asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how much information is at the disposal of his Department about the machinery of local government.
A lot, Sir. But if the hon. Gentleman will let me know what he has in mind I will give him a more specific reply.
I shall be interested to know how much more information the Minister needs. Would it not be better to deal with the reform of local government on the basis of a national plan—
Order. That is very interesting, but it does not arise on this Question.
I had not finished my supplementary question, Mr. Speaker, because of the interruptions opposite.
The hon. Gentleman must come to the subject matter of his supplementary question.
Would it not be better to deal with the reform of local government in the way I suggested rather than deal with it on the basis of a piecemeal tabling of Orders for separate areas?
My right hon. Friend found this difficulty as soon as he came into office, and he has said that he is looking at the possibility of a much broader approach to the problem of the reform of local government than is possible under existing legislation. He is not responsible for that legislation.