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Questions To Ministers

Volume 984: debated on Thursday 8 May 1980

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I undertook yesterday to look into the submission made to me by the hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell), about the acceptance by the Table Office of a question of his relating to the Cambodian relief operation. I am satisfied that the question was properly received. I should add, however, that I do not propose in future to respond in the House to points of order relating to the acceptance of individual questions. Such matters should be pursued through the normal procedure that applies to submissions to me in connection with decisions of the Table Office with regard to questions.

I thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and the Clerks of the Table Office, for the amount of time and thought given to this matter. It is hoped that the issue can be raised, possible on the Adjournment of the House next Wednesday, when it can be properly discussed.

I take it, Mr. Speaker, that your statement does not mean that if there is a clash between an hon. Member and the Table Office, after representations have been made to you, hon. Members will be prevented from raising the matter on the Floor of the House. That is often a way in which matters can be resolved.

I am afraid that is just what I was saying. A procedure is followed in connection with the Table Office. If hon. Members are not satisfied, they appeal to me. I look into the matter. Sometimes I reverse the decision of the Table Office and sometimes I do not. I shall not say on which side I come down most often. It must then be the end of the matter.