HC Deb 26 June 1978 vol 952 c1038
Mrs. Castle

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You will be aware that on Energy Questions today we reached only Question No. 11, and that only because two hon. Members with earlier Questions were missing. This meant that urgent and reasonably well placed Questions, such as my own—No. 17—on the need for a new winter fuel rebate scheme were not reached. Are you aware that we are now getting fewer Questions answered than at any time I can remember in my 33 years in the House? Therefore, I ask you to renew your pleas, both to those who ask Questions and to those who answer them, to keep them brisk and brief? Could you also ask Ministers to drop the habit of linking replies to Questions much further down on the Order Paper, as has been done three times this afternoon, thus making it hopeless for many of us to get a chance of having our Questions reached?

Mr. Speaker

The right hon. Lady will know that 15 Questions were reached on energy, counting the doubling up of Questions which were answered. The trouble is that supplementary questions were as long as her point of order. That is the problem. Today, if I may say so, answers were also long, but not from the Minister for Overseas Development. We were earlier talking about energy matters and that Minister is not now present.