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Volume 893: debated on Tuesday 17 June 1975

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asked the Prime Minister if he will now propose setting up a tribunal of inquiry under the 1921 Act to carry out a wide-ranging inquiry into corruption in public life.

In so far as the hon. Member has in mind matters arising from the Poulson bankruptcy hearing I would refer him to the reply I gave on 12th June to a Question by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Hexham (Mr. Rippon). If he has in mind a more general investigation, a tribunal of inquiry would not be an appropriate instrument; the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921 stipulates that the object of a tribunal under the Act should be to inquire into a definite matter of urgent public importance. The Royal Commission sitting under the chairmanship of the noble lord Lord Salmon is inquiring generally into standards of conduct in public life.