HC Deb 24 October 1945 vol 414 cc2011-2
50. Mr. Quintin Hogg

asked the Prime Minister how many wives of Service personnel and other Crown servants, respectively, have now been provided with passages to join their husbands; and how many of the latter were at the instance of the Foreign Office and of the Colonial Office, respectively.

The Prime Minister

This Question only appeared on the Order Paper yesterday. In the time at my disposal, it has not been possible to clear up with the hon. Member certain obscurities in the wording of his Question. When I have done so, I will arrange for the information which he requires to be sent to him by the appropriate Departments.

Mr. Hogg

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the question was drafted for me by the Chair? [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Mr. Speaker, I did not mean that you drafted it for me, I mean that I had certain assistance—[Hon. Members: "Order."]

Mr. Speaker

I do not think the hon. Member ought to make reflections like that which would appear to mean the Clerks.

Mr. Hogg

Let me say at once, Mr. Speaker, that I did not intend any reflection. I hope that nothing was intended or understood to that effect. I really did not intend the smallest reflection upon the learned Clerks from whom I, like most other hon. Members, receive very great assistance; and if I seemed to put any reflection upon them, I can only say that it was totally unintentional, and, indeed, I should like to say—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order."]—I should like to say that the innocent question I put is certainly not intended to be taken as a serious reflection on them at all.

Mr. Scollan

I would like to ask, if the hon. Member did not mean what he said, how are we to know what he means?

Mr. Speaker

The matter is a little clearer now. I am sure the House will accept the hon. Gentleman's apology.