§ 28. Mr. LATHAN
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any statement to make with regard to the communication he has received from the Finnish legation on the subject of the delivery of addresses in committee rooms of this House by members of the diplomatic corps?
Mr. A. HENDERSON
Yes, Sir. I am in a position to state categorically that neither the Finnish Minister nor any member of the staff of his legation has been to any committee room or any other place in the House of Commons to deliver a lecture or to make a speech. I regret that a statement to this effect should have been made, thereby causing pain to the Minister, who considered that it reflected upon the manner in which he discharged his diplomatic duties.
§ Mr. BRACKEN
Will the right hon. Gentleman send a copy of that reply to the Soviet Chargé d' Affaires'?
Will the right hon. Gentleman inform the House why the Member who was responsible for the question that appeared on the Order Paper was not approached by the Finnish Legation; and whether the Government now take responsibility for the material which appears in questions that are put on the Order Paper?
The answer I would give to that question is, Why did not the Member who made the statement first confirm it?
Is it not a fact that another Member of this House had put a question down dealing with another Ministry; and, when a Member of this House receives what he considers to be authoritative information, has he not also a right to put a question on the Order 1708 Paper? As this matter cannot be dealt with by Question and Answer, I shall ask your permission, Mr. Speaker, to make a personal statement in this House upon the whole matter.