asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Emergency Powers (Defence) Railways (Transport of Flowers) Order, No. 232, of 1943, which was signed on 13th February and came into force on 16th February, was not available in the Library of the House of Commons up to midnight on 23rd February; that there were not available in the Library any of the Statutory Rules and Orders between Nos. 163 and 232; that at least six persons have been arrested and prosecuted under the provisions of Order No. 232 before it was available in the Library of this House; and whether he will give instructions that no proceedings will be taken under any Order in future before it has been made available to hon. Members?
Arrangements have recently been made whereby new Statutory Rules and. Orders are supplied to the Library of the House daily instead of once a week. The new arrangements were put into operation on 22nd February, on which day Order No. 232 was available in the Library. In future, the Orders will be available as soon as they are printed, and no such instruction as that suggested by my hon. Friend will therefore be required.
On whose authority does the right hon. Gentleman make the statement that the document was put in the Library on the 22nd? I was in the Library at midnight on the 23rd, searching the volume in which it was supposed to be, and I found that it was not there.
I have given the information which I have.
If hon. Members put down Questions based on accurate information, is it not the duty of Ministers to make sure that their answers are equally accurate?
I have done so.
Of my own knowledge, because with my own eyes I looked through the files several times, I state that the document was not there. Why does the Minister now tell me that it was there?