Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:49 pm on 23rd January 1992.

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Photo of Tom Clarke Tom Clarke Shadow Minister (Disability) 8:49 pm, 23rd January 1992

Monklands is an important part of Lanarkshire. Strathkelvin includes Gartcosh, which almost every hon. Member speaking in this debate has mentioned. I would be less than human if I were not to say that I am disappointed by the signals that I have been getting that I should speak for only five minutes. However, out of respect for my hon. Friend the Member for Motherwell, North (Dr. Reid), who has made such a contribution to our debates on steel, I shall confine myself to five minutes.

I wish, in the very brief time available to me, to make four points. I am sorry that the Secretary of State is no longer on the Front Bench. If anything summarises the supine, do-nothing approach to steel, it is the timetable leading up to the announcement which the Secretary of State confirmed in the House tonight. In answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Dunfermline, East (Mr. Brown) the Secretary of State, from a sedentary position, confirmed that, although he knew on 20 December that this closure would take place, the only action he took between then and 9 January, when the other place resumed, was to make application for an enterprise zone. [Interruption.] I am going by what the Secretary of State told the House. Although I have only five minutes, I am willing to give way to the Minister.