HC Deb 25 February 1927 vol 202 cc2055-6

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I desire to make a short personal explanation to you and to the House. On the 31st March, 1925, on the occasion of the Motion for the Second Reading of the British Empire Exhibition (Guarantee) Bill, I felt it my duty to make certain grave charges against two gentlemen, Mr. Laycock and Mr. Bird. I did so solely because at that time I believed them to be true and to he in the public interest. Since that occasion, those charges have been the subject of very full investigation in the High Court of Justice, with the result that Messrs. Laycock and Bird have been completely vindicated. It is my duty to you, Sir, and to the House, and also my pleasure, to say that I accept unreservedly the findings of the learned Judges who investigated those charges, and I withdraw without reserve any imputation that I may have made. I felt it was right that, in the first instance, I should make this statement on the Floor of this House, before formally communicating with Messrs Laycock and Bird. I am happy to say that those Gentlemen appreciate my desire in this connection, and accept my withdrawal in the same large spirit in which it is made.