Thorn Colour Television Factory

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th January 1976.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Michael McGuire Mr Michael McGuire , Ince 12:00 am, 12th January 1976

I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 9, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely, the announcement last week that the Thorn colour television factory in Skelmersdale new town is to close. The announcement is specific enough. It is important, because if this factory closes, the loss of more than 1,300 jobs in a new town where the unemployment rate is already running at 14 per cent. will prove to be a serious blow. The Merseyside and the South-West Lancashire area will also suffer. Above all, a community will be blighted and the hopes and modest ambitions of all those who were encouraged to move to the new town by successive Governments will be cruelly dashed. It is urgent because only an announcement by the Government that they will agree to control the import of television colour tubes, mainly from Japan, can save this factory.

The Government have stubbornly refused to do what many other countries, especially France, have done about the control of the import of television tubes. The tragedy of this almost insane refusal to take the necessary action to help the television colour tube industry is that not only will thousands of my constituents suffer but, as sure as night follows day, many thousands of others will, because Skelmersdale will be but the first casualty.

I hope and pray that you, Mr. Speaker, will accept my modest request for a debate. However, above all, what my constituents hope and expect is a Chrysler-like response by the Government to deal with this particular problem.

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

I am grateful to the hon. Member, because he wrote to me setting out at some length his reasons for putting forward his application. I have had the opportunity and time to consider his reasons carefully and I have listened carefully to what he has said.

This type of application puts the Chair in great difficulty. As the hon. Gentleman knows I am a Merseyside Member. I know full well the problems of unemployment on Merseyside and I know how strongly hon. Members in all quarters of the House feel about this problem.

All that I have to decide is a procedural question—namely, whether I think that the shutting down of a particular factory is a matter that should be debated under Standing Order No. 9. Obviously, if I allowed it in one case I should have to allow it in many others. Therefore I am afraid I must say "No", although I have the greatest sympathy with the hon. Member and his application.