§ Mr. Stan Thorne
I intend to be exceedingly brief. I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 9, for the purpose of discusing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely,the threat of famine in KampucheaThe Guardian today highlights the problem of food in that country, the prospects for the future in terms of rice supplies, the inevitable movements of population in search of food, and the spiral of malnutrition, famine, and demographic chaos that can and will emerge unless action is taken to mount a massive input of food coupled with guarantees by the major world Powers regarding distribution, so that those in most need are supplied first.
Under the Standing Order I cannot debate the issues; I can merely indicate the nature of this specific, important and urgent matter. I am aware that important matters for the consideration of the House are to follow, but, Mr. Speaker, your visit to Canterbury yesterday, if it means anything, means that as a Christian nation we should be concerned for the people of Kampuchea at this time. We should be prepared to give what we can in terms of aid to relieve the suffering that is likely to occur in the absence of that aid. Indeed, their problems are far greater than any that we may experience in the near future, no matter what the Chancellor's Budget contains.
1438 During prayers, the Chaplain referred to Christian love and charity. I hope that the House will have some in regard to the request that I make to you.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Gentleman gave me notice before 12 o'clock noon today that he would seek leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 9, for the purpose of discusing a specific and important matter that he believes should have urgent consideration, namely,the threat of famine in KampucheaAnyone who listened to the hon. Gentleman would not fail to realise the importance of the subject. The hon. Gentleman knows that I do not decide whether that important subject is to be debated. I merely decide whether it shall be discussed tonight or tomorrow night as an emergency debate. As the hon. Gentleman knows, there are other avenues open to him.
The House has instructed me, in considering these applications, not to give my reasons. I listened carefully to what the hon. Gentleman said, but I must rule that his submission does not fall within the provisions of the Standing Order and, therefore, I cannot submit his application to the House.