HC Deb 21 May 1941 vol 371 cc1541-2
Sir H. Williams

On a point of Order. I should like your guidance, Sir, in a matter which affects myself incidentally, and a number of other Members of the Select Committee on National Expenditure. There is to be a Supply Debate today in which I am hoping to take part. Our evidence is taken in secret and is not published. When a Member of a Select Committee takes part in a Debate, I assume that he should confine himself to matters on which Reports have already been presented to Parliament, and that it would be improper to deal with matters which have come before him in evidence on which a Report has not been presented. It would be helpful to Members of the Select Committee if you would give some guidance.

Mr. Speaker

I think that is the case. Evidence which has been given secretly cannot be divulged.

Mr. G. Griffiths

If that is the case, what about the secret session in Caxton Hall last night?

Mr. Batey

May I ask the Prime Minister whether, when the House goes into Secret Session to-day, it will be possible to have the letters from Hess to the Duke of Hamilton read to the House?

The Prime Minister (Mr. Churchill)

I do not think that matter is relevant to a Debate on production.

Mr. Batey

Would it not be possible just to have these letters read, because there has grown up a suspicion in the minds of the people of the country that there is some reason for the Prime Minister not making a statement? [Hon. Members: "No."] It is no use hon. Members saying "No." The least the Prime Minister can do is to read the letters, so that we can see whether anyone else is implicated.

The Prime Minister

A statement will be made at Question Time on the next Sitting Day on this particular point affecting the Duke of Hamilton which, I think, will relieve all anxiety.