§ Mr. Chichester-Clark
With your permission, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, I beg to ask leave to present a Petition, signed by more than 18,000 citizens of Northern Ireland, concerning the proposed closure of the Royal Air Force Station in the County of Londonderry.
The Petition sets out that closure will cause hardship throughout an area with one of the highest unemployment rates in the United Kingdom, that it will fall particularly heavily upon those who will lose their jobs, upon their families and 618 upon the entire community of the town and district of Limavady which is so dependent upon the spending power provided by the Royal Air Force.
The Petition states that the blow which will be inflicted by the closure of the station will be the more keenly felt by reason of the affection and regard which the people of the Northern Irish community have for the Royal Air Force and its personnel, having for so long shared with them the rigours and hardships of war, as well as the beneficial effects of peace.
The Petition concludes,Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House do call upon Her Majesty's Government, having regard to their responsibilities to areas of high unemployment, that they do act in this case to prevent the occurrence of further hardship.And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.To lie upon the Table.