§ Mr. Latham
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,the reported invasion of Laos by South Vietnamese forces supported by United States air cover".I apologise, Mr. Speaker, for not giving notice before 12 o'clock as required by the Standing Order, but I have been seeking either confirmation or refutation of the earlier reports. There were earlier reports today from a Japanese news agency, which now appear to have been confirmed by other agencies. Therefore, I submit that the matter is now specific enough. Even if those reports were in doubt, the threats and clear intention would make the matter sufficient to warrant the attention of the House.
Second, I submit that the importance of a matter concerning war and peace does not require to be substantiated. It is clear that in this situation the British Government have a duty to make representations on behalf of this country, and a further special responsibility as a co-Chairman of the 1962 Geneva Convention, which is clearly being violated. I ask that the House should have the opportunity to question the Government and express its views on this extremely urgent matter.
May I conclude, Mr. Speaker, by reminding you that under the Standing Order you are invited, in considering the 1464 application, to have regard to whether the matter may be brought before the House in any other way. Having regard to the lack of response to the points raised yesterday and today by my hon. Friend the Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell), I urge you, in the absence of any Government initiative, to enable the House to discuss this vital, urgent and important matter.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member for Paddington, North (Mr. Latham) 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 reported invasion of Laos by South Vietnamese forces supported by United States air cover.I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for having given me notice that he would ask leave.
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 reasons for my decision. I have given consideration to the representations the hon. Gentleman has made, but I have to rule that the hon. Gentleman's submission does not fall within the provisions of the Standing Order and, therefore, I cannot submit his application to the House.