HC Deb 31 January 1977 vol 925 cc28-9
Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In the course of the proceedings that have been mentioned today, the Attorney-General said that he was responsible to the House of Commons, and the House of Commons alone, for giving his reasons for prosecutions and related matters in the courts. We have an opportunity of 10 minutes every month to cross-examine the right hon. and learned Gentleman on these reasons which, he says, he is willing to give to the House of Commons. Indeed, he has said that he is anxious to give them. Through no fault of his, a number of Questions have remained unanswered today. Could you, Mr. Speaker, bring to the notice of the authorities concerned that in future, thanks to the Attorney-General's admission to the Court of Appeal, we shall require longer to cross-examine him about his motives?

Mr. Speaker

That is a matter for someone other than myself. I am sure that others will have heard the hon. and learned Member's point of order.

Mr. Ridley

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. We now have a different situation. In view of what has happened with the present Attorney-General and the way in which he has performed his duties, could arrangements be changed so that, instead of starting some other departmental Minister's Questions at 2.30 p.m. and ending up with 10 minutes for the Attorney-General at 3.20 p.m., we did it the other way round? It is time that we had a proper opportunity to check the Attorney-General's accountability which he is putting forward as his reason for not going before the courts.

Mr. Speaker

I am sure that those suggestions will be considered by the usual channels.