HC Deb 18 April 1994 vol 241 cc637-8
41. Mr. Skinner

To ask the Lord President of the Council what proposals he has to take oral questions on Fridays.

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Tony Newton)

I have no plans to do so.

Mr. Skinner

If the Lord President had been present earlier, he would have heard one or two comments about there being so many quangos in Britain today for which the Government are no longer accountable. There are 7,700 of them and they cost about £1,000 million a week. It would not be a bad idea if a Minister were made responsible for answering questions on Fridays about quangos and the use of taxpayers' money. We would then be able to ask all the questions that we are not allowed to ask the rest of the week.

Mr. Newton

The hon. Gentleman does not do badly on the first four days of the week.

Sir Anthony Grant

Since oral questions are about the most futile way of Parliament scrutinising the Executive, why not move all questions to Friday?

Mr. Newton

Probably because only the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) would be here to ask them.