HC Deb 24 January 1972 vol 829 cc994-6
Sir H. Harrison

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I briefly bring to your attention an article in the East Anglian Daily Times, which may represent a breach of privilege of this House.— [Interruption.]—normally hon. Gentlemen opposite are very concerned about the privileges of the House.

In this article Mr. Wynne Morgan, the Managing Director and Chairman of Masterplan, a firm of publicity agents employed by Essex County Council, made disparaging remarks about the activities of this House and the Local Government Bill going through it. He says that there is too much government by stealth. He likens the situation to a sort of trial where the public is the jury and they have to give a verdict. Surely it is the Members of the House, when a Bill is going through, who decide and no one else?

He also said that he has taken a great part in getting the alteration to the decision of the Colchester Borough Council. He has indulged in great lobbying of Members of Parliament, and as a result of his activities he claims that the odds now are six-to-four in favour of alterations to the Bill.

I believe that that, if not exactly a breach of privilege, is a reflection on the rights of Members of this House.

Copy of newspaper handed in.

Mr. Speaker

I shall consider what the hon. and gallant Member for Eye (Sir H. Harrison) has said and rule tomorrow.

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