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Personal Statement

Volume 486: debated on Friday 13 April 1951

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I crave the indulgence of the House for a short personal statement.

In July and August, 1939, I put two Written Questions in this House about the pro-Nazi activities of Mr. H. W. Wicks. This man went to Germany before 1939, and he worked for a German broadcasting organisation for a period during the war. He was convicted at the Old Bailey, on 28th May, 1946, of doing acts likely to assist the enemy, and was sentenced to four years' penal servitude. During the past year, Wicks has pestered me with annoying letters demanding an apology for my Questions, and threatening to serve me with writs for slander and the like. Recently, he threatened to subpœna me as a witness in a civil case about which, to the best of my knowledge, I know nothing.

On Friday last, he had me served with a subpœna to attend as a witness in the High Court on Monday, 23rd April. In the belief that this is another attempt by Mr. Wicks to pester me by preventing me from attending to my Parliamentary duties, I ask the House to protect me. I have not appealed to the High Court to set aside the subpœna, because I feel that, by so doing, I might seem to be prejudicing the paramount right of the House to the attendance and service of its Members. In addition, I hope that the House will help me to avoid the personal expense and worry of such an application.

I am quite sure that we all listened with sympathy to the remarks of my hon. Friend. Might I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that you would look into it in order to give us some advice on the future course of our proceedings in this matter?