HC Deb 23 November 1949 vol 470 cc332-3

The following Question stood upon the Order Paper in the name of Mr. ERIC FLETCHER: 4. To ask the Postmaster-General whether he has now completed his review of the basis on which recognition is given by the Post Office to new staff associations.

Mr. A. R. W. Low

On a point of Order. May I ask, Mr. Speaker, why Question No. 4 is in Order when a question which I tried to put down in almost exactly the same terms was refused on the ground that my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) had given notice that he was raising this matter on the Adjournment?

Mr. Speaker

It is quite in Order; I do not know why it should not be. I cannot examine every Question beforehand. When a question is put to me at short notice, I cannot be expected to give an answer without knowing all the facts.

Major Guy Lloyd

Further to that point of Order, Mr. Speaker. There are a large number of hon. Members in this House, certainly on this side, whose constituents are very actively concerned and anxious about this matter, and apparently we are not allowed to ask Questions about it because the matter has been raised on the Adjournment.

Mr. Speaker

That cannot be so. Because a matter has been raised on the Adjournment, that is no reason for stopping a Question. If notice has been given to raise the matter on the Adjournment, then a Question cannot be asked. I would stop supplementaries on that ground. Why this Question got on the Order Paper, presumably before the matter was raised on the Adjournment, I do not know.

Mr. Marlowe

May I point out, Mr. Speaker, that a most difficult position is now arising, in that a written answer will be given, and further questions will be precluded because the Question will have been answered? It will not now be possible to put down further Questions.

Mr. Speaker

I should have been very much obliged if I had been given notice of this. This Question has been on the Order Paper for some time, and this is the first time I have heard about it. I really cannot answer these questions at short notice. I do my best if I have notice.