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Parliamentary Questions

Volume 124: debated on Monday 7 December 1987

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3.33 pm

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I promise that I shall not refer to the substance of any individual question. You will have noticed that out of 15 Welsh questions today, no fewer than seven related to health. You will also have gathered from the comments of my hon. Friend the Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney (Mr. Rowlands) and myself that on Friday the future policy for health in Wales was announced by written answer on a day when it is very difficult for hon. Members to know what is being announced.

You will have observed, Mr. Speaker, that the Secretary of State for Wales did not answer any of the seven questions that were tabled. Therefore, can you advise us, as Opposition and Back-Bench Members, how we can ensure that when an important policy statement is issued the Secretary of State answers at least some of the questions related to that statement instead of hiding behind a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, especially when that Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State does not seem to know the answers to any questions put to him?

Who answers at Question Time is not a matter for the Chair, but I am sure that the representatives from the Welsh Office who may be on the Front Bench will have noted what has been said.