian Huppert, Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge, moved a debate on support for science and research. The Minister for Universities and Science, Mr David Willetts, responded on behalf of the Government.
4pm - 4.30pm: A120 (Colchester)
Mr Bernard Jenkin, Conservative MP for Harwich and North Essex, moved a debate on the safety of the A120 east of Colchester. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Norman Baker, responded on behalf of the Government.
4.30pm - 5pm: Drug-resistant Tuberculosis (Developing Countries)
Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse, moved a debate on the rising rates of drug-resistant tuberculosis in developing countries. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, Lynne Featherstone, responded on behalf of the Government.
Westminster Hall debates
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays there are two one and a half hour debates and three half hour debates. The longer debates are intended for broader subjects where a number of MPs will want to speak. The shorter debates may focus on an issue that an MP may want to raise about their constituency.
Two ballots are held on the Wednesday of the previous week for each type of debate; MPs may enter into both ballots but can only be successful in one.
Each government department responds to the debates every other week according to a rota.
The Chair is taken by a member of the Panel of Chairs, with the same duties and powers conferred on Deputy Speakers.