HC Deb 08 December 1955 vol 547 cc557-8
Mr. Emrys Hughes

I should like respectfully to ask for your Ruling, Mr. Speaker, upon the circumstances in which Questions may be asked by Private Notice. You will be aware that this morning I submitted for your consideration a Private Notice Question which read—

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Member must know that it is out of order to try to introduce as a point of order a Question which has been disallowed. That is an old rule of the House. As to the procedure, it is entirely a matter for my discretion. I have to judge the urgency and the public importance of the matter. If the hon. Member quarrels with my decision on the matter, there is a way of challenging it, but it cannot be argued here.

Mr. Hughes

I followed your advice, Mr. Speaker, and proceeded to put the Question on the Order Paper. As we are not allowed to put Questions to the Admiralty until a week next Wednesday, what is my remedy so that I may ask that a statement be made about a fire at the Admiralty?

Mr. Speaker

Whatever may be the hon. Member's remedy, it is not the one which he is trying to apply. The best advice I can give him is to study with care the Written Reply which he will no doubt receive in due course if he does not get an Oral one.

Mr. S. Silverman

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. It has been the experience of Parliament over very many years that when public disasters occur, Private Notice Questions have regularly been asked about them so that the Minister concerned may take an early opportunity of informing the House of the circumstances. My hon. Friend has indicated the subject-matter of his Private Notice Question, and it would seem that this is the kind of public occasion on which in the past Private Notice Questions have been allowed.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member must realise that it is for me to judge the scale of importance of these matters. I came to a quite different conclusion on the matter from that of the hon. Member.