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

I am trying to argue that we should not adjourn. I am trying to convince the House and the Government, and you, Mr. Speaker, that it would be wrong for us to adjourn until this matter has been cleared up. It would be wrong for this House to adjourn and allow this grave matter of constitutional importance to remain in doubt for as long as two and a half weeks.

Rather than to allow that to happen, I hope that we shall have an opportunity before Tuesday fortnight of ventilating this matter, and of enabling the Home Secretary to give the facts of the case and to reflect on what I hope he will find was a very ill-considered reply to questions. In that way public anxiety may be relieved, the matter put in its true perspective and the Home Secretary be able to give us a considered and informed opinion of what the practice is, not only in regard to this particular case, but in regard to police habits of tapping telephone conversations and reporting them to outside persons.

For those reasons, I would strongly oppose any attempt to adjourn the House until we have had a satisfactory explanation from the Home Secretary of how he proposes to deal with this matter.