Written Questions

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Privy Council – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 22nd October 2002.

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Photo of Eric Forth Eric Forth Conservative, Bromley and Chislehurst 2:30 pm, 22nd October 2002

Has the Minister read the report of the House of Commons Procedure Committee on parliamentary questions? As he will agree, it has a majority of Government Members, as have all Committees. In particular, has he read paragraph 101, which states:

XWe . . . recommend that with effect from 1 September each year, Members should be permitted to table written questions. We recommend this change should be made irrespective of whether the Government's proposals for September sittings of the House are adopted"?

The view of the Procedure Committee is perfectly plain. It has looked at this matter on our behalf and has recommended very strongly that there should not be a blanket ban on the asking of questions throughout the summer recess, whatever its length might be. Why is the Minister apparently ignorant of the contents of that report, and if he is not ignorant of them, will he please tell us that he is going to do something about it?