Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I think the hon. Gentleman will remember also that the Lord President of the Council said that he would consider this matter. I think it is a matter for Ministers to decide what Questions they will answer. This is not a matter for the Chair. I think that we had better leave it for the Minister to consider the matter—the Lord President said that he would do so—and await a statement from him.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Before the right hon. Lady makes her statement, I wish to make a statement relating to Private Notice Questions. As the House knows, the acceptance of these Questions lies entirely within my discretion. This is not always easy to exercise, and I am finding that it is becoming steadily more difficult when Questions relate to incidents in which lives have been lost. In the sad world in which...
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: We have already had over half an hour on this subject, and I cannot allow it to continue very much longer.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. We must move on.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: This is a question for my discretion.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. We must leave the matter there.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: We must get on. Mr. Graham.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Will the hon. Member please repeat his point? I did not hear it.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: That is nowhere near a point of order. This is a serious matter for the House. I have looked very carefully at the record for last Tuesday and hon. Members will see there that the Prime Minister answered 10 different questions. We have a system, which I do not believe any of us finds satisfactory, of having pegs on which one can hang any question to the Prime Minister. The Question reached on...
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I am grateful to the hon. Member for Tonbridge and Mailing (Mr. Stanley) for putting his point of order. This is an issue for the whole House, not for a particular Government. I dislike blocking answers, but I think that some system of blocking answers has to be used. Its original purpose was to prevent the tedious repetition of the same Question over and over again. This is a matter which...
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: The suggestion has been made that the Procedure Committee might look into this matter. The hon. Member for Hendon, North (Mr. Gorst) has raised rather a wider point than the one raised by the hon. Member for Ton-bridge and Mailing.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I shall consider the matter. This is a House of Commons matter and I hope that it can be considered as a question for the whole House. The House of Commons took or accepted a certain decision on this issue I think in 1947. The Chair is bound to some extent by what the House agreed and by what has since been convention and custom. One or two cases have come to me where I have been able to...
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: The hon. Member has made his point, and the Leader of the House has promised to look into it. That is as far as we can go today.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: This is a serious matter and I am grateful to the hon. Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Wellbeloved) for raising it. It is an important matter from the point of view of the House.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I understand it has been agreed that the Bill and the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1974 (Continuance) (No. 2) Order 1975 should be discussed together. Is that correct?
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: This is not a new difficulty. The last time it arose, there was a good deal of trouble in spite of precautions being taken. In the event, over 3,000 people from outside came into the precincts to see their Members. We are faced with a question of numbers and facilities. It has already been referred to the Services Committee. The Committee examined it carefully in the last Session and made...
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. If the hon. Member wishes to challenege a ruling, which, incidentally, I have not yet given, he must do so in another way. I am not selecting the amendment, which covers a question which can be argued during the Second Reading debate. In my view, it is not appropriate for me to select it for a Division. Arguments which could be advanced in support of the amendment can be put forward in...
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I understand that these Questions are to be answered at the end of Question Time.
Mr Selwyn Lloyd: Order. I do not think that we can now have the discussion which will no doubt take place later on the amendments.