HC Deb 10 November 1976 vol 919 cc411-2
Mr. Dempsey

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I draw your attention to the fact that we reached only Question No. 12 to the Secretary of State for Scotland, and that this is making a farce of Question Time? Two weeks today at Ten o'clock in the morning my Question was handed in, but only reached the halfway mark.

You made a personal appeal to hon. Members on both sides of the House. I think that you should also have emphasised the point to the Front Benches. Whether we like it or not, my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Queens Park (Mr. McElhone) made a speech in answer to every question. As a consequence, our Questions were never reached.

It is hardly worth while hon. Members going to the trouble to put down Questions when that sort of thing happens, especially when there are so many supplementary questions from hon. Members who would not take the trouble to put down a Question themselves. Would you consider effective ways and means of end- ing this farce and giving us a fair chance of getting a Question answered?

Sir Bernard Braine

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I would not wish you to think that the protest made by the hon. Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey) was limited to his side of the House. This is not the first time that he and others have had this experience. I should like you to take note that many of us on the Back Benches on both sides fully agree with his submission.

Mr. Speaker

I made an appeal to those who were here at the beginning of Question Time, but I think that the hon. Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey) has done a service to the House in some of the things that he has said. I hope that the House will bear them in mind.