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Supplementary Questions (Mr Speaker's Statement)

Volume 945: debated on Thursday 2 March 1978

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Arising out of Prime Minister's Questions, I have a very brief statement to make.

There has been an increasing tendency in recent months for hon. Members to send me messages requesting to be called for supplementary questions on Prime Minister's Questions—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh".] Order. Probably some of those hon. Members who are now making a noise have sent notes. This practice has even been followed on business questions. I want the House to know that I do not like this new tendency because it is grossly unfair to the rest of the House, which fortunately abides by the old system. I must tell the House quite frankly that such requests are and will be counter-productive so far as I am concerned.

As the House knows, it is a fairly recent innovation for hon. Members even to write in with requests to speak in debates—it has happened only in the last few years—and I try to be as fair as I can in that matter.

It may interest the House to know that in this Session over 130 different right hon. and hon. Members have been called on Prime Minister's Questions, so I hope that it is clear that I have tried to get as wide a spread as possible.

May I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that if you do not want the notes, perhaps hon. Members will send them to me.