Questions to Ministers.

Oral Answers to Questions — Armed Forces. – in the House of Commons on 14th November 1939.

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Photo of Mr Thomas Kennedy Mr Thomas Kennedy , Kirkcaldy District of Burghs

asked the Prime Minister whether he has observed the increasing number of questions to Ministers for oral answer remaining unanswered on account of their not being reached within the allotted time; and whether he will consider the desirability of amending the Standing Orders either to limit the number of questions a Member may ask at the same Sitting, or to extend the time allotted to questions, or to restrict the putting of supplementary questions to elucidate answer to Members whose names appear on the Order Paper?

Photo of Mr John Simon Mr John Simon , Spen Valley

Since the new order of questions which the Prime Minister announced on Thursday, 26th October, has been in operation, there has been some reduction in the number of questions not reached. My right hon. Friend does not believe that the expedients suggested in the question would commend themselves to the House. The large number of supplementary questions asked undoubtedly causes the difficulty about which complaint is made, and in this connection I can only refer the right hon. Gentleman to the many appeals made by Mr. Speaker. The remedy, as Mr. Speaker has pointed out, rests with hon. Members themselves. I hope that Members in all parts of the House will cooperate to secure the successful working of the new arrangement of questions in the general interest. The Prime Minister would also like to reinforce Mr. Speaker's appeal and to ask hon. Members to reduce the number of supplementary questions as far as possible, so that we may attempt to get through more oral questions each day.