The Countryside

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:10 pm on 1st December 1999.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Earl Peel Earl Peel Conservative 7:10 pm, 1st December 1999

My Lords, inevitably in a debate such as this, which has been wide ranging, the number of questions posed to the noble Baroness is great. She has done a remarkable job in attempting to answer them. However, inevitably she will not be able to answer them all, and some relate to other departments. I always thought it was a tradition of this House that where questions put specifically to the Minister were not answered at the Dispatch Box, she would arrange for letters to be written to the noble Lords concerned. Can she confirm that she will do that?

We had a wide-ranging debate when we discussed the gracious Speech but, unfortunately, environment and agriculture were rolled up with education. The noble Baroness, Lady Blackstone, was answering questions on matters with which she was unable to deal. However, none of us has ever had a response to the questions we posed in that debate. Perhaps the Government will keep to this tradition and ensure that we receive proper written responses to questions not answered at the Dispatch Box.