Skip to main content

Questions To Ministers

Volume 395: debated on Thursday 2 December 1943

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

May I raise a point of Order on the general subject of Questions? There are 35 down to-day to the Home Secretary, and it was impossible to reach any of them. I suggest that it is a very-bad thing for the House if it is impossible during the course of the week to ask any Questions of the Home Secretary, and, if that were to continue over a series of two or three weeks, it would be a very serious thing indeed. I should like to ask whether it is possible to alter the arrangements or take some steps by which it is possible for Members to question the Home Secretary.

There were a great number of Questions on the Paper before the Home Secretary's Department was reached. Also Members are rather inquisitive and put a very large number of supplemen-taries. The remedy is largely in the hands of Members themselves. If they insist on a large number of Supplementary Questions, we can only deal with a smaller number of Questions on the Paper.

On this occasion the reason for the congestion of Questions to the Home Secretary is the fact that it was not possible to put them down until last week. This was the first occasion on which any Questions to the Home Secretary could possibly appear. It is in the highest degree unsatisfactory not to be able to get replies. I have one myself about the publication of documents in the Mosley case and other important Questions. It seems to me that on this occasion special arrangements for answering these Questions should have been made.

That would require an alteration of the Rules of the House. We cannot do it now.

Why are the Home Secretary's Questions always so late? The first is No. 62.

It is the case that Questions to the Home Secretary come earlier on certain days. The various Departments take their turn in being early or late during each series of Sittings.