HC Deb 14 April 1967 vol 744 c1513

11.5 a.m.

Mr. Speaker

Yesterday, I was asked by the hon. and learned Member for Antrim, South (Sir Knox Cunningham) whether disclosures from private party meetings within the precincts would fall within the ambit of Parliamentary privilege.

I do not think that any disclosures from such meetings infringe the law of privilege as it has been applied by the House in the past. Hon. Members will recall that the question has been canvassed but the House has never taken the view that such disclosures would involve privilege. The situation, of course, is quite different from the rule which governs Reports from Select Committees.

Sir Knox Cunningham

I thank you for your Ruling, Mr. Speaker, and ask you whether that means that you agree with the Report of the Committee of Privileges on 27th July, 1947, which says, at page 11 that … publication of information about secret meetings of his party by a Member clearly involves a gross breach of confidence but is not in itself a breach of privilege. May I take it that that applies to any hon. Member, whether he be Prime Minister or a private Member

Mr. Speaker

Before I gave my Ruling I read last night the whole of the Report to which the hon. and learned Member has referred and also the debate in the House which followed it. I have nothing to add to my Ruling.

Back to