HC Deb 22 March 1971 vol 814 cc20-1W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will give the reasons why, in the knowledge that a Parliamentary Question on the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster's speech made on Tuesday, 2nd March, was on the House of Commons Order Paper on Wednesday, 3rd March, his Department issued a statement on Thursday, 4th March, replying to the Parliamentary Question, and thus circumventing the Member's rights in Parliament; and whether he will take action to prevent this in the future.

Mr. Rippon

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has frequent routine contacts with the Press on a wide range of subjects. In the course of these, officials have responded to questions from the Press about my broadcast on 2nd March. I am not aware of anything which has occurred in these exchanges which in any way restricts the rights of hon. Members to ask and obtain answers to Questions.