§ Mr. Pardoe
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 have urgent consideration, namely,international currency rates following the decision not to revalue the German mark.981 I submit that this matter is definite, Mr. Speaker, because there is a crisis—no one can be unaware of that from this morning's newspapers—in the international currency markets. The decision was made on Friday, and it was that decision that created the crisis. Denmark has raised its Bank Rate from 7 per cent. to 9 per cent. and Sweden will undoubtedly be following very shortly; indeed, she may have done so by now.
Foreign exchange dealers and bankers are reported as believing that the chaos in currencies will continue. I believe that it is urgent because the decision was taken only on Friday and this is the first opportunity to raise the matter. The currency situation is a fast-moving scene, and no one knows exactly what will happen next. There may be an interval of calm, but it is unlikely to be long, and the crisis is almost certain to break out at least before the French presidential elections on 1st June.
Thirdly, I submit that it is a matter of public importance which affects us all. It is not something that can be left to the bankers. A group of 60 West German economists and academics is reported only this morning as having said that the decision not to revalue the mark will strengthen the trend towards world economic disintegration. That is us; that is everyone in this country. This decision will vitally affect the living standards of everyone in the United Kingdom.
I therefore submit that on these grounds there is reason for a debate. Unfortunately, there is a record of non-debate in this matter. When the pressure is off we are inclined to say, "Leave well alone", and when the pressure is on, as it is now, we are inclined to say that it is too hot to handle. So we never discuss the subject. I believe that we must discuss it, and that is why, Mr. Speaker, I seek your leave to move the Adjournment of the House.
§ Mr. Speaker
I am grateful to the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe) for being courteous enough to inform me this morning that he might seek to make an application under Standing Order No. 9.
982 The hon. Gentleman asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he thinks should have urgent consideration, namely,international currency rates following the decision not to revalue the German mark.I have given careful consideration to the representations that the hon. Member has made, but I have to rule that his submission does not fall within the provisions of the revised Standing Order and, therefore, I cannot submit his application to the House.
§ Mr. Dickens
On a point of order. I do not want in any way to appear tiresome, Mr. Speaker, but it seems to me quite intolerable that the House is not having any statement at all about the current financial position. I see that my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary is sitting on the Treasury Bench. Have you had any application made to you this afternoon, Mr. Speaker, concerning a statement being made?
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member knows that if I had had such an application I would be calling the Minister now to make a statement.
§ Mr. Speaker
I should have thought that he was mildly interested in whether leave to move the Adjournment was granted.
§ Mr. Roebuck
May I point out, with respect, Mr. Speaker, the Ruling of Mr. Speaker Onslow, who said that the Chair always made the correct decisions but often for the wrong reasons, and that for that reason it would be improper for the Chair to give its reasons for its decisions. Is it not right to carry on with that very good tradition?
§ Mr. Speaker
I am grateful to my hon. Friend for reminding me of Mr. Speaker Onslow, who was the greatest Speaker in the history of Parliament. I do not think, however, that he can help us this afternoon.