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Questions To Ministers

Volume 895: debated on Monday 7 July 1975

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On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I raise briefly a point of order about today's Question Time?

A few weeks ago I raised with you the inadequacy of the length of Question Time for Questions dealing with the environment. I have kept an eye on Mondays since. Two weeks ago today there was only one Question tabled on the first day available for tabling Welsh Questions. A week ago there were still only three Questions on the Order Paper.

The exchanges in the past 20 minutes seem to indicate that subjects such as Questions to the Lord President and to the Minister for the Civil Service are of general interest to a large number of right hon. and hon. Members. Would it be possible for this to be looked at so that perhaps at least Questions to the Lord President could have rather more than 10 minutes once every six weeks?

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman is not aware that Welsh Questions occur only once every six weeks. Since the "Welsh Day" debate which should have taken place at some time in the past 15 months has still not appeared do we not need more time rather than less?

There are about three different points in this. There is the question of the preservation of the rights of minority communities or regions or principalities. There is also the question of the order of Questions, which is not really for me but for the usual channels. The real answer, which would make things so much better, is for hon. Members to ask shorter questions. The supplementary question of the hon. Member for Christchurch and Lymington (Mr. Adley) was not all that short. If, when Ministers agree with something, they would sometimes just say "Yes, Sir" it would be a help.