HC Deb 07 July 1961 vol 643 c1875

11.5 a.m.

Mr. Speaker

I have first to deal with a matter with which the hon. Gentleman the Member for Dundee, East (Mr. G. M. Thomson) asked me to deal yesterday.

The facts seem to be that immigration and customs officials in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, confiscated the documents of Mr. Kenneth Kaunda, he being a British-protected person, and the hon. Member submits that such confiscation involved a breach of the Privilege of the House of Commons. He does so on the ground that among the documents confiscated was a letter, written by the hon. Member to Mr. Kaunda, relating to some Questions addressed to Ministers in this House and forwarding to Mr. Kaunda a letter written by a Minister.

I have carefully considered this matter, and, in my view, the hon. Member's complaint does not disclose a prima facie case of breach of Privilege of this House. As everyone knows, my Ruling goes no further than to cover the procedural aspect. Should the House desire in any way to take it further, it does not preclude that at all.

Mr. G. M. Thomson (Dundee, East)

I am much obliged to you, Mr. Speaker, for the trouble you have taken in considering my complaint. I should like to consider, with my colleagues, the Ruling that you have given and decide what future action I might take.

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