HC Deb 07 November 1955 vol 545 cc1481-2
Dame Irene Ward

On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. May I ask for your guidance? Last Thursday I asked the Leader of the House on the business statement whether the Motion standing in my name would be dealt with by the Foreign Secretary when he replied to the debate today. Contrary to practice, the Motion did not appear in HANSARD, and, as I had specially arranged with my right hon. Friend to ask this Question so that it would appear in HANSARD in order that the Foreign Secretary could have a chance of answering it, may I ask whether it might be put in HANSARD tomorrow so that it can be there on record, as is the usual practice?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Lady is quite right in saying that when an hon. Member refers to a Motion which is on the Order Paper, and does not in his Question—or her Question—read the terms of the Motion, it is the usual practice for the OFFICIAL REPORT to print in italics the terms of the Motion referred to. If that has not been done in this case, it must have been due to inadvertence, for which I can only express my regret.

However, I will make further inquiries and see what can be done.

Dame Irene Ward

Thank you very much, Sir.

[The following is the Motion:

That this House is of the opinion that full Parliamentary support is due to the Foreign Service in the difficulties it has faced through the behaviour of Burgess and Maclean; that the Foreign Secretary should state what powers are vested in his office as Secretary of State and those of other Ministers to appoint to confidential positions members of the service and what is the usual procedure followed; that information should be given as to what authority exists and in whom the power is vested to disregard adverse reports from M.I.5 and M.I.6; that in any debate in the House of Commons the Prime Minister should make clear the powers that the Foreign Service has to advise on the suitability of new entrants into the service and what machinery exists for ensuring that departmental views are not disregarded by holders of Ministerial appointments without adequate independent consideration at a high level: that, in view of the general anxiety caused by the Burgess-Maclean incident, a full factual account should be made available as to what part, if any, holders of Parliamentary office played in the fortunes of these men as members of the Foreign Service; and that, in view of the confidence the country has in the Foreign Service, it would welcome a clear unequivocal statement couched in less ambiguous terms than that of the White Paper.]