§ Sir G. Nabarro
I beg to move the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 9, on a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely,The arrest and imprisonment of Mr. Parkes on a charge of alleged desertion.You have guided the House on earlier occasions during the present Parliamentary Session on this procedure, Mr. Speaker, in saying that the matter concerned first, must be definite, second, must be urgent, and thirdly, must be a matter of public importance.
I claim that under all of these three heads I am very much in order. It is a definite matter in that a private citizen has, as I judge, been summarily arrested by the military police, taken back to a regimental unit and put under close arrest. Second, it is clearly a matter of urgency because this man is under close arrest, awaiting a court-martial and should never have been placed under close arrest when, at the discretion of the commanding officer, having regard to the circumstances—
§ Sir G. Nabarro
This man is presently in close arrest though he need not be. Thirdly, it is clearly a matter of public importance because here the liberty of the individual citizen and subject of the Crown is concerned, a topic which is of special interest to Members of this House. I claim that this Motion meets all the requirements of the Standing Order No. 9 and I trust that you will accept it.
§ Mr. Speaker
I am being addressed on a point of order. The hon. Gentleman seeks to move the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 9 on a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely,The arrest and imprisonment of Mr. Parkes on a charge of alleged desertion.May I say that I had anticipated that this matter might have arisen this afternoon, and I am also grateful to the hon. Gentleman for informing me earlier, during the Questions on this issue, that he might seek to raise the matter.
From what we have learned today from the Minister's statement, I think that if we were to debate the matter tonight there would be a real and substantial danger of prejudicing the trial by judicial process of this case and, for that reason, I cannot submit the application to the House under Standing Order No. 9.