§ Mr. Shinwell
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 828 important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely:the decision of B.O.A.C. and B.E.A. to suspend freight intended for Israel, thus penalising that country because of murders committed for which a guerrilla organisation in Jordan claims responsibility, involving the death of 47 persons, including 13 Israeli civilians.I wish to make a short submission in support of the Motion. First there can be no question about the definite nature of this matter. The incident has been reported throughout the whole of the world and there has been no denial or challenge of the statements which have been made about the incident itself. It has been reported, as I have said, that 47 persons have met their death, 13 of them civilians from Israel. This was a barbarous, atrocious outrage which ought to be condemned. I do not propose at this stage to use any further argument in support of my contention. I merely submit that there can be no doubt about the definite nature of my request.
I want now to make a further submission, namely, about the urgency of the matter. There can be no question about the urgency of a situation where the Government refuse to take appropriate action, as they can within the charters of the nationalised air lines. I am aware, of course, that it is customary not to intervene with their administration except on general policy, but surely this is a matter of general policy. About that, there can be no question. The Government, apparently, are unwilling to take a decision which would compel the nationalised airlines to continue to trade with the State of Israel. It is urgent, moreover, because there is an impediment to trade in so far as there is prevention of air mail from being transported in the customary fashion, and, of course, in the transmission of freight of various kinds.
There is a further aspect of this question. The situation in the Middle East, as everybody admits, is inflammatory, and I can imagine that, unless there is world-wide condemnation by civilised Governments and civilised peoples, and I include in that category our own Government and the whole House of Commons—we are civilised people—of the attack, and proper action taken, we shall be condemned and become almost accessories to this murderous outrage.
829 In addition to the danger of the present inflammatory situation in the Middle East, there is another danger, namely, the fact that there might be an escalation of this inflammation. Reprisals may occur. I hope that they will not. I hope that if there are any reprisals of a military character, civilians will not suffer in any part of the world, even in the Middle East. There can, therefore, be no question about the urgency of the matter.
In view of what I regard as the most unsatisfactory reply given by the Minister on this issue today, despite the remarks made by some of my hon. Friends, it seems that the answer was indefinite. We have not been informed that within, say, 24 or 48 hours the normal procedure will be resumed. Had the Minister given an indication of that possibility I might not have made these submissions to you, Mr. Speaker. Because of his failure to respond in the way that I thought that he might respond—that is; appropriately in the circumstance—I must make these submissions.
§ Mr. Speaker
The right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) was courteous enough to inform me that he might seek to raise a Standing Order No. 9 matter this afternoon if he were not satisfied with the Minister's answer.
Before I rule, I am sure that I need not inform the right hon. Gentleman that every hon. Member, including the Chair, condemns the atrocious crime which has taken place and which is the subject of this application.
830 The right 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,the decision of B.O.A.C. and B.E.A. to suspend freight intended for Israel, thus penalising that country because of murders committed, for which a guerrilla organisation in Jordan claims responsibility, involving the death of 47 persons, including 13 Israeli civilians.As the House knows, under Standing Order No. 9 I am directed to take account of the several factors set out in the Order, but to give no reason for my decision.
I have, as the House can well imagine, given very careful consideration to the representations which the right hon. Gentleman has made, but I have to rule that his submission does not fall within the provisions of the Standing Order, and, therefore, I cannot submit his application to the House.
§ Sir A. V. Harvey
On a point of order. While, naturally, I accept your Ruling, Mr. Speaker, and appreciate that it would be out of order for me to discuss it in any way, may I ask the Leader of the House whether the President of the Board of Trade will make another statement tomorrow and so bring the House up to date on this important subject?
§ The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Fred Peart)
Yes, Sir. I will make representations to my right hon. Friend, in view of the remarks that have been made.