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Ballot For Notices Of Motions For Monday 16 May

Volume 132: debated on Thursday 28 April 1988

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Members successful in the ballot were:

  • Mr. Sydney Chapman
  • Sir Fergus Montgomery
  • Mr. Stanley Orme

The hon. Member for Dover (Mr. Shaw) made an allegation about my right hon. Friend the Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benn) and my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heifer), because they are the two Members who are on the picket line in Dover, as indeed will be a large number of Opposition Members as long as the dispute lasts. That is a perfectly legitimate action for them to be taking. The hon. Member for Dover has linked those two Members with the story that appeared on the front page of the Evening Standard. That is what he said, and that is a disgraceful and unacceptable thing for any Member to say about two other hon. Members. Everyone in the House knows that, whatever may be said about my right hon. Friend the Member for Chesterfield and my hon. Friend the Member for Walton, they would not in any way be associated with the sort of disgraceful action that was reported in the Evening Standard. For all we know that door in Dover might have been daubed by an Evening Standard reporter in order to get a story, because that is the way such people normally go about inciting the sort of troubles that the Member for Dover comes here to talk about.

We cannot allow our right hon. and hon. Friends to be so scurrilously attacked by the hon. Member for Dover and must ask you yet again, Mr. Speaker, to insist that the hon. Member for Dover withdraws his remarks and apologises to the House. If he does not, Mr. Speaker, you must name him, because what he has done is as grave a discourtesy and an insult as anything that has happened here in recent weeks.

I am most grateful to you, Sir. You will know that most of us in the House—indeed, I would say the whole Chamber, with one or two exceptions—have great admiration for your Speakership and always respond when you make a request that we should withdraw a comment or correct some improper word. Nearly every hon. Member does that. In this unfortunate case, you have made an appeal to the so-called honourable Member and he has not had the guts, the courage or the honesty to respond to it. Unfortunately, I cannot call him an honourable liar, but—we are surrounded by honourable Members this afternoon—I can call him an honourable shit.

Order. The hon. Member cannot do that; it offends in every possible way. Kindly withdraw, if not the "honourable", the last word, which I will not repeat.

With my rich vocabulary I could think of two or three worse words, Mr. Speaker, but to oblige you I will withdraw the word "shit". There are lots of other words that would suitably apply to the hon. Gentleman.

Why is it so difficult to find a truth in this House when it appears so easy to hide an untruth?

Order. I sought to give the hon. Member an opportunity to correct this matter in order that we could move on. I am sorry that what he said really compounded the problem rather than offered a solution to it.