§ Captain GEE
I rise, Mr. Speaker, to ask your advice and your ruling on a point of Order of which I have given you private notice. I wish to ask whether it is in accordance with the rules of Debate of this House that Members should bring forward in Debate and make reference to matters which are awaiting adjudication by a. -Court of Law. The specific case which I have in mind is a speech made. recently by the hon. Member for Balham (Sir A. Butt) in the course of the Debate on the Second Beading of the British Empire Exhibition (Guarantee) Bill. In the course of that. speech the hon. Member dealt at some length with matters which were then and still are awaiting trial in the High Court. I wish very respectfully to ask you, Sir, whether, had you, like the hon. Member, been aware that these matters were awaiting trial, you would have allowed the hon. Member to have made that speech?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
There is no Standing Order of the House dealing with this matter, but hon. Members who study Erskine May will find there a very good maxim, which seems to me to reproduce accurately the practice of the House in this regard, to the effect that matters which are awaiting adjudication in a Court of Law should not be raised in Debate on the Floor of the House. Had I been aware at the time that the matters referred to were awaiting trial, I should certainly have drawn the attention of the hon. Member for Balham to that fact, and asked him not to raise the matters until a decision had been given by the Court of Law.