Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th April 1965.

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Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton 12:00 am, 29th April 1965

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for that statement. Frankly, we did not want to have to make any statement on this issue, particularly while an election was on in a Commonwealth country. But, in view of the terms of the White Paper which was issued which seemed to put interpretations on our own words and on the intentions of the Government quite contrary to what was meant by the Government and what was clearly understood to be meant by the Government, we had no alternative but to make a statement this afternoon.

I apologise to the House that it was somewhat long and has interfered with the ensuing debate, but I felt that a statement of this degree of constitutional importance had to be made in the House. It had to be made today and that was why it could not be done in the form of issuing a statement from 10, Downing Street, or by putting it in written form in HANSARD.