§ Mrs. Hart
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 which should have urgent consideration, namely,the deadlock and danger of the breakdown of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Nairobi and the urgent need for the British delegation to be given fresh instructions.There is no doubt that this is a specific matter. It concerns negotiations which are going on at this moment, and in which, according to all the reports I have received personally and which hon. Members will have read over the weekend, there is a very real threat of complete breakdown and even of the conference dispersing in disarray.
That it is important can surely be in no doubt whatever. It is a four-yearly conference. As we know, many matters 31 are arising at the conference which, if they are not resolved, will have the gravest consequences for us in Britain and for all industrialised countries. Indeed, I refer the House to an Answer given today by my hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. These are all matters in which our future is involved.
The position is relevant to the House in this respect; given the nature of the Order Paper and of our debates, there has been no opportunity in the last 10 days for any Question to be put to the Ministers responsible—the Secretary of State for Trade in particular—and yet, in the present deadlock, Britain occupies a crucial position. As far as one can understand it, we are hovering between, on the one hand, the United States, Germany and Japan, and, on the other, the Netherlands, Denmark, the rest of the Scandinavian countries, France and the Commission of the EEC, in determining our attitude on the key element in the conference, which is that of a common fund to support the commodity agreements, about which, as the House is aware, there is an all-party motion signed by a great number of hon. Members. Britain's rôle is, therefore, crucial.
32 That rôle at the moment is determined by the instructions given to our delegation in Nairobi. It is therefore most urgent that this House should be allowed to influence the exercise of executive power in this country—namely, the Government—by seeking to debate the matter with the hope that fresh instructions could be issued to our delegation.
§ Mr. Speaker
The right hon. Lady asks 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 deadlock and danger of the breakdown of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Nairobi and the urgent need for the British delegation to be given fresh instructions.As the House knows, under Standing Order No. 9, I am directed to take into account the several factors set out in the Order but to give no reasons for my decision. I have given careful consideration to the representations which the right hon. Lady has made—of which she gave me notice—but I have to rule that her submission does not fall within the provisions of the Standing Order, and therefore I cannot submit her application to the House.