Select Committee on Procedure Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter from Sir Sydney Chapman MP to the Chairman of the Committee

  Further to my question at the 1922 Committee last Wednesday and our subsequent brief chat, I write to confirm that I did complete the questionnaire and, for ease of reference, enclose a copy of it kindly provided by Carolyn Bowes in the Procedure Committee Office.

  However, in my suggestions at the 1922 Committee I was a little more comprehensive than I was in the questionnaire and so would like to confirm that the three suggestions I made were:

    1.  Parliamentary questions should be put down for oral answer no later than a week (instead of a fortnight) before answer.

    2.  There might be 10 minutes or so at the beginning of each question time for topical issues to be raised. This could take another form: private notice questions but the material point is that it should be before PQs rather than at the end of them.

    3.  That the Speaker might have discretion to select certain questions if he felt that an important area of a department's responsibilities was not adequately covered in the ballot. For example: DEFRA—if there was no question balloted about rural matters, he may have the authority to push one such question "up the order paper".

9 February 2002

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