asked the Prime Minister whether the rule or usage still holds good which requires a Minister of the Crown on resigning office to obtain the sanction of the Sovereign before making any statement involving a reference to proceedings in the Cabinet; whether the right hon. Member for Cambridgeshire obtained such sanction before making his recent speech at Cambridge; and, if so, whether he obtained permission to make his statement elsewhere than in Parliament?
Certainly, Sir. His Majesty's permission is required before an outgoing Minister can state the reasons for his resignation, and the usual course is to ask the Prime Minister to obtain that permission. This course was followed by my right hon. Friend before the publication of his letter in which, rather than by a statement in this House, he preferred to give the reasons for his resignation.
I do not know that permission has ever been sought as to the place in which the statement is to be made. I saw my right hon. Friend late on Thursday and he informed me he was anxious for the publication of the letter which passed between himself and the Prime Minister, because that would give the reasons for his resignation and dispense him from making a statement in this House.