HC Deb 06 March 1962 vol 655 cc208-9
Mr. V. Yates

On a point of order. Mr. Speaker. May I call your attention to the fact that forty-four Questions to the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs have not been answered this afternoon, and that there will be no further opportunity for several weeks to ask Questions of that Minister in the House? As this matter is causing grave concern to many hon. Members, is it not clear that a further opportunity should be given for asking them? The date should be altered so that the Minister of Housing and Local Government does not answer Questions on a day when the Prime Minister is due to answer Questions at 3.15. It is a serious matter that forty-four Questions remain unanswered.

Mr. G. Thomas

Further to that point of order. May I draw your attention to the fact that difficulty has arisen ever since the Prime Minister's Questions have been timed to begin at 3.15? It is all very well for those hon. Members who wish to address Questions to the Prime Minister, but it is unfair that other Ministers are not as available for questioning as they were before. This limits the powers of back benchers who wish to pursue Questions with other Ministers.

Mr. Speaker

I appreciate the difficulties. I leave it to the House to settle how it wants these things arranged. The House wanted the Prime Minister to be brought in to Answer Questions at 3.15 p.m. on two days a week. The idea does not seem to be as popular as it was. If I might say this to the House without transgressing, the largest single factor to help us with Questions would be the abandonment of the question "Is the Minister aware?" followed by the giving of information.