Zinoviev Letter

Oral Answers to Questions — House of Commons – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd January 1967.

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Photo of Mr Benjamin Whitaker Mr Benjamin Whitaker , Hampstead 12:00 am, 23rd January 1967

asked the Attorney-General whether he will instruct the Director of Public Prosecutions to take proceedings against those responsible for conspiring to utter the so-called Zinoviev letter in the light of the recent evidence sent to him showing that it was forged.

Photo of Sir Elwyn Jones Sir Elwyn Jones , West Ham South

Neither I nor the Director of Public Prosecutions have received such evidence. If any is sent to the Director he will no doubt consider it.

Photo of Mr Benjamin Whitaker Mr Benjamin Whitaker , Hampstead

Alternatively, can the Attorney-General consider the prosecution for false pretences of these officials of the Conservative Central Office, who bought this forgery for £10,000 and have not yet honoured their obligation by paying that money?

Photo of Sir Elwyn Jones Sir Elwyn Jones , West Ham South

This again is a matter of alleged history, about which I have no evidence.

Photo of Sir John Hobson Sir John Hobson , Warwick and Leamington

Would not the Attorney-General agree that both this and the previous Question show the same undesirability of asking him Questions when he has a quasi-judicial function to perform and before he has taken his decision, while recognising that he is responsible when the decision has been taken?

Photo of Sir Elwyn Jones Sir Elwyn Jones , West Ham South

Speakers in the House have given cognisance to this Question. I share the view of the right hon. and learned Gentleman that it could result in an undesirable situation developing, but I do not think that I ought to seek to place an impediment when the Chair allows the Question to be put.