§ Mr. LYNCH
(by Private Notice) asked the-Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Admiralty whether, on consideration, he will revise the reply that he gave to my question of yesterday concerning Sir John Jellicoe, in which he .asserted that I had 223 misquoted Sir John Jellicoe. I withdrew, on that assumption; but I have since been informed that I did not misquote, and that those identical words which I used were ,supplied by two independent Press agencies—the Press Association and the Exchange Telegraph Company—to various newspapers, and that during all the intervening time there has been no contradiction?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
My hon. Friend, in his question of yesterday, asked whether our attention had been called to a statement by Sir John Jellicoe on 24th October:That there was no need for anxiety, as the War was almost won.In his speech on the Third Reading of the Consolidated Fund Bill on 6th November my hon. Friend four times repeated this as a quotation from Sir John Jellicoe's speech:There is no need for anxiety, the War is almost at an end.Reading through Sir John Jellicoe's speech, as reported in the "Sheffield Daily Telegraph," I saw that he made the first of these statements:There is no need for anxiety—but with a proviso. I saw that at the conclusion of his speech, he made the second part of this statement,the War was almost won "—but again with a proviso. Why my hon. Friend appears to have done is to have taken the first part of each of these references in the speech, and omitted in each case the proviso. Now let me read the two references in full from the "Sheffield Daily Telegraph." The first is as follows:There should be no reason for anxiety as to the result of the enemy's campaign, provided always that we exercised the strictest economy.The second, which occurred at the conclusion of the speech, is as follows:The War is all but won; you have only to set your teeth and the War will be won.Let me repeat. The hon. Member for West Clare appears to have taken the first part of each of these quotations and omitted the proviso from each. I read the first quotation in full yesterday. I am sorry that I did not read the second, because it enforces the misrepresentation caused by the leaving out of the proviso in this as in the former case.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
It is still Question time. The hon. Member as entitled to put a question, but not to make a statement.
§ Mr. LYNCH
I wish to raise a question of privilege with regard to the rights of Members of this House. On more than one occasion—and what I say affects not only the Admiralty, but also the War Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs —we as Members of this House have been deceived by replies given from that Front Bench. They have been couched in a cunning manner, and in such a way as to convey a totally false impression, and, as a matter of fact, they have conveyed a totally false impression. Perhaps it has been done unwittingly on the part of the Admiralty representative, but nevertheless they have been framed by those who have framed them with, as I think, the intention of deceiving this House.