Questions to Ministers.

– in the House of Commons on 8th December 1922.

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The following Question stood upon the Order Paper in the name of Mr. W. THORNE:

2. To ask the Minister of Labour whether he is aware of the necessity for the construction of a tunnel under the Thames between Gravesend and Tilbury; and whether, in view of the fact that the scheme would provide useful employment both upon the construction of the tunnel and upon the building of a length of new railway, he

will take whatever steps are necessary to get the scheme commenced?

Mr. THORNE:

I would like to have your guidance, Mr. Speaker, as to the reasons why Ministers are not prepared to answer questions on a Friday. No doubt you have noticed that there has been a large number of questions which could not be answered at Question Time, and Friday would be a good opportunity for answering them.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

It is a very old Parliamentary custom that Ministers are not expected to attend to answer questions on Friday. If they did, it would shorten the time we have for a Debate, and when we come to another part of the Session it would have a serious and detrimental effect on the time available for Private Members' Bills.

Mr. THORNE:

Are you aware, Mr. Speaker, that the Minister of Labour was here two mintues ago, and when I rose to put my question he walked out?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

I think that was a sign of wisdom.