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Questions To Ministers

Volume 464: debated on Thursday 28 April 1949

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You will recall, Mr. Speaker, that yesterday I called your attention to the fact that Questions had occupied nearly half an hour, to which you kindly replied that it was a matter for consultation through the usual channels. I am wondering whether I might ask the Lord President now if he would be prepared to reconsider the Standing Order so as to allow Questions to be called over a second time and thus give more opportunity for important Questions to he answered?

I agree that this week there has been a shortage of Questions, a shortage which has continued even up to today, but, taking the general run of days, Questions not only last out the time, but there are usually more Questions than it is possible to reach. Whilst I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's point, and whilst I recall the practice of earlier days, I do not think we ought to revert to that practice. On the whole, I think that the present system is best. After all, if hon. Members put down Questions, there is an obligation upon them to be in the House.

We have an important statement to come and we have the Guillotine at 5.30, and we do not want to take time from the Debate.