HC Deb 30 June 1971 vol 820 cc394-5

Mr. Ashton On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I wish to draw your attention to the fact that on two occasions today the Under-Secretary of State for the Environment answered Questions by saying that the answer could be obtained from the statistics section of the Library. If a precedent of that sort is set there will be little point in hon. Members tabling questions, as probably 90 per cent. of them can be answered in that way. May I ask you, Mr. Speaker, to protect the rights and privileges of hon. Members on the back benches?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Gentleman will have noticed that on each occasion I allowed a supplementary question. Instead of doing that, I could have acted in accordance with a recent Select Committee recommendation on the ground that the information sought could have been ascertained with a little diligence. However, I have no doubt that account will be taken of the hon. Gentleman's point.