HC Deb 28 April 1971 vol 816 cc425-6
Mr. Clinton Davis

On a point of order. I seek your guidance, Mr. Speaker, on a matter relating to Question Time and, in particular, to Question No. 45. As a new Member, I seek your guidance, Mr. Speaker, on whether it is the normal custom and courtesy of the House that a Member raising a Question about another Member's constituency should at least write to him initially before doing so—

Mr. Speaker

Order. It is out of order for the hon. Member to seek my guidance. If he will come to see me I will try to give guidance privately, but there is no duty in the Chair to give guidance publicly.

Mr. John Hall

On a point of order. I waited until the end of Question Time to raise this matter in order to seek your guidance, Mr. Speaker—

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman has disqualified himself in view of what I have just said.

Mr. Hall

My choice of word was unfortunate, Mr. Speaker; I should seek your Ruling. It has been the custom for some considerable time that Members should impose upon themselves a self-denying ordinance not to raise points of order during Question Time so that time is not wasted and more Questions can be asked. This admirable custom may well have been lost sight of. Do you consider, Mr. Speaker, that it would be advantageous if you were to draw it to the notice of the House again?

Mr. Speaker

I think most right hon. and hon. Members are aware of that fact. A point of order was raised during Question Time today. It may well be that I was partially to blame. I will see what was said by way of question and answer, and if an apology is required from me I will give it. However, I agree with the hon. Gentleman that it is unwise and a waste of time to raise points of order during Question Time.