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Orders of the Day — European Community (Shipbuilding)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th July 1975.

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Photo of Mr Norman Buchan Mr Norman Buchan , Renfrewshire West 12:00 am, 4th July 1975

Further to the point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I apologise for taking up time in this short debate, but an extremely important point has been reached. We are not dealing with the simple point whether the amendment should be taken but with the whole character of the proposition put before the House and whether the situation has been changed by the Minister's statement. The Minister began his speech by saying that he was seeking to show why we should approve of the directive, and he went further and said that it would act as guidance for British Ministers in Brussels.

I believe that the proper course, in procedural terms, would be for Mr. Speaker to be consulted, or for the Minister to decide that he should withdraw the order, at least until Monday, so that he may consider whether he wishes the House to debate and decide the issue, with the idea that the approval of this House will give guidance to the Minister in Brussels.

This is an important matter. It was inevitable that we would have to deal with this relationship at some point following the decision to enter the EEC, and these matters cannot be solved by minor ad hoc points of order. The Minister could withdraw the order and and enable hon. Members to examine it under proper conditions and then either approve or disapprove.