HC Deb 30 March 1979 vol 965 c876
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Michael Cocks)

With deepest regret, I have to inform the House that an explosion has occurred within the precincts of the Palace, which has involved a car and a person, as yet unidentified, who has sustained serious injuries, although the extent of these is not yet known.

The whole House will join me in expressing the utmost abhorrence of this outrage. We have marked our condemnation by suspending the sitting. But the work of Parliament must continue, and the sitting will be continued as soon as possible.

Mr. Norman St. John-Stevas (Chelmsford)

May I, Mr. Deputy Speaker, on behalf of the Opposition and the other parties in this House, express our total agreement with the statement of the Government Chief Whip? We express our concern and sympathy, both for the injured person and for any relations who are concerned.

We condemn utterly this interference with the work of the House of Commons, which is the symbol of our liberties. It is absolutely right, as the Government Chief Whip has suggested, that having marked our concern and abhorrence by the suspension of the sitting, we should continue with the business for today and despatch it as expeditiously as possible. It is essential that the work of the Palace of Westminster should not be controlled by others.


Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Oscar Murton)

Before we continue with the debate, I should like to tell the House that Mr. Speaker has been informed of the incident which has occurred and has directed me to say that he has the deepest concern for the injured person and wishes to convey his great sympathy for all relatives in their distress.