§ Mr. Pym
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Perhaps I could draw your attention to column 1427 of the Official Report in relation to yesterday's proceedings and a supplementary reply given by the Prime Minister, and ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether you would ask the Prime Minister to withdraw some words that he used. In a supplementary reply he said 1622It is remarkable that the Opposition's spokesman on foreign affairs…should regard it as a disgrace when we defend our national interests."—[Official Report, 6th December 1978; Vol. 969, c. 1427.]I have checked very carefully, Mr. Speaker. I never used those words. Not only that; I have never used words to which that interpretation could be given. This may have been done inadvertently, or deliberately—but in whichever way, I should be grateful if the Prime Minister would withdraw those words.
§ The Prime Minister
The right hon. Gentleman was good enough to telephone No. 10 Downing Street this morning about this matter. I had not heard his actual words, but I notice that what he said was in reference to Britain's being a reluctant partner and that he thought that it was quite contrary to the national interest and wholly to be deplored.
I certainly do not want to make a lot of this—I withdraw anything if the right hon. Gentleman feels it improper to be said—but I do hope that we shall not be too sensitive on these matters. I must say that when I consider the attacks that are made upon my honour every day, I should be raising points of order with you all day, Mr. Speaker.
§ Mr. Heffer
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether it is correct for Opposition Members to protest at statements about the national interest, when the Conservative Party, for a long time, has decided, quite wrongly, to claim the Union Jack as its party flag.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I think that the hon. Member knows that, rather than raising a point of order, he is seeking to score a point. We ought to move on to the Private Notice Question.
§ Mr. Heffer
Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I do not deny that I was trying to score a point, Mr. Speaker, but what was the right hon. Member for Cambridgeshire (Mr. Pym) trying to do?