Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Bill

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th May 1976.

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Photo of Mr Ian Gow Mr Ian Gow , Eastbourne 12:00 am, 26th May 1976

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I gave notice to your Secretary that I wished to move the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 9.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

I thought I gave the hon. Member an opportunity to do that a long time ago. I shall not stop him now, but I thought that I had invited him to put his case earlier.

Photo of Mr Ian Gow Mr Ian Gow , Eastbourne

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 refusal of the Government to follow the rules of the House and the ruling of Mr. Speaker that the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Bill is prima facie a hybrid Bill. I apologise, Mr. Speaker, for not having given you notice before that I intended to move the Adjournment of the House, but it was not possible to anticipate that the Lord President of the Council, of all people, would cheat the rules of the House in this way.

I have to satisfy three criteria. The first is that this is a specific matter, and that it most certainly is, because it is within the hearing of us all that the Lord President has made this statement. Secondly, I have to satisfy you that it is an important matter. What could be more important than overriding the rights of Back Benchers of this House, and not least when it comes from the Lord President of the Council himself?

But there is one issue that is even more important than the overriding of the interests of Back Benchers, and that is the overriding of the interests of the citizens of this country, one of whom has deposited a petition in the bag behind the Chair. For the Government to seek in this way and at this time to override the interests and rights of the British people, safeguarded and enshrined in Acts of Parliament, is a matter of the greatest importance.

The last test that I have to satisfy is one of urgency. The Lord President of the Council has told the House that we are to discuss and debate this matter tomorrow, but my right hon. Friend the Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) asked the Leader of the House what he would have said if he had been on this side of the House and if my right hon. Friend had made this proposal. The right hon. Gentleman would have demanded, as we on this side of the House now demand, that it is too late to discuss a matter of this importance tomorrow, and we require and ask that it be debated today.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

The hon. Member asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 9, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he thinks should have urgent consideration, namely, the refusal of the Government to follow the rules of the House and the ruling of Mr. Speaker that the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Bill is prima facie a hybrid Bill. As the House knows, under Standing Order No. 9 I am directed to take into account the several factors set out in the Standing Order but to give no reasons for my decision. I have given careful consideration to the representations that the hon. Member has made, but I have to rule that his submission does not fall within the provisions of the Standing Order and, therefore, I cannot submit his application to the House.