HC Deb 30 March 1905 vol 143 cc1739-40

It being now Five minutes to Three o'clock, seventeen starred Questions, including those addressed to the Colonial Secretary, remained unanswered.

*MR. McCRAE (Edinburgh, E.)

asked the First Lord of the Treasury whether he would consider the desirability of rearranging the order of Questions. This was the second occasion this week on which Questions to the Colonial Secretary had been put at the end of a long list, and there had been no opportunity of asking them.


I am anxious to arrange the Questions to meet the convenience of the House. Last session a complaint was properly made that Questions addressed to myself were sometimes cut out. I think that the arrangement which has now been made, by which those Questions always come on, is for the general convenience. Recently a request was made to me that while the Army debates were going on the Questions addressed to the Secretary of State for War should come on at a time when they could be answered orally, and I did my best to see that arrangement was carried out. Now hon. Gentlemen complain that the Colonial Secretary, who used to occupy the position now given to the Secretary of State for War, should be put back in his place. It is difficult to frame a scheme to meet everybody's wishes. On certain days we might have the Irish Questions put last.


Leave them out altogether. Tell us to stand aside.


They will all be answered on the Paper. The suggestion made to me will be considered. But it is obviously impossible, if as many Questions are put down as are at present being put down and as many supplementary Questions are asked, that every Question can be answered orally.

MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)

Extend the time.


asked whether the Prime Minister was not invading the province of Mr. Speaker. Were they to understand that the Government arranged the order of Questions?


The matter is arranged amongst the Ministers themselves, but if any complaint about it is brought to my notice I have authority over the list.