HC Deb 21 May 1973 vol 857 cc60-1
Mr. Normanton

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 need for the immediate revocation by the Home Secretary of the entry permits granted to the Kirov Ballet in view of the threat to public law and order posed by their presence in Manchester tonight. I have to inform the House of the increasingly serious situation in Manchester and crave the indulgence of hon. and right hon. Members in listing a few of the essential facts. At 7.30 tonight a number of public demonstrations are planned in the City of Manchester. These are organised by people who see the visit of the Kirov Ballet and the presence of Deputy Chairman Gogolev of the Leningrad Soviet as an affront to all self-respecting, responsible citizens in Greater Manchester.

Having tried by all recognised constitutional and legitimate means to draw the attention of the Government of the Soviet Union to the universal disgust of the British people and hon. and right hon. Members at the continued anti-Semitic practices prevailing in that country, my constituents and many thousands outside my constituency feel that they have reached the end of the road. I earnestly hope that tonight's demonstrations will be peaceful, but this House should be alerted to the serious breakdown in law and order if the Kirov Ballet performance is allowed to take place. I ask you therefore, Mr. Speaker, to grant leave for a debate on this important issue to take place at the earliest possible opportunity.

Mr. Speaker

I am obliged to the hon. Member for having given me notice of his intention to make his application. My ruling does not bear upon the merits and is no reflection upon the accuracy or inaccuracy of what the hon. Gentleman said. Mine is simply a procedural decision. I do not think that this is an appropriate matter to be debated under Standing Order No. 9.