Privilege (Letter to Member)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21 March 1945.

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Photo of Mr George Reakes Mr George Reakes , Wallasey 12:00, 21 March 1945

I beg leave to raise a question of Privilege. Recently, I received a communication from a firm of farmers containing what, to me, is an obnoxious offer of monetary reward for services expected to be rendered. The whole idea has given me great annoyance, and will be found, I believe, to be contrary to Parliamentary traditions and the traditions of public life. I take this, the earliest possible, opportunity of bringing it before the notice of the House, hoping that the House will agree to the usual procedure being followed in dealing with such cases.

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

The hon. Member will please bring the communication to the Clerks at the Table.

Letter delivered in, and read as follows:


Barochan House,



3rd March, 1945,

George Reakes, Esq., M.P.

House of Commons,


London, S.W.I.

Dear Mr. Reakes,

Mrs. Donald Clark appears to have had a word with you regarding my farming difficulties, and you have been so kind as to ask me to write to you.

I am sending on copies of the correspondence and perhaps when you have had time to peruse it, you might advise me whether anything can be done.

I feel very strongly on this matter and would like to get a favourable decision, because I think the Department in Scotland is simply 'dog in the manger' with every application from any quarter and refusing to allow a change of tenancy if the farmer who is in is in the 'A' class.

Should you be able to bring a successful conclusion to this case, I should like—if it would be in order—to donate a cheque for One Hundred Guineas to your local Association for their Party Funds.

I shall await the favour of your reply.

With kind regards,

I am, Yours faithfully,


P.S.—My Member, Mr. H. J. Scrymgeour Wedderburn, is on active service so that I am in order in going outwith my constituency for help."

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

I suppose it is a very desirable thing that the hon. Member should bring this to the notice of the House, but is it not notorious that all kinds of association, are giving hand-outs to various Members of this House?

Photo of Mr George Reakes Mr George Reakes , Wallasey

I beg to move, That the matter of the Complaint be referred to the Committee of Privileges

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

Will there not be a general inquiry into this whole question?

Question put, and agreed to.