HC Deb 09 May 1961 vol 640 cc223-4
Mr. M. Stewart

Mr. Speaker, in view of the importance of Question No. 53 and the Prime Minister's eagerness as expressed last week to answer a Question of this type, would you grant him permission to answer it now?

Mr. Speaker

The House will appreciate that this practice is capable of defeating the rule about the time at which Questions end. I have to confine myself to occasions when the Minister asks leave to answer a Question, but that is not this case.

Mr. C. Pannell

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am fully seized of the importance of Question No. 53, but there is Question No. 44 which was beaten by a very short head. Because of the public interest in this matter, which far transcends the interest in Question No. 53, I wonder whether the Prime Minister might wish to make a statement on that and related Questions?

Mr. Speaker

I am sure the hon. Member will understand that that illustrates, most happily for me, the difficulty into which I shall get unless I stand firmly by the rules.

Mr. Parker

Does not this show that it is time we moved Questions to the Prime Minister to a quarter past three instead of having the important Questions cut out?

Mr. Speaker

I am an enthusiast for brevity on the part of everyone except myself.

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