HC Deb 15 May 1985 vol 79 c323 3.33 pm
Mr. George Foulkes (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I draw your attention to early-day motion 686— [That this House condemns the reported statement of the hon. Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley that the Falkland Islanders lacked guts and calls upon him to withdraw the statement; and further calls upon him to give up his campaign of rewriting the history of the events before, during and after the conflict which is designed to justify his attitude towards the sending of the Task Force to restore freedom, the rule of law and democracy to the islands after the unprovoked invasion by the Argentinians.] and also to Prime Minister's questions yesterday when comments were made based on reports in the national newspapers which were completely untrue? May I tell you and the House that at the incident concerned no water jug or glass was involved and no scuffle took place? The Secretary of State for Defence was not involved, and he will confirm that. The statement attributed to me was not correct. I said that the mothers of the disappeared are as brave as any Falklander, and I stand by that.

I have subsequently had an apology from Reuters, which issued the statement. May I now ask how I can get an apology from the hon. and learned Member for Burton (Mr. Lawrence), the Prime Minister and the hon. Member for Tayside, North (Mr. Walker) and his colleagues who put down the early-day motion, no doubt in good faith but based on an entirely untrue report?

Mr. Speaker

I have allowed the hon. Gentleman in fairness to put his point of view to the House. The hon. Members concerned will have heard what he said.


Mr. Bill Walker (Tayside, North)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Early-day motion 686 stands in my name. I accept unreservedly what the hon. Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley (Mr. Foulkes) has said and I am prepared to withdraw any criticisms that are implied in the motion. However, Mr. Speaker, you will remember that yesterday—

Mr. Speaker

Order. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will not qualify his generous withdrawal.

Mr. Walker

You will remember, Mr. Speaker, that I spoke about the matter during yesterday's proceedings, again on a point of order. I said that matters had developed because of the radio broadcasts from the Falkland Islands. I listened on Radio Clyde, of which the hon. Gentleman will be aware, to the tape recordings of the radio programmes. However, I am still prepared to accept his categorical assurance that he did not say that which was contained in the broadcasts, and I withdraw unreservedly any criticisms that are implied in the motion. However, I remind the hon. Gentleman of the submarine—

Mr. Speaker

Order. I think that the hon. Gentleman has done very well.