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Personal Explanation

Volume 466: debated on Tuesday 28 June 1949

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I rise with your permission, Sir, to make a short personal statement. It will be within your recollection, Sir, when certain newspaper reports were brought to your notice about the scenes in this House on the conclusion of the Report stage of the Transport Bill, you were unable to allow me to raise it as a case of Privilege. In view of the number of Members, officials, journalists and public who were present at the time I felt bound to take legal action.

In case, therefore, you, Sir, or any of my fellow Members may think that in any legal action I took I wished to cast disrespect on the House itself, I should like to say that nothing was further from my mind. It was to maintain its acknowledged prestige that I took the legal action I did. May I say that I regret any inconvenience caused to any of my fellow Members who were summoned to give evidence in the courts, and may I express my gratitude to the House for allowing this to be done?

I am grateful to you, Sir, for permitting me to say this because I want to make my personal position quite clear as regards my respect for the House of Commons.