HC Deb 27 March 1905 vol 143 cc1217-8

It being now five minutes to three o'clock, four starred Questions addressed to the Secretary of State for War and one addressed to the Secretary of State for the Colonies remained unanswered.

MR. RUNCIMAN (Dewsbury)

May I ask the First Lord of the Treasury an urgent Question relating to business? He will observe that a large number of Questions addressed to the Secretary of State for War have been shut out to-day, and this has happened on several occasions.


Order, order! That is not an urgent Question; it is one that should be put on the Paper. It cannot be put now.


said there was to be a debate to-morrow on the Statement of the Secretary of State for War, and it was found that unless they were put down earlier on the Paper, there would be no chance of receiving Answers to I these important Questions.


That debate seems to be an admirable opportunity for asking the questions. Moreover, the Answers will appear in print to-morrow.


Is it not possible for the House to select certain Questions which are to be answered.


That is a question of practice which cannot be raised by asking, after five minutes to three, Questions which are not urgent.


May I ask, Sir, by whose directions the order of Questions is put down on the Paper?


That, again, is not urgent.


Do I not understand, Sir, that it has been left by the House in your discretion, and that the order of Questions is arranged by the Clerks at the Table, subject to your approval? Was it not by your direction that Questions addressed to the Prime Minister were fixed to commence at No. 45? And were not the first Questions down to-day some addressed to the Lord-Advocate, which do not deal with very lively topics?

[No Answer was returned.]