HC Deb 15 February 1989 vol 147 cc303-4
6. Mr. Dalyell

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will acquire "Not With Honour", an account of the Westland affair, by Magnus Linklater and David Leigh, for the library of his Department.

Mr. Newton

My Department already holds a copy of the book to which the hon. Gentleman refers.

Mr. Dalyell

I have two questions to ask the Secretary of State, of which I gave notice to Sir Brian Hayes' office. First, with reference to page 158 of "Not With Honour", is it true that Sir Brian Hayes and senior officials were against Leon Brittan going, and did they say so at any kind of official meeting? Secondly, with reference to page 143, knowing of the Prime Minister's displeasure that the Law Officer's letter had been leaked, did Leon Brittan use that information to demand a knighthood, as a token certificate of clean political health?

Mr. Newton

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his courtesy in giving notice of his supplementary questions, but even with that notice I can add nothing to the full statements made to the House by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. If the hon. Gentleman expects otherwise, his optimism exceeds even his persistence.

Mr. Neil Hamilton

While I do not recommend that the book should be publicly burnt I hope that my right hon. Friend will take its conclusions with a pinch of salt. One of its authors, Mr. David Leigh, is hardly a dispassionate observer of the political scene but an embittered, Left-wing propagandist employed by Mr. Tiny Rowland. Mr. Leigh has just been taken to the cleaners by my hon. Friend the Member for Davyhulme (Mr. Churchill) for having written a pack of lies about my hon. Friend which were published in The Observer, which has just resulted in Mr. Leigh losing a libel action in the High Court.

Mr. Newton

The whole House will be grateful to my hon. Friend for the further intelligence that he has been able to give about that matter.

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