HC Deb 17 December 1965 vol 722 cc1653-4

1.7 p.m.

Mr. Hugh Jenkins (Putney)

I wish to take advantage of this opportunity to raise another matter on the Adjournment and, with your permission, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I will do so.

I have been in touch with the Minister concerned, who is the Minister of Labour, but he is not available at the moment and I am informed that he will not be available until three o'clock. I therefore hope to say briefly why I am raising this matter and then hope that the Minister will read my words in the OFFICIAL REPORT next week.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Roderic Bowen)

The Chair has no power to stop the hon. Member speaking on the Adjournment. I should, perhaps, indicate clearly that the Chair strongly deprecates the raising of a subject without the Minister who is Departmentally responsible for the matter being here to answer. That is no reflection on the Minister, although it raises the question of the suitability of raising a matter in the circumstances.

Mr. Jenkins

I hope that when you hear what I have to say, Mr. Deputy Speaker, you will feel that there is justification in this case. I join with you in saying that there is no reflection on the absence of the Minister. He had fairly short notice. He could not know any more than I could that the previous debate might finish at this time.

I am raising a matter of significance and it is one of those subjects one rarely has an opportunity to raise. It is not the sort of issue which is discussed frequently in the House or which can normally be easily raised as a subject for debate on the Adjournment. It refers to a document published by Her Majesty's Government and presented to Parliament, Cmnd. 2790, and which lays down proposed actions by Her Majesty's Government in two Instruments to the constitution of the International Labour Organisation.

The Minister of Labour, in presenting this document to Parliament, states that the decisions of Her Majesty's Government on these Conventions are set out in the document, as they are.

The decision which I wish to raise is that on Recommendation No. 120, concerning hygiene in commerce and offices. The Government say that the Government's ratifying——

Notice taken that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and, 40 Members not being present, adjourned at fourteen minutes past One o'clock till Monday next.