§ Mrs. Castle
On a point of order. The rules of the House in regard to Questions have been violated on today's Order Paper and I want your advice, Mr. Speaker, on how this situation may be avoided in future.
1440 I draw your attention to Question No, 51, standing in my name, to the Minister of Transport. I raised with you on Tuesday the fact that a Question of mine addressed to the Prime Minister asking him what reply he had sent to a letter from my constituent, Mr. Melling, about concessionary fares for old people had been transferred by the Prime Minister to the Minister of Transport. I suggested to you then, Mr. Speaker, that the Prime Minister's growing habit of transferring awkward Questions could result in a Minister having to answer a Question which would have been out of order if it had been tabled to him in the first place.
I suggest that that is exactly what has happened in regard to my Question No. 51. Under the rules of the House an hon. Member must take responsibility for the accuracy of any statement contained in his or her Question, and this I could certainly do in regard to the Question which I originally tabled to the Prime Minister. But that Question was then transferred, without my consent. It is now out of order and so am I, Mr. Speaker, and—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. If the hon. Lady is out of order I am not sure that I should be hearing her. Can I assist her and the House in this way, although I would not like to rule on this matter now? I would like to consider the matter, although I must say that I am not impressed by the argument in regard to the form in which the Question is on the Order Paper. However, I do not express a view on that now. I would rather consider it and I will include the matter in the Ruling I was going to give relating to transfers at the first convenient moment. My desire is only to enable the House to get on with business questions.
§ Mrs. Castle
I thank you, Mr. Speaker. but may I assist you in your deliberations by pointing out that there has never been any letter from Mr. Melling to the Minister of Transport? This Question is, therefore, nonsense.