§ 47. Mr. SAMUEL ROBERTS
asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the amount of time and labour, occupied by the Ministers and officials of the Government Departments in the preparation of answers, both oral and written, to questions to Ministers; and whether, having regard to the pressure on Ministers and officials at the present time, he will consider the advisability of limiting by Standing Order the number of questions by any individual Member to a total number not exceeding two per sitting?
§ Major HUNT
Before the right hon. Gentleman answers this question, may I ask him whether he is aware that questions are now about the only means which private Members have left to them of getting any public information at all?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I am well aware of the time and labour expended by Ministers and their Departments in the preparation of answers to 1411 Parliamentary questions, and I have often pointed this out to the House. I should indeed be glad if this strain could be somewhat relieved. The daily number of questions, however, is not regulated by Standing Order, but by the custom of the House, and I should hesitate to propose a Standing Order on the somewhat stringent lines suggested, unless I were persuaded that such a proposal would meet with the universal consent of the House.
§ Mr. ROBERTS
Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to ascertain the general feeling of the House through the usual channels?