HC Deb 21 June 1956 vol 554 cc1630-1
Mr. Steele

On a point of order, Sir. This is another occasion on which the Prime Minister has not had the opportunity of answering all the Questions put down to him for Oral answer. While I appreciate your difficulties, Mr. Speaker, would not the Leader of the House consider whether it might not be better for the Prime Minister to come into the list at a specific time during Questions rather than at Question No. 45?

Mr. Speaker

That is not a point of order, and it cannot be discussed now. It is a matter of the arrangements of the House. However, I will say this, that if I had called all the hon. Members who offered themselves to ask supplementary questions today we would have got only as far as Question No. 20.

Mr. Hamilton

Might I ask, Sir, who arranges the order of Questions which are to be asked of the Prime Minister? The reason why I ask that is because Questions which my hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) and myself have on the Order Paper were postponed from Tuesday. One would suppose that they would have been high in the list today but, in fact, they are just as far down.

Mr. Speaker

I think the answer is, first come first served.

Mr. G. R. Strauss

May I follow what has been said by asking you, Sir, whether it is possible to consider what change there has been in the practice of the House, either on the part of back benchers asking supplementary questions or in the practice of your calling more hon. Members than in the past, which has brought about the entirely new situation in which Oral Questions to the Prime Minister—or a large number of them—are not reached? It is a new situation, to which I would like to draw your attention.

Mr. Speaker

There has been a great growth in the length of supplementary questions in my experience of the House and I do not think that the blame can be put entirely on back benchers.