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 threat posed to the European Community and the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance by the aggression from Syria into the Lebanon.
I shall not try to argue the merits of the case in any way. I apologise at the outset, Mr. Speaker, for not giving you notice that I intended to raise this matter. I had hoped that it would be possible to raise it on one of the Prime Minister's Questions which related to his meeting—
Order. I must interrupt the right hon. Gentleman. Standing Order No. 9(3) is quite specific:
A Member intending to propose to move the adjournment of the House under the
provisions of this order shall give notice to Mr. Speaker by twelve o'clock, if the urgency of the matter is known at that hour.
I am afraid that the right hon. Gentleman is precluded from raising it because of that order. The mere fact that a Minister did not make an answer which the right hon. Gentleman hoped might be made, or that the right hon. Gentleman did not get the chance to put a supplementary question, does not bring him within the terms of the Standing Order.
I must ask the right hon. Gentleman to be very specific. I thought that he was asking me to allow a debate on the question of some action by the Syrian Government. Is the right hon. Gentleman suggesting that that action was not known before 12 o'clock by anybody?
Order. The right hon. Gentleman must allow me to be quite firm and definite with him. On what he said, certainly I do not think that I should allow the matter to be raised under Standing Order No. 9 on a telephone call. I should need to know much more about it. I had no notice of it at all until about twenty-five minutes past three. My answer must certainly be "No". I am not prepared to disrupt the business of the House on a matter on which it would appear that the Government have not at the moment any immediate responsibility. It is a matter which can be raised by Private Notice Question tomorrow, and I shall consider it then.