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Question Of Privilege

Volume 931: debated on Monday 9 May 1977

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I should like to draw to your attention, Mr. Speaker, certain comments made recently by the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley). Today, I received the transcript of a BBC radio programme broadcast last Wednesday in which the hon. Member for Antrim, North, in an interview with a Mr. Claypole, referred to

"the lewd and immoral, foul-mouthed, drunken Members of Parliament who are mouthing about Ulster at this time."
It would seem that this was an individual and collective smear on Members of this House. I should like to ask whether you would consider this as a matter of privilege. I apologise for raising this issue today. This is due only to the difficulty of obtaining transcripts from the BBC. Although I made requests on Thursday and Friday of the BBC, it was unable to supply me with a transcript of this programme until today.

I am grateful to the hon. Member for Sowerby (Mr. Madden) for giving me notice of his intention to raise a question of privilege. I shall, of course, look into the matters to which he referred. But I must give him a little warning. I am afraid, at first glance, that I may find that it is barred by time. However, I shall look into it very carefully.