HC Deb 09 December 1958 vol 597 cc209-10
Miss Burton

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I ask for your help and guidance? My request arises out of Question No. 60 on the Order Paper today. I put this Question down four weeks ago to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and, as he did not wish to answer it, it was transferred to the Minister of Housing and Local Government, and was bottom but one in the list.

I know that I cannot ask you, Sir, about which Minister shall answer Questions, but the point I wish to put to you in asking for your guidance is this. Does it not seem to you that, when a Question comes from a back bencher relating to Exchequer grants on matters of policy arising out of the Queen's Speech, it should properly be referred to the Chancellor? The second point on which I should like your help is this. As this is an urgent matter, because women are being refused mortgages each week on grounds of sex alone, would you allow the Minister of Housing and Local Government to answer the Question today? It is quite intolerable that such Questions should be delayed for five or six weeks because the Minister does not wish to answer. We have only you to appeal to, Sir, and I should be grateful for your help.

Mr. Speaker

As I have said, I have no authority whatever over the transfer of Questions from one Department to another. The best advice I can give the hon. Lady is to say that she will, no doubt, receive a written reply to her Question and, if it is not satisfactory, she can return to the matter on another occasion.