§ 4.2 p.m.
§ Mr. Leslie Huckfield
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 refusal of the Chrysler Company management to participate in any talks or nego-1714tiations which could lead to a settlement of their current dispute at their Ryton plant in Coventry.On 24th May this company took men off the clock and refused to pay them, with allegations of shoddy workmanship. Despite the fact that the union representatives at the plant offered a formula under which an assessment of this matter could be discussed, the management has refused to participate. This and other changes which have been introduced in the Ryton plant, without any consultation with the unions, lead many people to conclude that these are deliberate acts of provocation on the part of the management.
Apart from that, there have been allegations of a bad industrial record, despite the fact that the unions took the initiative in February and conducted a detailed examination of industrial relations at the Ryton plant, as a result of which they produced a detailed report and as a consequence of which the company has done nothing.
This matter has national implications as well, because the possible transfer of investment abroad has been mentioned. It also has overtones of a multinational company, based in Detroit, telling this country what to do.
At a meeting of the combined shop stewards of all the Chrysler factories in the United Kingdom, the management was again urged to come to the negotiating table. It has since refused to do so. It has refused to participate in any talks at all.
I submit that that is an important and extremely urgent matter which could have national consequences and that this House ought to have a full and frank debate on it as soon as possible so that we can tell an American company that this is not the way to behave in this country.
§ Mr. Speaker
I am obliged to the hon. Member for Nuneaton (Mr. Leslie Huck-field) for having given me notice of his intention to make this application. I listened very carefully to what he said. I should like to make it quite clear that my decision is in no way a comment on the merits of what he said. However, I have to decide whether to give the application precedence over the business already arranged. I am afraid that I cannot do so.