On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Today 35 minutes were allowed for 84 Foreign and Commonwealth questions and 20 minutes to deal with only six EEC questions. As there is clearly far too little time for the many Foreign and Commonwealth questions and far too much time for the very few EEC questions, may I suggest that we have a full hour for Foreign and Commonwealth questions and relegate EEC questions to a vital, critical time, such as a Friday morning?
As the hon. Gentleman well knows, the allocation of time for questions is not for me but for the usual channels. I am sure that his comments will have been heard.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Today, as on other days, right hon. and hon. Members have been disappointed at not being called during Question Time or at not being able properly to put their questions when they were called. If Members of Parliament come to believe, rightly or wrongly, that bullying and blustering will allow them to obtain preference, Question Time will deteriorate. Having tried to facilitate the normal progress of questions by not pushing my claim on Question No. 1, may I put it to you, Mr. Speaker, that I and others like me will no longer be inclined to do that if others, such as the right hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey), manage to get away with the behaviour that I have described?
Order. I hope that the House will not feel that any hon. Member is getting away with anything.
In relation to what was mentioned earlier, we did not get very far in Question Time today. I make a judgment every day on which questions are of major interest to the House. With four interventions from the Front Bench, I felt that it was right to move on.
Order. I said to the hon. Gentleman yesterday, and I repeat to the House again, that we cannot prolong Question Time by raising points of order. We have come to the end of Question Time. There have been a number of points of order about the fact that we moved on to another question, and that I did not give the right hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) an opportunity to ask his question. I cannot take any further points of order on that.
Order. I have been very patient with the hon. Gentleman. I must ask him, please, not to refer to Question Time or any further extension of that. If he has a point of order on a matter on which I can rule, I shall of course hear him, but if it is not a matter on which I can rule, I shall have to ask him to sit down.
On 27 June my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Short) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
how many British subjects are currently detained in Saudi Arabia; how many complaints he has received about the lack of assistance given to those subjects by the British authorities; and if he will make a statement.
Later the hon. Member for Christchurch (Mr. Adley) asked:
Have the Government objected to the recent detention of a British military attaché by the Israeli Government?
The Minister replied
Yes, Sir." — [Official Report, 27 June 1984; Vol. 62, c. 981.]
The hon. Member for Christchurch was allowed to ask a question on Israel on the back of a question tabled as No. 5 on that day in relation——
Order. I have been patient, but that is not a matter on which I can rule. The hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours) is abusing the opportunity that I gave to him.
Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I recognise your difficulty. None of us want to encourage the abuse of points of order. I believe that when you read Hansard tomorrow you will discover that my hon. Friend the Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours) had not, at this point, developed his point of order. He knows that he will be condemned by both sides of the House if he fails to make a proper point of order. In retrospect, you might feel that you had been less than fair to him if you discovered that you ruled him out of order without allowing him to develop his case.
I appreciate that the right hon. Member for Swansea, West (Mr. Williams) is defending his hon. Friend the Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours). I think that I have been more than generous. However, if the hon. Gentleman's point of order is valid today it would have been valid on 27 June when the question was first raised. I cannot imagine that anything he is likely to say today will be a point of order for milt:, but if the the hon. Gentleman puts his case briefly I shall listen.
My point of order is that you, Mr. Speaker, allowed the hon. Member for Christchurch to ask his question on the Israeli Government as a supplementary question to a question about Saudi Arabia. My point of order arises directly out of Question Time(today when I did the same, based upon that precedent, but was ruled out of order by the Chair. What is consistent about the two decisions?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I do not wish to abuse the privilege of the House, but I envisage great difficulty as a result of you allowing the Secretary of State for Wales to state, on a further point of order, that he planned to make a statement about water in Wales on Monday. The situation is critical and needs a statement——