HC Deb 22 March 1985 vol 75 cc622-3W
Sir Peter Blaker

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether any revision is proposed for the arrangements for Foreign and Commonwealth Office questions; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Biffen

As a result of representations from right hon. and hon. Members, and following consultations through the usual channels, it is proposed that after the Easter recess for an experimental period, oral questions to Foreign and Commonwealth Ministers will no longer be divided between those related to European Community affairs and those relating to the rest of the world. Questions on the European Community will be dealt with in the same way as those tabled on other matters. The present arrangements for answering Overseas Development questions will not be altered.

The experiment will last until the summer recess to allow an opportunity for its success to be evaluated. Further discussions will then take place through the usual channels to determine whether the new arrangements should become permanent.