HC Deb 19 May 1966 vol 728 c1570
Mr. Speaker

I wish to make a personal statement.

Last night I ought to have been in my place to take the vote on the Second Reading of the Transport Finances Bill. During the evening I was entertaining on behalf of the House a delegation of French Parliamentarians. This function went on a quarter of an hour longer than was planned. If I had left it punctually, it would have involved me in leaving during the speech of thanks of a distinguished French guest. Because of this, I arrived in the Chair after the Closure had been sought unsuccessfully.

The responsibility for the present situation is entirely mine, and I wish to express my deep and sincere regret to both sides of the House for my late return last night.