HC Deb 22 March 1973 vol 853 c679
Mr. Concannon

While I do not wish to delay the business of the House, Mr. Speaker, I rise on what I consider to be a prima facie breach of privilege, due to the nearness of the debate and vote on the National Health Service Reorganisation Bill [Lords] next week. I understand that hon. Members from Nottingham and other areas have received a letter from the Nottingham branch of BUPA, which—and I quote from the letter— exists to assist subscribers with the cost of private treatment in health and injury. It offers to me and other Members a group scheme which, first, would give us a 20 per cent. subscription rebate and, secondly, immediate entitlement to benefit on acceptance.

I see this as a blatant attempt to offer me various privileges and queue-jumping facilities in an area where over 42,000 people are awaiting beds in hospital, and over half of them have been waiting more than six months. I can only construe the timing of this letter as an attempt to affect my vote on the National Health Service Reorganisation Bill [Lords] on Tuesday next and I consider this to be a breach of privilege.

Mr. English

I support my right hon. Friend the Member for Mansfield (Mr. Concannon), Mr. Speaker. This is precisely why we tabled the early day motion standing in our joint names. It is an extraordinary thing that the individual concerned in this organisation should have attempted to do this at this time.

Mr. Speaker

If the hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. Concannon) is founding his complaint on a piece of paper, will he kindly bring the piece of paper to the Chair?

I shall consider the matter and rule upon it tomorrow.

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