§ Mr. D. E. Thomas (Merioneth)
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 tragic and severe casualties sustained by the Welsh Guards and supporting units at Bluff Cove on Tuesday 8 June announced by the Ministry of Defence last night".My request is even more urgent, Mr. Speaker, than when I raised it with you this morning. We have not had a statement from the Ministry of Defence today on the matter. It has been a national disaster for Wales and has already been compared with the Gallipoli disaster in the First World War.
Since we have not had a debate on the Falklands issue, nor on the South Atlantic war, there should be an opportunity for the full facts to be made available and for the House to demand an inquiry into the reasons why young soldiers were left on landing craft in exposed positions for a long time without anti-aircraft protection. We want to know why Welsh Guards were landed in that way rather than by helicopter. We must have the strategic reasons fully explained so that we may be able to equate the high cost of the war with the loss of those young lives. Such a disaster for Wales deserves priority debate.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Gentleman gave me notice this morning before 12 o'clock that he would seek leave to move the Adjournment of the House to discussthe tragic and severe casualties sustained by the Welsh Guards and supporting units at Bluff Cove on Tuesday 8 June announced by the Ministry of Defence last night".As the House knows, my powers are strictly limited, and the hon. Gentleman in making his application for a three-hour debate on the events of Bluff Cove will know that I have to take into account the several factors set out in the Order but to give no reasons for my decision. Naturally, everybody in the House will have listened with anxiety to the hon. Gentleman. Everyone in these islands—not only the Welsh people—will be grieved by the news. I must rule, however, that the hon. Gentleman's submission does not fall within the provisions of the Standing Order. Therefore, I cannot submit his application to the House.