§ Mr. Fell
I beg to ask leave, Mr. Speaker, to move the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 9 for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely,the need for Her Majesty's Government to take immediate steps to secure the safety of British subjects remaining in rebel-held territory in the Congo now that the rescue operation by Belgian troops has been abandoned.I will take but a moment of the House's time to emphasise the need for a discussion on this matter simply by saying that it is quite apparent from discussion in the House earlier this afternoon that this matter is regarded as one of public im- 36 portance and as definite and urgent—on both sides of the House.
I hope, Mr. Speaker, that you will be able to grant me leave to seek the Adjournment of the House.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Gentleman asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House pursuant to Standing Order No. 9 for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely,the need for Her Majesty's Government to take immediate steps to secure the safety of British subjects remaining in rebel-held territory in the Congo now that the rescue operation by Belgian troops has been abandoned.I should like to express my sense of obligation to the hon. Gentleman for giving me warning of his intention to make this application so that I could consider the matter in advance, because I realise that there is a great deal of anxiety about it. I cannot accede to his application. I take the view that it does not come within the Standing Order because this is really a continuing situation. I cannot regard the fact that the paratroops have now been removed as making it into a single specific matter for the purposes of the Standing Order.
§ Mr. Fell
While I fully realise that you, Mr. Speaker, do not, I am sure absolutely rightly, admit of discussion of a Ruling of this sort, may I say that there is a new situation in so far as the last Belgian paratroops and the last planes left, according to all the information that one can get hold of, today. Therefore, a new situation has arisen to the extent that the lives of British subjects, and indeed of others, are now suddenly more greatly endangered than ever. They have no hope unless something is done.
§ Mr. Speaker
I much appreciate the point which the hon. Gentleman makes. It was the subject on which I was most concentrating my attention when I considered the matter. I cannot depart from my Ruling, because I believe it to be right under the Standing Order.