HC Deb 08 February 1967 vol 740 cc1658-9
Mr. Lubbock

On a point of order. I do not know whether you have observed, Mr. Speaker, that since the responsibilities of the Ministry of Aviation in respect of civil aviation licensing were transferred to the Board of Trade, the number of Questions addressed to the Board of Trade has increased. There are 84 on the Order Paper today. In addition, this afternoon quite a number of supplementary questions have been addressed to Ministers from the Front Bench on this side of the House. Since I arrived in the Chamber at five minutes to three, there have been two supplementary questions from the right hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Barber), two from the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Corfield), three from the hon. Member for Woking (Mr. Onslow) and one from the hon. Member for Wanstead and Woodford (Mr. Patrick Jenkin).

Is it not a derogation of the rights of private Members, who have been sitting in the Chamber in the hope that their important Questions might be reached, that there should be so many questions from the Opposition Front Bench? I appeal to you to find some way in which hon. Members who put down Questions about important aviation matters can have those questions reached, especially when the Questions are put down long in advance.

Mr. Speaker

The number of Questions, not only to the President of the Board of Trade, but to almost all Ministers, is increasing. I cannot do anything about them.

As for Front Bench spokesmen who seek to intervene, the House is probably not aware that sometimes more would intervene if they managed to catch Mr. Speaker's eye during Question Time. They do not always do so.

This is a matter for the good sense of the House. It is obvious that the Front Bench will want to intervene from time to time when the Question of a back bench Member raises some problems which the Front Bench regards as of serious importance. This is all a matter in which Mr. Speaker himself can do nothing. It is a matter for the House itself.

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