Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th December 1980.

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Photo of Mr Michael Foot Mr Michael Foot , Ebbw Vale 12:00 am, 11th December 1980

The right hon. Gentleman must take into account that it is not the Opposition that is responsible for the series of economic crises; it is the Government. The Government have a duty to report to the House upon them. The Government have a duty to ensure that the House does not go away for Christmas without these matters being properly debated and discussed. We are seeking to do our best to assist the Government in relation to the steel debate, although it will mean that we shall not be able, as a result, to have the more general debate on unemployment which I am sure is desired by many hon. Members, certainly on the Opposition Benches.

The right hon. Gentleman has now answered the question about the financial crisis on the railways. I hope that there will be a statement about that, too. I hope that at the beginning of next week he will let us have a look at the series of statements that he is proposing, because they will govern our attitude to the motion that he may seek to move on Wednesday.