Why does the Minister suppose that Colin Wallace has come to be believed by the publishing house of Macmillan and its libel lawyers, by the late Airey Neave, who was happy to have information from Cohn Wallace, and by raging Left-wingers such as the hereditary Earl Marshall, his grace the Duke of Norfolk?
I cannot answer for publishers or many of the other groups of people whom the hon. Gentleman has mentioned. As far as I know, the allegations that have been repeated in the book concerning the conduct of various persons have been fully investigated over a long period in the past. On the responsibilities of my own Department, I am not aware of anything in the book that would justify any further inquiry.
Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate, as he might expect from the names on the Order Paper, that the book is first, extremely well published and, secondly, extremely well written and that it will, therefore, be far better than most of the stuff he and his Secretary of State have to submit to during the week? Will he also tell us in detail whether his Department was consulted about the letter that appears in the book which was addressed to the Prime Minister and which set out in detail the reasons why there should have been a proper investigation into the matter and why the demands for an investigation would continue? Was the Prime Minister's failure to reply based on any evidence from his Department?
The right hon. Gentleman's reference to the authorship of the book is a form of benevolent nepotism, which he is entitled to use. The contents of the book and all the allegations raised by Mr. Wallace have been investigated separately by the Royal Ulster Constabulary, Sir George Terry and Judge Hughes, and none of the allegations have been found to stand up. Mr. Wallace was given the opportunity to give evidence himself to those inquiries, but despite the fact that he was given assurances that he would not be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act 1911, he refused to do so. The House can draw its own conclusions from that.
Only the conclusions of the Terry report were published—not the evidence. When will the public be allowed to judge whether the conclusions follow from the evidence?