HC Deb 01 July 1963 vol 680 cc35-6
Mr. Wilkins

I wish to raise with you, Mr. Speaker, a matter which, I believe, constitutes a breach of Privilege.

I believe that all right hon. and hon. Members of the House have received over the weekend a circular letter which is headed"Textile Action Group" and is sent from 9–11, Higher Church St. Blackburn, and dated 22nd June, 1963. It reads thus: To all Members of Parliament. Hon. Members, The last debate on the textile industry was badly attended by Members of Parliament until the vote. On 1st July, 1963"— that is today— the Textile Action Group will be at the House and will be vary pleased to publish the names of Members who attend that day so that their constituents will be able to assess the interest shown. Yours faithfully, R. Cocks, Hon. Secretary. I am not, of course, a representative of a constituency where textiles are a dominant industry, but I submit that this is highly offensive to right hon. and hon. Members who endeavour to attend this House regularly and who faithfully perform their duties on behalf of their constituents and the country. It is not possible for a right hon. or hon. Member always to be in his place in the House. Indeed, this will be, possibly, the situation today, as we deal with various subjects in which hon. Members are interested.

I submit, Mr. Speaker, that this is either an obvious or an implied threat to Members of the House and I ask you to be so kind as to rule whether this constitutes prima facie a breach of Privilege of the House.

Mr. Speaker

Will the hon. Member be good enough to give me his copy of the letter?

Copy of letter handed in.

Mr. Speaker

I will consider the hon. Member's complaint and rule upon it tomorrow.