Oral Answers to Questions — Sir Lindsay Parkinson and Company.

– in the House of Commons on 3rd June 1942.

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Major Braithwaite (by Private Notice):

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Buildings whether any members of his staff are connected with the firm of Sir Lindsay Parkinson and Company, Limited, and, if so, whether he will give the names and the duties they perform?

Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

On a point of Order. Usually Private Notice Questions are urgent and of some public importance, and I would like to know on what grounds you, Sir, have allowed this Question? It seems to me that it does not come within the category of urgency.

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

At first sight I thought the same as the hon. Member, but I am informed that certain allegations have been made in respect of this firm, and the sooner they are dealt with the better.

Photo of Mr Thomas Levy Mr Thomas Levy , Elland

If slanderous allegations made by Members in this House are entirely without foundation in fact, does it not become a question of urgency with regard to the reputation of the firm or people attacked?

Photo of Mr George Hicks Mr George Hicks , Woolwich East

The answer to the first part of the hon. and gallant Member's Question is "No," and there never has been any member of the firm of Sir Lindsay Parkinson employed in my Ministry. The second part, therefore, does not arise.

Major Braithwaite:

In view of the serious allegations made yesterday by the hon. Member for Maryhill (Mr. J. J. Davidson), can the hon. Gentleman take some public action to stop slanderous statements of this sort being made in the House which misrepresent people trying to do their duty to the nation at this time?

Photo of Mr George Hicks Mr George Hicks , Woolwich East

It is a matter for the hon. Member for Maryhill, not for me.

Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

I hope the Parliamentary Secretary does not intend to start interfering with the rights and privileges of Members of this House, which have been built up over a long period.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Is it not a fact that Members should take responsibility for their statements?

Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

That is a matter for hon. Members. Nobody has a right to interfere with their privileges.

Photo of Mr Adam M'Kinlay Mr Adam M'Kinlay , Dunbartonshire

Was the hon. Member for Maryhill notified of this Question, which is being smuggled in by the back door?

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

These Questions are submitted to me before they are put on the Order Paper. I do not know anything about them coming in by a back door.

Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

The hon. Member for Maryhill has been subject to criticism, as implied in the Question. We are asking whether the ordinary courtesies were shown to him by notification that this Question was being raised to-day.

Major Braithwaite:

I have tried all through the House and through the Labour Whips' Office to find the hon. Member for Maryhill. He is not in his place in the House, and I had to ask the Question as a matter of urgency.