§ Mr. Stan Thorne (Preston, South)
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 failure of British Leyland management to negotiate with the trade unions regarding their plans for the future of British Leyland.It has become more important that we should debate this matter because of the statements made by the Secretary of State for Industry during Question Time today. They showed his abysmal ignorance of the real situation at Leyland.
The strike of workers at British Leyland, many of whom live in my constituency, and of the workers at Bathgate, is not about wages and conditions. Several trade unions are involved, including the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers, the Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Section of the AUEW, the Transport and General Workers Union and others.
Those unions have made a carefully prepared plan for the future of British Leyland, which the management has steadfastly refused to discuss and negotiate with them. This is a classic case of the management's concept of its sole right to rule in an organisation. The work force must obey, or else. Redundancy and closure are threatened in the absence of the management's willingness to recognise that the trade unions have a realistic plan, which merits its full consideration.
Two years ago 9, 000 workers were employed at British Leyland. There have been 1, 800 redundancies announced, and thereafter just over 4, 000 workers will remain. That state of affairs is serious for the whole Preston travel-to-work area. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I urge you to grant my application.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member for Preston, South (Mr. Thorne) gave me notice before 12 noon today that he would seek to make an application under Standing Order No. 9 this afternoon.
The hon. Gentleman asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a significant and important matter that he thinks should have urgent consideration, namely,the failure of British Leyland management to negotiate with the trade unions regarding their plans for the future of British Leyland.I listened with deep concern to what the hon. Gentleman said, as I am sure the whole House did. The House knows that it has instructed me to give no reasons for a decision when such an application is made. I listened with care 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.