HC Deb 12 February 1934 vol 285 cc1590-1

In connection with the matter of Privilege which I raised last Thursday, Sir, might I inquire whether you are now in a position to give your reply?


In forming an opinion as to whether, in the case brought to my notice by the hon. Baronet the Member for Linlithgow (Sir A. Baillie), there is a prima facie case that the question of privilege exists, I cannot help mentioning the old tradition which still governs some of the procedure of this House, that this House is not officially cognisant of any Address moved in another place; but that can hardly, in these days of the OFFICIAL REPORT and the Press, be considered a valid reason for ignoring anything and everything that might take place in the other House. I shall therefore not, in this case, take that particular tradition into consideration. The case as it was brought to me, and which I have now had the opportunity of examining—the case of 1666—is not a parallel one with the present case. On that occasion, a Bill had been sent up from the Commons, and the Lords, before considering it, moved for an Address to the King on the subject.

There have been precedents in each House for such action as has been taken in the Lords in this case, as, for instance, that in 1911, when a somewhat similar Bill was introduced in the other place. In fact, either House is quite entitled to move for an Address asking the Crown to place its interest at the disposal of Parliament, but in the case of a Government Bill an announcement is generally made by the Minister in charge that that has been done. In those circumstances, I cannot see that a prima facie case for the Motion of Privilege has been made out in this case.


I thank you very much for the consideration and attention which you have given to my question. I was quite aware that the point which I raised and the authority to which I referred had not always been adhered to in the past, but I would respectfully suggest that that was partly because no one protested at the time. In view of your Ruling, I only thank you and say that I will abide by your Ruling.