Limitation of Number.

Oral Answers to Questions — Questions to Ministers. – in the House of Commons on 24th February 1919.

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Photo of Mr Carlyon Bellairs Mr Carlyon Bellairs , Maidstone

May I call your attention to the state of the Order Paper? A large number of the questions have not been reached. Four Members are responsible for thirty-three starred questions, and each one of the four Members asked a number of supplementary questions. On several days there have been over 200 questions, and I wish respectfully to ask, may we have a further limit imposed, so that the number of questions allowed to each Member is reduced from eight to four?

Photo of Mr James Lowther Mr James Lowther , Penrith and Cockermouth

I would not like to make any alteration of the existing practice except with the general assent of the House. If the House generally desires that the limit to the number of questions should be four, it will be my duty to see that no more than four are called.

Photo of Sir Samuel Roberts Sir Samuel Roberts , Sheffield Ecclesall

Will you consult the House as to whether the number should be reduced?

Photo of Mr James Lowther Mr James Lowther , Penrith and Cockermouth

I am afraid I should get diverse answers. I do not know whether I can take it now—

Photo of Mr John Jones Mr John Jones , West Ham Silvertown

Don't you assume too much power, governor.

Photo of Mr James Lowther Mr James Lowther , Penrith and Cockermouth

That is hardly the way to address the Chair!

Photo of Mr John Jones Mr John Jones , West Ham Silvertown

I beg your pardon, I was not referring to you, but to some of the Members behind here.

Photo of Mr James Lowther Mr James Lowther , Penrith and Cockermouth

That is not the way to refer to any hon. Member of the House. I think perhaps I might try the suggestion, and if it be found successful, act upon it. But if the Questions are over before a quarter to four then the rule could be relaxed.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

May I humbly suggest you make a beginning by reducing the number to six first. [HON. MEMBERS: "Four."]