HC Deb 25 May 1943 vol 389 cc1404-5
Rear-Admiral Beamish

May I ask your guidance, Mr. Speaker? I endeavoured to put down a Private-Notice Question to-day, but I was informed that such a Question was already going to be asked; but it has not been so asked. I should be grateful if you could tell me why it has not been asked. It referred to the intense irritation which has been excited all over the country in consequence of the method proposed for the serving-out of the ration books.

Mr. Speaker

As to why the Question has not been asked, I would point out that in fact three Questions on the subject are down for the next Sitting Day, and that we must not anticipate any Question which has been put down upon the Paper.

Sir William Davison

As I am the Member who handed in the proposed Private Notice Question dealing with the confusion which is arising in connection with ration book distribution, may I ask, Mr. Speaker, whether you realise the difficulty in which Members are now placed by reason of the fact that Questions for the next Sitting Days are not all circulated with the Green Papers which are sent round to Members at the' end of the week? Consequently I had no knowledge that those Questions to which you referred had been sent in on Monday, as they did not appear in the Questions circulated. Members are in a certain amount of difficulty in not being aware that such Questions have been put down, as there is no notice of that fact in the Green Papers.

Mr. Speaker

I quite understand the hon. Member's position, and I am not imputing any blame to him. I am only pointing out that his Question could not be allowed, as no doubt the other Questions will be asked and answered upon the next Sitting Day.

Sir W. Davison

When I was informed that those Questions had been put down, I quite understood the position, and I accept it. I understood at once that my proposed Private Notice Question could not be accepted. I would, however, point out that in the old days a Paper used to be circulated to us showing what Questions there were for the days immediately following. Now we do not know anything about them until we get to the House and see the White Order Paper.