HC Deb 13 March 1973 vol 852 cc1127-8
Sir Bernard Braine

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 continuing dislocation of rail commuter services and the real hardship this is causing to many thousands of travellers who depend on the railways to get to work". The matter is important not only because of the injury being done to the future of the railways but because the vast majority of commuters, certainly those in my constituency and South Essex, have no alternative way of getting to work. They are being denied a reliable service and yet are being refused any refund on their season tickets.

The matter is urgent because tens of thousands of people are being left daily in complete uncertainty about whether they will get to work or, if they get there, whether they can return home. Many have been left stranded on railway stations, and others have expressed fears to me and to other hon. Members—on both sides of the House, I imagine—that their jobs are in some jeopardy.

Because of the disgraceful and steadily worsening situation, which touches so closely the interests and livelihood of many tens of thousands of people, the matter is undeniably important and urgent, and I respectfully hope, Mr. Speaker, that you will look favourably upon my request.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member for Essex, South-East (Sir Bernard Braine) was good enough to give me notice of his application, which I have considered carefully. I also listened carefully to what the hon. Gentleman said.

Once again I tell the House that it is not for me to express an opinion on the merits or importance of the matter which the hon. Gentleman wishes to have discussed. I have simply to decide whether it should have precedence over the business for today or tomorrow.

I cannot accede to the hon. Gentleman's application.