Nigeria (Early Day Motions)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th December 1968.

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Photo of Mr Frank Allaun Mr Frank Allaun , Salford East 12:00 am, 5th December 1968

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I draw your attention to an unfortunate mistake in today's Notice Paper. All of us are greatly indebted to the remarkable efficiency of the printers, but on this occasion they have slipped up, no doubt due to certain nocturnal activities in the House. [HON. MEMBERS: "What?"] They have correctly printed that 155 hon. Members have signed a Motion asking that the House should have a debate before Christmas on the Nigerian war, but they have added those names to an adjoining, longer, and more far-reaching Motion on the same subject.

[That this House, appalled by the mounting starvation and killing in Biafra, urges Her Majesty's Government to press both sides for an immediate cease-fire, and to seek agreement with the three other Governments still permitting the supply of arms to the combatants for a joint ban as proof of its readiness to stop British arms supplies forthwith; and to help organise a massive international operation to provide food and medical supplies.]

Only 131 Members have signed the latter, and, therefore, I am asking, without unduly taking up the time of the House, that an explanation should be made so that the hon. Members who, by accident—I assure you, it was not on my part; it was clearly explained to the Table—know what the correct position is.

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

In the history of the House it is not unknown that hon. Member's names have appeared to Motions with great embarrassment to both sides of the House. I saw the proof that went out to the printer yesterday. One of the difficulties is the extraordinary state in which signed Motions appear before the Table. The error will be corrected. and the hon. Member's honour, and that of his colleagues, will be satisfied, as will be that of the hon. Members whose names are taken off his Motion.