HC Deb 30 July 1954 vol 531 cc863-4
Mr. William Warbey (Broxtowe)

On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct your attention to a remark published in today's OFFICIAL REPORT and ask for your guidance. The OFFICIAL REPORT states that I rose to a point of order and then follows this remark attributed to the hon. Member for Brierley Hill (Mr. Simmons): Sit down you Communist tool."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 29th July, 1954; Vol. 531; c. 716.] There was at that time a great deal of noise in the Chamber. I did not hear that expression and I doubt whether you heard it, but owing to our excellent loudspeaker system things can sometimes be heard in the Press Gallery which are not audible to Members and to the Chair. I wonder what action can now be taken, because I feel that if your attention had been called at the time to the use of that expression, you would probably have called upon the hon. Member for Brierley Hill to withdraw it. I think you will agree that it is not an expression which should be used in regard to any hon. Member. It casts an imputation which should not be cast.

Mr. Speaker

I am bound to say that I did not hear it at all. It is one of the results of this marvellous amplication system that there is occasionally what might be described as electric eaves-dropping. I certainly did not hear it, and I think that, before I say anything, I should ascertain whether, in fact, the words were used at all, because it is very unlike the hon. Member for Brierley Hill (Mr. Simmons) to say anything unparliamentary.

Mr. Warbey

If it should turn out that the words were not used, what action can then be taken in regard to their appearance in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Speaker

If an error is made in this record, it can be corrected for the bound volume so that it will not become a permanent record. That is the only thing that can be done.

Mr. Rupert Speir (Hexham)

I was present in the Chamber at the time and I heard that remark made, but I heard it made by more than one hon. Member.

Mr. Speaker

I did not myself hear it at all, and I think we had better ascertain the facts. I would rather not rule upon it until I am aware of the position.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—[Mr. Heath.]

Forward to