HC Deb 22 July 1980 vol 989 cc273-4
Mr. Kilfedder

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I wish to raise a different point of order, based on two points. First, we heard a statement that I would have challenged had I been given the opportunity of questioning the Prime Minister about the statement of the Northern Ireland Member supporting the Government's public expenditure cuts and other policies, which have created havoc in the economic life of Northern Ireland.

Secondly, we heard the outrageous statement that nearly 85,000 are unemployed in Northern Ireland—the most depressed region of the United Kingdom. Should not the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland have been here to answer to the House for that disgraceful position? So many people are unemployed, and many more face the prospect of unemployment.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Gentleman knows that I cannot instruct Ministers to attend the House.

Mr. Skinner

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. For the benefit of the House, will you provide a set of statistics about the amounts of grants given to Northern Ireland? The right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) made it clear that he is against any pump priming of public expenditure. We have never been impressed by his attempts to stop money going to Northern Ireland. I would like that list to be placed in the Library.

Mr. Speaker

I have been tolerant. The hon. Gentleman knows how valid is his point of order.