HC Deb 19 December 2000 vol 360 c206
44. Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow)

If she will propose the establishment of a Select Committee to consider Britain's relationship with the British Indian Ocean Territories. [141608]

The Parliamentary Secretary, Privy Council Office (Mr. Paddy Tipping)

The matter is already within the remit of the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Dalyell

Given the documents that were revealed under the 30 years rule at Kew—which I brought to the attention of my hon. Friend—as well as the court documents, is my hon. Friend at all shocked by the cynical lying to the House of Commons by the Governments of Harold Wilson and of the right hon. Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (Sir E. Heath)? Are we simply to shrug our shoulders and say that that does not matter very much? If there is not to be a Select Committee, how should the matter be pursued? Or should the House of Commons just accept cynical lying?

Mr. Tipping

Of course it matters. My hon. Friend has pursued these matters vigorously since 1967; I believe that he was the first Member to bring them before the House. He mentioned the documents that were disclosed under the 30 years rule. The only factual and accurate sentence in those documents is the one that states: Mr. Dalyell is not, however, giving up.—[Official Report, 12 December 2000; Vol. 359, c. 478.] My hon. Friend did not give up then and he has not given up now. The way forward is for the Foreign Affairs Committee to look at the matter, which is in its remit, and I hope that it will do that.