THIS week in history, 65 years ago, Sir Walter Fletcher left parliament following 10 years as an MP.

He served for five years in the Bury constituency following the 1945 election, before returning for the new Bury and Radcliffe constituency in 1950 once the former was abolished.

This year also marks seventy years since the Korean War began- and Sir Walter once had to defend himself after he believed a fellow MP was implying he was helping the communists fight British soldiers.

The conflict was a war between North Korea (with the support of China and the Soviet Union) and South Korea (with the support of the United Nations).

The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea and ended in 1953 with an armistice- meaning the Koreas are technically still at war.

While in Korea, British troops were also fighting in Malaya, a conflict that had been raging since 1948.

Just a few short months into the war, Sir Walter stood up in parliament in October 1950, to make a personal statement to the house.

The day before he did so, the member for Coventry North Maurice Edelman, asked: Is it not shameful that at a time when British troops are fighting Communists in Malaya, Malayan producers should be selling vast quantities of rubber at considerable profit to the Soviet Union?

Sir Walter, who ran a business selling rubber, saw red, assuming Mr Edelman was accusing him of indirectly helping the enemy.

He said: "The inescapable implication is quite clear—that I and my firm, as producers of rubber, have been selling quantities of rubber at a considerable profit to the Soviet Union.

"The seriousness of the insinuation that I and my business colleagues have been making huge profits out of selling rubber to Russia, with the full knowledge that this would endanger the lives of fighting troops in Malaya and Korea is evident."

Sir Walter demanded the Speaker for a ruling, calling Mr Edelman's remarks "base, unfounded and irresponsible imputations."

Defending himself, Mr Edelman said: "I regret very much that the hon. Member for Bury and Radcliffe should have misunderstood my reference to him yesterday.

"I can only say that I made no attack on the patriotism of the hon. Gentleman, but I did say and I did imply that large quantities of rubber are still being sold to the Russians in circumstances which I consider inappropriate."

He added that he therefore did not wish to withdraw from the position or view he had previously laid out.

The Speaker- siding with Mr Edelman- told Sir Walter that he did not believe there was any malice and that he didn't believe that anything unworthy was meant.

Fellow conservative MP's Martin Lindsay and Christopher York supported their colleague, although the Speaker told the house that they were getting into an "irregular debate."

The matter was subsequently dropped by the Speaker, despite Sir Walter's push for a ruling.