§ Mr. T. SMITH
With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation. Last Thursday I put a ques- 806 tion to the Minister of Health relating to certain expenditure incurred as a result of the right hon. Gentleman's visit to Grimsby. In the course of putting a Supplementary Question, owing to interjections I made reference to a conversation I had had a day or two previously with the Parliamentary Secretary. After I had made that reference I felt that perhaps I had done something contrary to Parliamentary form. That I now seek to rectify by apologising to the Parliamentary Secretary.
I also feel in duty bound to say a few words to the Minister of Health. I make no apology for having put down the original question, because I believed that in the public interest it was essential that the matter should be cleared up. At the same time I should like to assure the right hon. Gentleman that I had not the slightest intention of making any reflection upon his personal character. My main purpose was to ascertain whether the local ratepayers were being asked to bear a charge which did not rightly belong to them. Having said so much, I conclude by hoping that the Parliamentary Secretary, the Minister, and the House will accept this explanation in the spirit of sincerity in which it is given.
§ The MINISTER of HEALTH (Sir Hilton Young)
I should like to say that I much appreciate the hon. Member's statement, and I am obliged to him for making it.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Mr. Shakespeare)
I had intended to make a personal explanation myself, but, in view of the handsome way in which the hon. Member has apologised, it is not necessary for me to do so. I accept his statement; I thank him personally; and, as far as I am concerned, the incident is forgotten.