HC Deb 28 April 2003 vol 404 c70 6.28 pm
Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow)

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. One of the problems of the House of Commons is that matters that may be the subject of a point of order can refer to issues that were raised two hours, two hours and 20 minutes or two hours and 30 minutes earlier. On grounds of urgency and importance, will you bring to Mr. Speaker's attention the possibility of raising under Standing Order No. 24 the bewildering response of the Foreign Secretary to six questions from all parts of the House about taking custody of the documents found in the Foreign Ministry in Baghdad? Frankly, the impression was given that Ministers perhaps did not want to know too much about those documents.

Mr. George Foulkes (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley)

Quite the reverse.

Mr. Dalyell

If it was the reverse, the documents should be taken into custody.

I want to make one point. Politicians may not be too interested, but the courts will certainly ask questions about why the documents were not taken into the custody of the coalition. If Tariq Aziz and others are to be brought to trial, that will have to be taken into account. Certainly, if there is to be a case—I do not know whether there will be—of Galloway v. Telegraph Group newspapers, the lawyers will ask why the documents were left in the Foreign Ministry and not taken into custody.

Madam Deputy Speaker (Sylvia Heal)

I certainly accept that, as the hon. Gentleman says, there have been some developments since answers were given in the Chamber, but it would perhaps be appropriate—I know that he is familiar with the procedure—for him to put in an application to the Speaker's Office for discussion tomorrow.