§ Mr. Hastings
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I seek your leave to move the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 9, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter which should have urgent consideration, namely:the refusal of the Prime Minister to allow the sale of British military equipment to South Africa for her external defence, and the serious effect of this decision on the balance of payments.I hold that this matter is specific because the extent of the order for ships, aircraft and anti-aircraft missiles is now known to be between £150 million and £250 million. It is specific in the sense that it is equally well known that, if we fail to meet the order, others will.
It is important and urgent, first, because at a time when the Government have just devalued the £ for the express purposes of increasing exports, this decision may well result in further loss of foreign confidence and a fresh run on the £; and, secondly, because the decision may equally result, and before very long, in further unemployment in this country.
We are about to go into recess, Mr. Speaker, and in these grave circumstances I submit to you that we should have an opportunity in the House to discuss this issue.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Gentleman asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter which he thinks should have urgent consideration, namely,the refusal of the Prime Minister to allow the sale of British military equipment to South Africa for her external defence, and the935serious effect of this decision on the balance of payments.I have given serious consideration to this matter. I am satisfied that the matter raised by the hon. Gentleman is proper to be discussed under Standing Order No. 9. Does the hon. Gentleman have the leave of the House?
§ The leave of the House having been given—
§ Mr. Speaker
The Motion for the Adjournment of the House will now stand over until the commencement of public business tomorrow, when a debate on the matter will take place for three hours. This is as provided for under the terms of the revised Standing Order No. 9 as agreed to by the House on 14th November, 1967.
§ Mr. English
On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. Will the scope of the discussion tomorrow be wide enough to include the other matters in the Prime Ministers Statement?
§ Mr. Speaker
The debate will be on the subject matter raised by the hon. Member for Mid-Bedfordshire, (Mr. Hastings), who sought leave to move the Adjournment of the House.
§ The Motion stood over under Standing Order No. 9 (Adjournment on specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration) until the beginning of public business tomorrow.