HC Deb 13 December 1955 vol 547 cc998-9
45. Mr. Wigg

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the statement by the then Prime Minister in the last Parliament on 22nd March, 1955, to the effect that the undertaking given on 4th November, 1947, by the then Leader of the House, on the procedure to be followed on the consideration of the Service Estimates with a view to amending this procedure, could be discussed through the usual channels, he will now make a further statement on this subject.

The Prime Minister (Sir Anthony Eden)

As my predecessor in office said in reply to the hon. Member on 22nd March this year, an alteration of the practice whereby hon. Members ballot for the right to move Amendments on consideration of the Service Estimates particularly affects the rights of private Members. The exploratory discussions that have taken place indicate that there is at present no comprehensive support for the alteration in the Orders.

It has been suggested that the problem should be examined by a Select Committee. The Government will certainly consider this suggestion, but if any change were recommended by this means—that is by a Select Committee—there would hardly be time for it to affect the procedure for next year.