§ Mr. Bill Homewood (Kettering)
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 be given urgent consideration, namely, 670the decision of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation to call out on strike those of its members employed in the independent sector of the steel industry.This decision undoubtedly will be endorsed some time this afternoon.
I seek a debate on the subject because there is little doubt that this decision, coupled with the support of the unions in the service industries on the question of the movement of steel in this country, will, within a short time, have a devastating effect on the industrial base of the nation's economy.
This morning I attended a joint executive council meeting of the two major unions involved in the dispute. I listened to speeches from a number of overseas delegates from practically every in dustrialised nation in the world and from the general secretary of the International Metalworkers' Federation. They all pledged solidarity with the steelworkers, not only in words but by positive actions.
An emergency debate is necessary before the dispute escalates to the proportions of a general strike. One national newspaper this morning reported that as the belief of a number of responsible TUC leaders.
It is time that the House stopped talking about self-inflicted injuries by the steel workers. They all know that they are faced with a sharp reduction in their standard of living, or loss of employment. They know that they have nothing to lose, no matter what direction the injuries may come from.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member gave me notice before midday that he would seek leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he believes should have urgent consideration, namely,the decision of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation to call out on strike those of its members employed in the independent sector of the steel industry.As the House knows, under Standing Order No. 9 I am directed to take account of the several factors set out in the Order but to give no reasons for my decision. I listened with great care to the hon. Member and to the exchanges earlier this afternoon in the House. I have to rule that his submission does not fall within the provisions of the Standing Order and therefore I cannot submit his application to the House.