§ Sir Herbert Williams (Croydon, South)
Mr. Speaker, I desire now to raise formally the question of Privilege which I brought to your attention on Tuesday last. During the Recess I received a letter purporting to be signed by Major E. Hammond Foot, Wilton Corner, Beaconsfield, Bucks, dated 25th October, 1941, and among other things it contained this paragraph:Then came the blight of vested interest, high finance and International Socialism of a Bolshevik type, which infected the House, the Whips and the Speaker's Chair …In another paragraph this appears:I apologise for circulating this letter, but if Members of Parliament are tied by Party Whips and the Speaker's Chair to keep silent, then the elector has the right to criticise openly before them.I submit that these statements constitute a gross breach of the Privileges of this House.
§ Mr. Speaker
In these matters it is not for me to decide whether a breach of Privilege has been committed, but whether the hon. Member has made out a prima facie case, and in this case I think he has.
§ The Prime Minister (Mr. Churchill)
I beg to move, as it is my duty,That the matter of the Complaint be referred to the Committee of Privileges.
§ Question put, and agreed to.