§ Mr. Rifkind
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 decision of Scottish teachers to sabotage school examinations and instigate widespread strike action in furtherance of their pay dispute.This particular form of action has continued for some weeks. The situation has now reached a state of unprecedented seriousness. I am conscious of the gravity that is required for a request of this type to be accepted, but I respectfully submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that all the criteria are fully met in this case.
As to the specific nature of the issue, the dispute is taking place in the Scottish part of the United Kingdom. No one 441 could seriously doubt the importance of the dispute. There has been industrial action in Scotland for some weeks. Only yesterday half a million Scottish schoolchildren were denied their education as a result of this industrial action.
On the urgency of the matter, a new dimension is worthy of immediate debate. The Scottish teaching profession has decided to sabotage examinations. Already the schools have had to defer consideration of these examinations for many months. There has been a decision by the Further Education Association that examinations cannot be held at the present time.
It is in these circumstances that I submit, Mr. Speaker, that the matter is of sufficient importance to justify an immediate debate.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Rifkind) gave me notice of his intention to make an application for a debate under Standing Order No. 9 onthe decision of Scottish teachers to sabotage school examinations and instigate widespread strike action in furtherance of their pay dispute.My decision is a procedural one. I must consider whether it is right to disrupt the business already before the House in order to have a debate on this matter. I am afraid that the answer must be "No". The hon. Member must find other ways of raising this matter.