§ Mr. Mander
I rise, Mr. Speaker, to ask you to be good enough to give a Ruling on the following point: whether Members of the House of Commons will be entitled to communicate to Members of another place who have not been present at the Secret Session information as to what took place at such Session?
§ Mr. Speaker
In reply to the hon. Member, under Standing Order No. 89 it is conceded, as a matter of courtesy, not of right, that Members of the other House may remain here during Secret Sessions when other strangers are ordered to withdraw. If a Member of this House who is present at the Debate discloses what has taken place at the Secret Session to a Member of the other House who was not present, but who could have been present had he so desired, he might be adjudged to have committed a technical offence, but it would be for the House to decide whether a breach of Privilege had been committed and on the gravity of the offence.
§ Mr. Thorne
I take it for granted that the Ruling you have given, Sir, will apply to absent Members of this House as well?
§ Mr. G. Griffiths
If a Member of another place divulges to his wife what has gone on in this House, what is to be the penalty for him?
§ Mr. Speaker
Perhaps it would be as well for me to say what, in my opinion, is the position in this matter of Members of the other House. I said just now that it is conceded, as a matter of courtesy not of right, that Members of the other House may remain here during Secret Sessions when other strangers are ordered to withdraw. If a Member of the other House were guilty of disclosure of the proceedings at such a Session it would be left to the House of which he is a Member to inflict the appropriate penalty. The usual proceeding would be to examine 1211 into the fact and to lay a statement of the evidence before the other House, whose duty it would be, upon being apprised of the fact, to take proper measures to inquire into it and punish the offender. In this connection, it is not necessary to refer to any liability to prosecution which exists under the Defence Regulation made under the Order-in Council of 11th December.
§ Sir J. Lamb
In view of the limited accommodation usually provided here for Members of the other House, would it be possible to allow them, if they so desire, to be accommodated in the Public Gallery?