HC Deb 06 December 1978 vol 959 cc1419-20
Mr. Newens

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. During Question Time, I raised the issue of the future control of new town assets. It appeared that because of the length of the Ministerial reply you determined that only one supplementary question would be taken. As many hon. Members are extremely concerned about this very important issue, is it reasonable that because a Minister makes a reply which is viewed as being rather long those hon. Members should be deprived of the opportunity that would normally have been made available to them of questioning the Minister on a subject of this importance? I do not normally intervene in such matters but, with respect, I think that the circumstances to which I have referred were a little unfair to hon. Members.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Gentleman will have noticed that we had already spent six minutes on one Question about new towns and that his Question on the new towns took another three minutes out of our full total for Question time. It is a matter of being fair not only to hon. Members who are still on their feet but to other hon. Members who have taken the trouble to put Questions on the Order Paper and are hoping that they will be called. If the day comes when the hon. Gentleman has the honour to sit in this Chair, I can assure him that he will find that at every Question Time people are disappointed by not being called.