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Question Of Privilege

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 16 March 1949

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May I, Mr. Speaker, seek your advice on a question of Privilege? The matter about which I complain is contained in today's issue of the "Daily Dispatch."

In the course of my duties as a Member of Parliament I forwarded a request from a constituent of mine to the Home Secretary that her son should be released upon licence, he being then at an approved school. My action was taken purely as a Member of Parliament, and it appears that the Home Secretary did release this person from the approved school.

In Crewe yesterday—which is the centre of my rather large constituency, consisting not only of Crewe—a bench of magistrates described as "highly improper" my action in asking the Home Secretary to consider this matter. The article adds a little fuel to the fire because it is headed "Recorder Criticised." The action that I took had no relation to my duties as Recorder of Blackburn, but was taken solely as a Member of this House.

The hon. and learned Member has raised a matter of Privilege but I should like to ask him now, since I have not had time to peruse any of the statements in the paper, if he will raise the matter to-morrow. There will be no prejudice because he has raised it at the first available opportunity, and I must ask for time to consider the matter in due course.