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Questions To Ministers

Volume 463: debated on Monday 11 April 1949

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May I ask the acting Leader of the House whether he has any statement to make about the order of Questions?

The House will recall that on 23rd February a request was made that Foreign Office Questions should be given a fixed position to ensure that some of them are reached every week. My right hon. Friend the Leader of the House then agreed to see what could be done.

The matter has been discussed through the usual channels and with the authorities of the House. As a result of this, a suggested re-arrangement has been made which will, I hope, meet the difficulty over Foreign Office Questions and still maintain the balance which we have tried to keep in the past.

The principal changes mean that Foreign Office Questions will be fixed after the Prime Minister's group on Monday, in place of Ministry of Agriculture Questions which will be moved to a similar fixed position on Thursday. Ministry of Fuel and Power Questions will move from Thursday to Monday to redress the balance. Foreign Office Questions will continue to be taken in rotation with other Departments on Wednesday.

I suggest that it would be convenient for the revised order of Questions to operate immediately after the Easter Recess and a printed list will be made available to hon. Members to-morrow. Hon. Members who have already handed in Oral Questions for answer after the Recess may wish to take steps to alter the dates of their Questions to correspond to the new arrangements.

I commend these proposals to the House as a reasonable way of meeting the desires that have been expressed and I hope they will be given a trial.