HC Deb 05 July 1968 vol 767 cc1873-4
Dr. Reginald Bennett

On a point of order. May I ask for your advice and guidance on a matter of procedure, Mr. Speaker? In what way is it possible for this House to register and approve—if it feels so inclined—the completion of the round-the-world voyage by Mr. Alec Rose, who is not a constituent of mine but whose Member of Parliament is a constituent of mine?

Mr. Rose is a sailor and, as one who spends a lot of time sailing and navigating yachts, I feel that he has performed an amazing feat which deserves some recognition. I do not wish to decry any previous efforts of this sort, but this voyage was carried out entirely on the man's own resources, in a boat which some might describe as an old "tore-out".

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. and gallant Member must put his point of order briefly. He must not start the debate that he would like to have.

Dr. Bennett

This having been an exceptional feat, carried out in a boat very much smaller than any which has previously circumnavigated the world, and having been carried out with such modesty and lack of ballyhoo, the House might wish to congratulate Mr. Alec Rose and his wife, who behaved with such patience and restraint—

Mr. Speaker

Order. I am seized of the point of order. In answer to the hon. and gallant Member, may I say that I know that the whole House shares the admiration that he has expressed for Mr. Alec Rose. There are Motions on the Order Paper, and Business Question time is the time to ask the Leader of the House when such Motions may be debated.

The Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Fred Peart)

Further to that point of order. We are all grateful to the hon. and gallant Member for Gosport and Fareham (Dr. Bennett) for raising this matter. I know that it is unusual, but it is an unusual event that the hon. and gallant Member wishes us to pay tribute to.

I know from what Mr. Speaker has said that the whole House has great admiration for what has been done by Mr. Alec Rose, and great admiration for his wife. Therefore, I, as Leader of the House, would like to pay tribute to Mr. Alec Rose on behalf of the House and the whole country.

Mr. Lubbock

On a point of order. If the Leader of the House can respond so favourably—and I give credit to him for doing so—to the point of order raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Gosport and Fareham (Dr. Bennett) about Mr. Alec Rose, whose achievement I am not decrying, surely the Commonwealth Secretary should respond to the much more important question put to him about the relief of millions of refugees in Biafra who are now suffering and dying.

Mr. Speaker

We cannot have a speech on what is a very important matter, but one on which the Commonwealth Secretary has not asked to make a statement.

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