HC Deb 04 December 1961 vol 650 cc933-4
Mr. Thorpe

May I have your guidance, Mr. Speaker? Two Questions have been asked today by hon. Members relating to the affairs of a particular company. I am not interested in the company or the identity of the hon. Member. It so happens that the hon. Member was a director of that company.

As I apprehend it, the principle to be followed when a speech is made is that an interest has to be declared, but that this is not always necessary when a Question is asked. I make no complaint of the fact that no interest was declared. I ask for your guidance on whether or not it is an unfortunate practice for hon. Members to ask Questions relating to policy which are also matters acutely touching their own business interests.

Mr. Speaker

One of the duties with which the House does not charge me is that of giving guidance. I will rule on matters when they arise to the best of my ability, because I have to do that in the service of the House.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Further to the point raised by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton (Mr. A. Henderson), may I be allowed to put it to the Leader of the House that he should ask the Prime Minister to make a statement about Katanga, in view of Dr. O'Brien's statement, at the earliest possible moment? Is he aware that Dr. O'Brien—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I am asking the Leader of the House whether he will ask the Prime Minister—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—to make a statement at the earliest possible moment.

Mr. Speaker

Order. The right hon. Gentleman knows that I have no power to allow him to ask a question after the end of Questions in this way.

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