HC Deb 11 March 1971 vol 813 c169W
Q12. Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Prime Minister (1) whether he is aware of the growing practice of Ministers and their Departments issuing statements and Press reports with the objective of circumventing Members' questions which are on the Order Paper; and whether he will make it a practice of his administration that such action should not be taken;

(2) whether he will give an assurance that he will take action to prevent officials from his Department from issuing statements to the Press and the British Broadcasting Corporation dealing with a Parliamentary Question on the Order Paper prior to the Question being asked, thus circumventing the centers of Members of Parliament to ask Questions.

The Prime Minister

I am not aware of statements made by officials in 10, Downing Street or in Departments which have in any way restricted the centers of hon. Members to ask and obtain answers to Questions. The need for such an assurance therefore does not arise.