HC Deb 01 March 1962 vol 654 c1530
Q1. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Prime Minister if he will arrange for a trial period to have Departmental answers to all Oral Questions circulated to all hon. Members on the day they are due for answer but before Question Hour, as suggested in the recent book by Mr. D. N. Chester and Mrs. Bowring, namely. "Questions in Parliament," a copy of which has been sent to him.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

No, Sir.

Mr. Allaun

Would not this procedure have the two big advantages that it would provide more time for Questions within the hour, and would also help hon. Members to make their supplementary questions more relevant to Ministerial replies?

The Prime Minister

In this contest of wits, I think that it would be rather unfair if the questioner had the advantage of a full day with the reply before preparing his ex tempore supplementary questions.

Mr. Gaitskell

Is the Prime Minister aware that most of us would prefer some element of surprise to remain in respect of Ministerial Answers?