§ Mr. Thorpe
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I seek your assistance? In the OFFICIAL REPORT of today the speech I made yesterday has been divided into three parts. One-third—the final part—has been attributed to me, one-third to the right hon. Member for Middlesbrough, East (Mr. Bottomley), and the initial third, albeit timed at 4.46 p.m., has been included in Answers to Questions, which, I respectfully suggest, would, if left unamended, represent the longest intervention you have ever permitted at Question Time.
I have, properly, received a letter of apology from the Editor of the OFFICIAL REPORT, but I wonder whether directions could be given so that this arbitrary triple dissection could be ended and my speech reported as one speech?
§ Mr. Speaker
I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Devon, North (Mr. Thorpe) for the kindly way in which he has called attention to the error. I deeply regret this serious error in the OFFICIAL REPORT. It is so serious, and errors of this magnitude are so rare, that today's edition of HANSARD may well become a collector's piece.
I have received a letter from the Editor of HANSARD. I will not read all of it, but he points out the error to which the right hon. Gentleman has called attention and states:I apologise to you and to Mr. Thorpe for this unfortunate error, but, beyond saying that it was an error, I cannot imagine how it can have happened.….The code lettering and numbering of the typescript report was correct, but the first page of the typescript report of Mr. Thorpe's speech, which was coded and numbered O.4, was set up in print following the page which was coded and numbered E.12 of Oral Answers.The error has obviously taken place after the typescript left this building. The Editor states in his letter that he will correct the error in the Bound Volume and I have asked him to put an erratum in today's HANSARD. In a later message, he says that the weekly HANSARD will contain the right hon. Gentleman's speech with all three parts in the same portion. I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Devon, North.