HC Deb 02 July 1984 vol 63 c14
30. Sir David Price

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will implement the recommendation of the Select Committee on Procedure (Sessional Committee) in its third report of the 1975–76 Session that, in respect of tabling questions, access to the Table Office should be limited to Members only.

Mr. Biffen

The imposition of any such rule would be a matter for decision by the House, and not by me.

Sir David Price

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the recommendation of the Select Committee an Procedure should be a modest discipline on colleagues in relation to the Table Office, and that even the most timorous of hon. Members do not need to be nannied by their personal assistants, secretaries and others and can jolly well table their own questions, as the older of us have always done?

Mr. Biffen

Those are admirable sentiments, but I must point out that when the matter was investigated in 1975–76, it was discovered that only 6 per cent. of questions were tabled by secretaries and assistants to Members of Parliament. In the light of that finding, no subsequent action was taken.