Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 14th January 1991.

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Photo of Mr John MacGregor Mr John MacGregor Chair, Privileges Committee, Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House Lords (Privy Council Office), Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Privy Council Office) 3:31 pm, 14th January 1991

Obviously the first matter which the hon. Gentleman raised will be the feature of tomorrow's debate. Every effort has been made to achieve a peaceful outcome, and I am grateful for his support for the British forces.

The whole House will be greatly concerned about events in Lithuania and I well understand why the hon. Gentleman raised that matter. The Government strongly deplore the action of the Soviet forces. We have made our views clearly known to the Soviet authorities. As the House knows, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary is in Brussels today at an emergency meeting to discuss the events in Lithuania as well as the situation in the Gulf. Apart from that meeting, the Government are seeking clarification from the Soviet authorities.

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that we shall keep the House fully informed as the situation develops in the coming days. We can discuss the appropriate means and timing of that through the usual channels. My right hon. Friend will certainly wish to make some sort of statement.