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Questions To Ministers

Volume 480: debated on Tuesday 14 November 1950

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On a point of order. May I, with very great respect to you, Mr. Speaker, point out that again I have the first Question to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on today's Order Paper and that for three weeks in succession Questions to the Chancellor have not been reached? Could I respectfully ask you whether the Chancellor's Questions could not take their turn with those of other Ministers, so that they could appear at the beginning of the Order Paper and some Questions could be put to him in future?

The Chancellor's Questions have always been after No. 45, directly after the Prime Minister and the Lord President of the Council. If necessary, and if we find that this flood of supplementary questions is always going on so that we never get beyond No. 45 when we ought normally to do 60 or 70 Questions, we may have to look at the position. I will bear the matter in mind; that is all I can say.

Further to that point of order. I should like to point out, Sir, that the same thing is happening with regard to the Foreign Secretary's Questions. Only one was reached last week and none was reached the week before that. I wonder whether it would be possible to re-organise the Ministers' list of Questions so that, on some occasions, the Foreign Secretary comes first.

The Foreign Secretary answers Questions on two days a week, at different periods, I think. Sometimes he is rather late and at other times he is first. I think that is correct, but I cannot bear all these matters in my mind. The Foreign Secretary gets a fair chance, on the whole.

Would you consider the possibility, Sir, of bringing the Prime Minister's Questions forward at a certain time, say three o'clock, instead of in a numbered place?

That would be an innovation; it is certainly a suggestion which I will bear in mind.