HC Deb 22 January 1973 vol 849 cc44-5
Mr. Biggs-Davison

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 Independent Television interview of yesterday with Mr. David O'Connell, a leading member of the Provisional Wing of the Irish Republican Army contrary to the Television Act and to the detriment of good relations with the Irish Republic. I shall explain my application in the space of about a minute. The matter specifically discloses the failure of the Independent Broadcasting Authority to discharge the duty laid upon it by Parliament, under Section 3(1) of the Television Act 1964, in that the programme was clearly offensive to public feeling, particularly among those who have served and suffered in Northern Ireland.

The matter is urgent from the point of view of British policy and interests because it is damaging to our relationship with Dublin at the outset of the new European partnership and at a time when Mr. O'Connell, a leader of an illegal organisation, is sought by those who are responsible for the security of the Irish Republic and, therefore, share the concern of this House for the peace of the British Isles.

Mr. Speaker

I have listened carefully to what the hon. Member has said. The Standing Order forbids my giving my reasons for acceding to or rejecting an application of this sort. Sometimes I regret that fact. However, I have considered very carefully what the hon. Member has said, but I cannot accede to his application.