May I ask you, Sir, if your attention has been called to the large number of Members who have not been in their place to ask their Questions; and does not that cause great inconvenience to Ministers, and to the House?
I am obliged to the hon. Member for mentioning the matter. I regard it as somewhat discourteous to the House if one does not trouble to attend when one has put a Question on the Paper.
May I ask you, Sir, whether you will consider whether it is not possible to make some arrangements with Members that, if practicable, and if circumstances permit, when they have sufficient time, they should notify either yourself or the Minister responsible of their intention not to be present so that the Question may be taken off the Paper and other Members be able to put their Questions?
As you, Sir, are being asked to commit yourself to a new policy will you consider that circumstances sometimes arise which prevent Members from being present? They have other work to do, sometimes committee work which debars them from coming to the House.
As we expect Ministers—and they invariably respect the convention—to be in their place to answer Questions, surely Members should obey the same convention and be in their places to ask Questions. It is not a matter that is solely concerned with to-day. It has been going on for a long time.