HC Deb 05 November 1936 vol 317 cc260-1

May I be permitted, Mr. Speaker, to raise a personal matter? I want to draw your attention to the fact that the Foreign Secretary has made an apology to the representative of a foreign country for statements made by me, and I want to ask what right the Foreign Secretary has to apologise for anything that I may says? If at any time I should use language against the procedure of this House and you draw my attention to it, I shall be only too ready to meet your desires on any such question, but I want to ask you to protect me against such conduct on the part of the Foreign Secretary. I ask you, was it not his business, if he wanted to raise this matter, to have come to me? I would then have given him a reply.


The hon. Member seems to be asking me to protect him from those who have done him a friendly act.


On a, point of Order. I should like to ask you, Sir, whether there exists any rule of the House by which attacks upon the representatives of a foreign Power holding ambassadorial or ministerial rank in this country can be prevented? If not, I propose to put down a Question asking whether the Standing Orders can be altered.


The Ambassador in such a case is a representative. As Ambassador for the time being he represents his country, and it would be most improper that offensive attacks should be made against the representative of a friendly Power. Provided I heard those remarks, which is not always the case, or if they were brought to my notice, I should insist immediately upon the withdrawal of the remarks.


Is it not a fact that the German Ambassador, on the first day on which he came to this country, made an attack upon a particular party in this country?


May I submit to you that the only mistake which my hon. Friend made when he made the statement the other day was in attributing the crime of murder to the Ambassador of Germany when he should have attributed it to the Government which he represents?


That may be so, but I have given my ruling upon the matter submitted to me as a point of Order.