Whitsuntide Adjournment

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th June 1957.

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Photo of Sir Eric Fletcher Sir Eric Fletcher , Islington East 12:00 am, 6th June 1957

Whether or not the Home Secretary is in a position to make a statement today, one of the reasons we are objecting to the Motion is the refusal of the right hon. Gentleman to accede to the suggestion of my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition that a statement should be made about this tomorrow. I can well understand the Home Secretary's desire to investigate the facts. He will have plenty of time to do that between now and tomorrow, but this seems to be a matter of such cardinal importance to British liberties that it would be wrong for us to adjourn before the matter has been cleared up.

The significance of the matter is this. It is fundamental to British conceptions of justice that any accused person should have the right of complete consultation with his professional advisers, and that those consultations should be privileged. It appears from the Question and Answer in the House today that telephone communications between an accused person and his professional advisers—