HC Deb 08 March 1906 vol 153 cc652-3

drew attention to the fact that since the beginning of the session, on only two-occasions had all the Questions put down for oral answer been asked. To-day the Questions addressed to the Secretary of State for War had not been reached at all, and only two of the Questions addressed to the Secretary for Ireland had been asked. Would it not be more convenient if the Questions, with the exception, perhaps, of those addressed to the Prime Minister, were taken in their natural order, instead of being grouped according to the Ministers to whom they were addressed?


My personal opinion is that the grouping of Questions tends rather to economise time. By putting a number of Questions in succession to the same Minister, I think a good deal of time is saved. Whether, however, that is so or not, I venture to suggest that the subject might be one of those to be considered by the Procedure Committee. I would point out that if hon. Members could restrain themselves from asking supplementary Questions, there would be no difficulty in getting through the Questions on the Paper. To-day, in addition to the sixty-one printed Questions asked, twenty-five further Questions have been put. The two figures added together make exactly the total number of Questions on the Paper.

MR. BELL (Derby)

asked whether Questions could not be proceeded with in the unoccupied interval which so often occurred after private Bills had been disposed of.


Such a change would require an alteration in the Rules of the House.


Is there any Rule authorising the grouping of Questions?


The practice of grouping Questions is not prescribed in any Rule. It was suggested by the late Leader of the House and accepted by the House at that time.

One other Member took and subscribed the Oath.