HL Deb 10 February 1971 vol 315 c235

7.26 p.m.


My Lords, with the leave of the House I should like to make a personal statement. I am afraid that in reading the Statement earlier this afternoon on the Report of the Wilberforce Court of Inquiry into the electricity supply industry dispute, I inadvertently omitted to read the last page. I apologise for the error and, in order that the whole of the Statement may appear on the Record, I wonder if I may have the leave of the House to have the contents of the final page shown in the OFFICIAL REPORT. I Would willingly read the last page, but I suspect that at this time of the night your Lordships would prefer to give me the permission for which I ask.


My Lords, it is many years since I heard the right honourable Herbert Morrison say to a group of junior Ministers, of which I was one, "If you come clean in the House, the House will unhesitatingly accept your apology". I am quite positive that what the other House will accept we will willingly accept here. I am glad that the noble Lord has decided to do that, and I hope that the full Statement will appear in Hansard, as otherwise the second paragraph of the remarks that I made on his speech would be wholly meaningless and quite nonsensical. I must accept some little part of the blame for the fact that the noble Lord did not read the last part of the Statement, because, as a result of the courtesies which exist between the two Front Benches, I had seen the Statement, and I must admit that I was not carefully following everything that the noble Lord said, as I was engaged in some sort of abstruse arithmetic which I gathered might not have been quite correct. However, I am sure the House will appreciate what the noble Lord has said, and we shall be delighted to see the full Statement in Hansard to-morrow.