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Questions To Ministers

Volume 986: debated on Thursday 19 June 1980

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On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I have just been to the Table Office about the question that I tabled yesterday on trading with Russia, with specific reference to the involvement of Morgan Grenfell in the financing of two chemical factories for Russia. That question pointed out that Lord Carrington's son is one of the associate directors. In view of the Prime Minister's involvement, and Lord Carrington's involvement only the other night, in trying to stop athletes going to Russia, there is a basis for a question about any other matter, including trade.

The Table Office told me that it was not prepared to accept my question because the Government have no basis for taking action in this matter. I find that strange. I hope that you, Mr. Speaker, will consider this matter. It is important. We should be allowed to table questions about these issues, which are public knowledge and important to the whole argument about trading with Russia and the boycott by athletes.

I allowed the hon. Gentleman to put the whole of his case. However, the normal practice in the House is that when there is a dispute about a question being disallowed it is submitted to me in the normal course by the Table Office and I examine it on its merits. It is not our custom to raise in the House the issue of disallowed questions. If we did, we should be arguing every day with an hon. Member who felt that his question should be allowed. I consider the issue when it is submitted to me by the Table Office.