HL Deb 01 December 1953 vol 184 c767

2.48 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the text of the proceedings of the recent court-martial trial at Nairobi can be made available to Members of this House.]


My Lords, I have to inform the noble Viscount that the text of the proceedings of this court-martial has not yet arrived in this country. It is hoped and anticipated that it will arrive by December 7, and that a copy of it will be put in the Library of your Lordships' House on December 8. Of course, that must depend on circumstances.


I am obliged to the noble Earl, but I am rather concerned to know that the text should be freely available. Putting a copy of it in the Library does not mean that it is to be available, for instance, to the Press; and it will not be available to many Members of this House who may desire to see it. Would it not be possible to make available this transcript in. some form, if it is to be published, so that everyone could have access to it?


We will consider that.


I hope that the noble Earl will indeed consider it. I must say that I am rather surprised that it will take as long as until December 7 to get this text from Nairobi. I should have thought it could have been flown here in twenty-four hours. If it is typed, it is just as quick to make half-a-dozen copies as one, and it might even be reproduced in some other way. I hope that there will be enough copies, as the noble Viscount has suggested, for the Press and for Members of this House.