Seddon Atkinson Vehicles (Preston)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th February 1981.

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Photo of Mr Stanley Thorne Mr Stanley Thorne , Preston South 12:00 am, 5th February 1981

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 closure of the Seddon Atkinson Vehicles factory at Preston. Seddon Atkinson Vehicles announced at 10.30 this morning that it would close two factories in my constituency, with a loss of 470 jobs, and it also announced a closure at an Oldham factory, with a loss of 338 jobs. In other words, about 800 jobs are being lost at one go. The effect of this on my constituency will be considerable, particularly in the South Ribble area and on the working people there who will suffer in consequence of those closures. The firm, which is a subsidiary of International Harvesters, was originally Atkinson Engineering, which has a long history in the town. There is considerable disquiet about the closure.

The main reasons given by the management are high interest rates, import penetrations of trucks and other vehicles, and the failure to plan our economy by the Government. It is an urgent matter, as I am sure you will appreciate, Mr. Speaker.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

The hon. Member for Preston, South (Mr. Thorne) gave me notice before noon today that he might seek leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he thinks should have urgent consideration, namely, the closure of the Seddon Atkinson Vehicles factory at Preston. The House will have listened with concern to what the hon. Gentleman has said. As he knows, I do not decide whether this matter shall be debated by the House. I decide merely whether there should be an emergency debate tonight or tomorrow. After listening with great care to the hon. Gentleman, I must rule that his submission does not fall within the provisions of the Standing Order and, therefore, I cannot submit his application to the House.