§ Mr. Speaker
I shall now give my Ruling on a matter of privilege.
Yesterday, the hon. Member for Brighouse and Spenborough (Mr. Proudfoot) drew attention to an article in the Sunday Times magazine entitled "Shell versus Parliament". I have carefully considered the article in relation to past decisions of the House and rulings from the Chair in such matters.
It is, of course, the duty of the House to deal with reflections upon Members which may tend to undermine public respect for the House as an institution. It is true that to some extent the article is, to use the hon. Member's own phrase, "a distortion of what happens", but my duty as Speaker is to consider whether, in all the circumstances, I should give the matter priority over the Orders of the Day.
I do not in any way wish to prejudice or to prejudge any action that the hon. Member may wish to take, but I do not think that his complaint falls so clearly within the ambit of privilege as to allow priority to be given to a discussion now.