HC Deb 01 May 1969 vol 782 cc1621-2
Sir D. Renton

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. While the Prime Minister was answering Questions, two minutes of Question Time were taken up by disorderly and unmannerly interruptions when my hon. Friend the Member for Louth (Sir C. Osborne) was endeavouring to put his supplementary question.

If such behaviour is repeated on any future occasion, would you kindly allow Question Time to continue after half-past three so that precious time is not deliberately lost to the House by such interruptions?

Mr. Speaker

Order. I am not without sympathy for the point of order raised by the right hon. and learned Member. I must, however, be fair. Disorder occasionally occurs on both sides of the House, although not always at the same time. I think that I might even at 3.30 p.m. today have followed what I think is an excellent suggestion by the right hon. and learned Member if we had not had so much business ahead of us. We have the Business statement and three statements before we come to the business which a private Member has won the privilege of presenting, and which I should want to try to protect if I can.

Dr. David Kerr

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I, with respect, remind you that you had to ask the hon. Member for Louth (Sir C. Osborne) to put his supplementary question, and that some of us on this side felt that he was guilty of whatever might be the Parliamentary equivalent of mute of malice, thereby wasting time by declining to put his question?

I hope that in considering any question of "injury time" you will do nothing which will encourage the kind of behaviour that we saw this afternoon from the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Speaker

I do not find very impressive the advice that I have received from the hon. Member.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In deference to your Ruling, I deferred putting a point of order until the end of Question Time. On Question No. 34, the right hon. and learned Member for Huntingdonshire (Sir D. Renton) raised an issue on the most controversial social problem of the time, and when he got a "nose-ender" in reply, because the Home Secretary's forecast for the number of dependants coming into this country this year would be considerably reduced was proved to be correct, the right hon. and learned Gentleman wisely abstained from asking a supplementary question, but no other hon. Member was allowed to nut a supplementary question to underline the fact that on this issue, which has become so inflamed by party propaganda, the allegations of increasing immigration are totally untrue.

Mr. Speaker

The point of order is a simple one. If an hon. Member does not put a supplementary question to his own Question, nobody else can.