HC Deb 03 December 1958 vol 596 cc1188-9
Mr. V. Yates

On a point of order. There are 70 Questions to the Minister of Labour on the Order Paper, but only 40 have been answered.

Mr. G. Thomas

None about Wales.

Mr. V. Yates

Can you take some action, Mr. Speaker, to try to see that the Minister of Labour is present to answer Questions at least once before the Christmas Recess, since if we leave the situation in this way, the right hon. Gentleman will not answer Questions again until February'? All hon. Members are keenly interested in the increasing unemployment. Could some action be taken to get our Questions answered?

Mr. Speaker

I am not responsible for the number of Questions on the Order Paper. However, we should have made better progress if some supplementary questions had been shorter.

Mr. Shinwell

I also seek your guidance, Mr. Speaker. You will recall that some time ago the House decided to try the experiment of devoting two days to Colonial Questions, because of the number of such Questions which appeared on the Order Paper. In view of the large number of Questions on unemployment and since it is only in the course of seven or eight weeks that Ministry of Labour Questions appear first on the Order Paper, can we now revert to the old method of giving one day to Colonial Questions, in the normal fashion, so that Ministry of Labour Questions can be answered—at any rate, until the Government have succeeded in solving the unemployment problem?

Mr. Speaker

Those are not matters for me. They ought to be discussed through the usual channels and both sides of the House should agree on them.

Sir T. Moore

Would it he in order for me to congratulate my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary on his magnificent achievement in answering Questions for 55 minutes solid?

Mr. Speaker

I do not know that it would be in order to do so.