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Westland (Tv Programme)

Volume 115: debated on Tuesday 5 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will acquire for the library of the Ministry of Defence a video recording of the Granada television programme "World in Action" on the Law Officer's letter in the Westland affair broadcast between 8 and 9 pm on Monday 30 March.

Do Defence Ministers accept that they have some responsibility for the Government's responses and evidence to the Select Committee on Defence? Why, then, did the Cabinet Secretary state to the Select Committee that the Prime Minister had no knowledge of the Law Officer's leak in relation to Westland? If the Granada television programme is inaccurate, do Ministers not think that they ought to call for an apology, if not take Granada to court? If the programme is accurate, has there not been some deception of the Select Committee?

The hon. Gentleman must accept that this is not a matter for me or for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. I have nothing to add to the statements made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 23 and 27 January.

Does my hon. Friend appreciate that Granada Television makes some wonderful programmes, including "First Among Equals"? I wonder whether he will consider asking for all Granada's programmes to be placed in the Library for us to view?

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his intervention, because it enables me to tell the House that I was able to see the Granada programme to which the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) referred, as a result of his question. Indeed, I would not otherwise have seen it.