HC Deb 19 June 1972 vol 839 c52
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, the danger of a national docks dispute arising out of application of the Industrial Relations Act to the Chobham Farm dispute. We, as a nation, have just drawn back from a major national disaster. Although it is now time to draw breath with relief, it is no time for complacency. There is no certainty that the danger is over. This afternoon the Secretary of State said: I understand that decisions have already been taken to resume work in some ports and I hope that by tomorrow a general resumption will have taken place. There is no certainty that peace will last. Passions are high. Picketing is likely to start again. We do not know what consequences will flow. This time the evidence of picketing by certain specific persons may be more concrete than it was before. There may be those who would like to make it more concrete. It is a specific dispute.

The whole docks industry is now dependent on what happens at this new container depot at Chobham Farm. There is no need to emphasise to the House the disastrous consequences of a national dock strike.

The matter requires urgent consideration, in my view, because if this House has any influence at all it must exercise it now, not after the disaster has struck. There may indeed be some who wish to show that the democratic institutions cannot solve this particular problem. If we fail to discuss it, we shall be playing into their hands.

Mr. Speaker

I have listened carefully to the hon. Gentleman. I have also had regard to the exchanges earlier this aftenoon in the House. I am afraid that I must refuse the application.