HC Deb 13 June 1939 vol 348 cc1112-3

The following Question stood upon the Order Paper in the name of Mr. Thorne:

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether foreign hides imported are required to be registered on entering this country; if he is aware that a man working at Messrs. Waring, Warrington, died after contracting anthrax from skins that he had been handling which were known as water-buffalo but their source could not be given; and if he intends taking any action in the matter?

Mr. Thorne

May I ask for your guidance, Mr. Speaker? On Wednesday last I put down this question to be answered by the President of the Board of Trade because I thought that it affected his Department. I find that it has been relegated to the Home Secretary, and there is no possibility of it being answered in the House to-day. I am not complaining about that, but I think that when a question is relegated from one Department to another it ought to be put down for answer on the day when there is a possibility of it being answered by the Minister concerned?

Mr. Speaker

I am sorry for the hon. Member. It is sometimes very difficult, when a question is transferred, to make proper arrangements for it to be transferred to a day upon which the Minister concerned will have precedence at Question Time.

Mr. Thorne

If I had known that the question was to be relegated to the Home Secretary, I should have put it down for to-morrow, because that is his day for answering questions.

An Hon. Member

No, Thursday.

Mr. Speaker

If the hon. Member puts down his question for Thursday, it will be answered.

Mr. Bellenger

Is it not the custom, when a Minister desires to transfer a question, that he notifies the hon. Member concerned, so that, if he wishes, he can transfer the question himself?

Mr. Thorne

I would remind my hon. Friend that I did get a notification.