HC Deb 11 February 1953 vol 511 cc413-4
Mr. Dudley Williams

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I should like to draw your attention to Question No. 97, and to the three Questions put yesterday by the hon. Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Beswick), Question Nos. 55, 80 and 81; the first being addressed to the Secretary of State for War, the second to the Minister of Civil Aviation and the third to the Under-Secretary of State for Air. All those Questions relate to the distressing accident to the York aircraft belonging to Skyways, Limited.

The point I wish to put to you, Sir, is that this accident is the subject of an inquiry which is being set up by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport. Is it in order for Questions such as these to be accepted by the Table Office, when they can do nothing else but prejudice the result of the inquiry, until the inquiry has been completed?

Mr. Speaker

I think the hon. Member for Exeter (Mr. Dudley Williams) may be confusing matters which are subject to judicial inquiry and those which are the subject matter of administrative inquiry. A Question on a matter which is the subject of an administrative inquiry is in order, or at least is not forbidden by the rules of order. But I should anticipate that any such Question would receive the reply, "As the matter is now being inquired into, I cannot say anything at the moment."

Mr. Beswick

Further to that point of order. With respect, I do not think that is quite the full position. As a matter of fact, all these Questions relate, not to the particular York aircraft which unfortunately is lost, but to the York aircraft as a type. I have only sought—I hope not unsuccessfully—to have the operation of this type of aircraft over the Atlantic suspended until such time as an inquiry is completed. My inquiries are all directed to getting information about the type of aircraft and not about the particular accident.

Mr. Speaker

In any case, I gave an answer to the question I was asked. I have not studied the Questions to which the hon. Member refers.