HC Deb 21 November 1946 vol 430 cc1011-2
47. Derek Walker-Smith

asked the Prime Minister if he is now prepared to revise the order of Questions so as to increase the possibility of oral answers by the Minister of Town and Country Planning.

The Lord President of the Council (Mr. Herbert Morrison)

No, Sir. Today is the end of the first week of a revised order of Questions, and I think more time is required before alterations are made in that order. I would remind the hon. Member that the Minister of Town and Country Planning answered Questions first on the Order Paper on 29th October when he was asked to reply to eight Oral Questions, none of which incidentally were by the hon. Member. If, however, he can suggest any revision of the order of Questions which will improve the chances of one Minister's Questions without worsening the chances of others, I shall be ready to consider it. As I am told that 886 Questions appeared on the Notice Paper in the first week of this Session, I am not very hopeful that the hon. Member's ingenuity will be equal to the task.

Mr. Walker-Smith

Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that my Questions to Ministers are dictated by a desire for the public good and not for my own personal information? Will he bear in mind that, with the new towns legislation and new towns projects, there is a very wide interest in the activities of the Minister of Town and Country Planning, which might be a reason for recasting the order, at any rate, at some future date?

Mr. Morrison

I fully accept the assurance given in the first part of the supplementary question. As to the second part, I will keep the matter under observation.

Mr. Keeling

Does the right hon. Gentleman really, think it suitable that the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster should answer Questions four times a week and the Minister of Town and Country Planning only once a month?

Mr. Morrison

I am afraid the hon. Gentleman is out of date. The Chancellor of the Duchy has lost the privilege, if it was a privilege, which he had before the beginning of this Session.

Major Legge-Bourke

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that not long ago it was reported that the Minister of Town and Country Planning had said that, before taking office, the nearest approach he had made to the country was a weekend in Windermere?