Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:07 pm on 18th April 1990.

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Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , Linlithgow 4:07 pm, 18th April 1990

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Would you confirm that when a senior member of the Cabinet asks to make a statement in the House he makes it not only on behalf of his Department but of the Government as a whole? Might not it have been better to use other procedures? Four Departments wanted the matter questioned—the Treasury for Customs and Excise, the Foreign Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department of Trade and Industry. In view of the suspicion that the Ministry of Defence has displayed a Nelson eye for some time on the Iraqi orders, is not it unacceptable, as the Defence Secretary was present and the Minister of State for Defence Procurement was sitting by his side, that when I simply asked for the date when the Department first knew about the matter—a simple, artless, factual question—I did not receive an answer? One should not be told that it is a matter for the Ministry of Defence.