A recent article in this Journal (Patrick Dunleavy and G. W. Jones with others, ‘Leaders, Politics and Institutional Change: The Decline of Prime Ministerial Accountability to the House of Commons, 1868–1990’, 23 (1993), 267–98) demonstrated a clear secular decline in prime ministers' accountability to Parliament. It examined the frequency with which prime ministers from W. E. Gladstone to Margaret Thatcher accounted directly to MPs by answering oral questions and making statements, major speeches and minor interventions in debates. The decline in each of these activities had followed a different pattern. There was a steep fall in prime ministers' participation in oral questions until the late 1950s, but after parliament and Harold Macmillan had agreed that prime ministers would answer questions for 15 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the fall seemed to have been arrested. The evidence from John Major's premiership, which is presented below, shows that, even within this apparently rigid timetable, there has been further decline. The making of statements, after a period of near absence, had revived in the 1940s, but declined noticeably again in the 1980s. Dunleavy and Jones concluded that increases in the number of prime-ministerial statements were associated with international and domestic crises, summits and the relaxation of procedural rules. Evidence from Major's performance reinforces these findings. The long-term trend towards fewer substantial speeches was found to have accelerated in the 1980s, a development which was mirrored in a fall in the number of debating interventions during the Thatcher years. The evidence on these two activities, presented below, indicates a partial return under Major to pre-Thatcher norms – though this revival may be only a temporary phenomenon.