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Questions To Ministers

Volume 961: debated on Wednesday 31 January 1979

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On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of your exhortation at the beginning of Question Time that you hoped to get through more questions today than was possible yesterday, may I draw your attention to the fact that we managed to reach only question No. 20 and that some hon. Members who did not choose to table questions were called on more than one occasion?

We have had 23 questions answered today, because a number were bracketed together. When only one hon. Member rises, there is a better chance of hon. Members being called.

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. We could have done even better if replies from the Treasury Bench had not been so rambling. There was a time when Ministers would reply "Yes, Sir", "No, Sir," or "Not without notice". Can nothing be done to improve the state of the Treasury Bench, short of Dissolution?

I do not disagree that answers today were long. I do not disagree with that at all.

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is not it a fact that we get through so few questions on many occasions because of the Government's reluctance to give answers?