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Questions To Ministers

Volume 640: debated on Tuesday 9 May 1961

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Mr. Speaker, in view of the importance of Question No. 53 and the Prime Minister's eagerness as expressed last week to answer a Question of this type, would you grant him permission to answer it now?

The House will appreciate that this practice is capable of defeating the rule about the time at which Questions end. I have to confine myself to occasions when the Minister asks leave to answer a Question, but that is not this case.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am fully seized of the importance of Question No. 53, but there is Question No. 44 which was beaten by a very short head. Because of the public interest in this matter, which far transcends the interest in Question No. 53, I wonder whether the Prime Minister might wish to make a statement on that and related Questions?

I am sure the hon. Member will understand that that illustrates, most happily for me, the difficulty into which I shall get unless I stand firmly by the rules.

Does not this show that it is time we moved Questions to the Prime Minister to a quarter past three instead of having the important Questions cut out?