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Questions And Answers

Volume 91: debated on Friday 15 March 1901

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I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, to expedite public business, he will consider the advisability of having all replies to questions addressed to Ministers by hon. Members printed and circulated among Members at the commencement of business.

If the hon. Gentleman means that any part of the questions answered across the floor of the House and their replies should be published first, I think it would only increase instead of diminishing the congestion of business. If, on the other hand, he means that the House is to be content with printed answers to the questions, it appears to me that, however desirable that might be from some points of view, it would deprive the House of the indulgence in a practice which it appears to enjoy.

Will the right hon Gentleman take any steps to prevent the same question being asked over and over again, season after season, as has been the case this session?

[No answer was returned.]

† The following is the Return referred to:—"Parliamentary Constituencies, Electors, etc. (No. 2).—Return of (1) the average number of Electors and of population respectively represented by the 670 Members of this House, and the highest and lowest represented by one Member; (2) the number and names of the Constituencies having more than double that average number, and of those having less than half of that average number: (3) the number of Members in this House represented by Constituencies having less than the average number; (4) the number of Members returned by the one-half of the total of the Electors of the United Kingdom whose electorates are lower than the rest, and the number of Members returned by the other half; and (5) the same particulars as regards each of the four parts of the United Kingdom, viz., England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland."