§ Mr. Fyfeasked the Prime Minister whether he will circulate a table showing the number of Oral Questions; the number reached and the number unanswered since the new order of questions has been in operation; whether he can give any information as to the number of Supplementary Questions asked each day over

1939. Oral Questions Supplementary Questions (excluding points of Order to Mr. Speaker). Number on paper. Number reached. Number not reached. Number asked. Tuesday, 17th October 106 72 34 90 Wednesday, 18th October 94 57 37 77 Thursday, 19th October 137 71 66 87 337 200 137 254 Average each day 112 67 46 85 Tuesday, 24th October 146 69 77 84 Wednesday, 25th October 112 80 32 97 Thursday, 26th October 148 85 63 78 406 234 172 259 Average each day 135 78 57 86 Tuesday, 31st October 118 85 33 72 Wednesday, 1st November 103 74 29 69 Thursday, 2nd November 133 85 48 92 354 244 110 233 Average each day 118 81 37 78 Tuesday, 7th November 128 70 58 69 Wednesday, 8th November 104 82 24 92 Thursday, 9th November 102 72 30 80 334 224 112 241 Average each day 111 75 37 80 1036W

Summary. Fortnight before 31st October. (6 sitting days.) Fortnight since 31st October. (6 sitting days.) Average number of oral Questions on the Paper each day. 124 114 Average number reached each day 72 78 Average not reached each day 51 37 Average number of Supplementary Questions each day. 86 79 a convenient period; and whether he can state the effect of reducing the number of Oral Questions allowed to each Member from three to two, assuming that such a reduction had been in force during the past month?

§ The Prime MinisterThe new order of questions came into operation on Tuesday, 31st October, 1939- The following table compares the position during the fortnight before 31st October with the fortnight after that date:

1037WThe House sat three days last week and the comparable figures are:

Average number of Oral Questions on the Paper each day 112 Average number reached each day 77 Average not reached each day 35 Reduction in the number of Oral Questions.

If during the last four weeks the number of Oral Questions which a Member may ask on the same day had been reduced from three to two, there would have been an average saving of only three questions each day.

Written Questions.

After the statement which I made on Thursday, 26th October, the number of Written Questions increased. During the period 31st October to 16th November, there were 285 questions for written answer, and the majority were answered on the days for which they were put down. Hon. Members will appreciate that in certain cases delay is unavoidable when information has to be collected, or inquiries made necessitating communication with several Departments.