§ Mr. Harry Ewing (Falkirk, East)
I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 10, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely,The threat to the Commonwealth games in Edinburgh caused by the boycott by African countries as a result of the British Government's policy towards South Africa.The importance of this matter can hardly be over-emphasised because many people now believe that the withdrawal of Nigeria and Ghana is likely to be followed by other African Commonwealth states and that might be the beginning of the total break-up of the Commonwealth. It is also important to provide an opportunity to make these African nations understand that the people of this country in general, and of Scotland in particular, are whole-heartedly behind them in their present struggle.
It would be a great tragedy if the African nations were to confuse the Government's policy with the sympathy of the people. The sympathy and support of the British people are wholeheartedly with the people of these African nations. Therefore, it is important that we have time to discuss this urgent matter. In order to demonstrate support for the African nations, many towns and cities throughout Great Britain over the past few weeks have been flying the African National Congress flag.
The matter is specific because it relates to the Commonwealth games. It is urgent because the games are due to open two weeks from today. There is now a real fear that the games will not take place if there are any more withdrawals. You, Mr. Speaker, heard the Leader of the House openly say that there will be no opportunity for a debate on South Africa before the House rises for the summer recess. I respectfully suggest that you, Mr. Speaker, should create that opportunity by granting this application under Standing Order No. 10.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member for Falkirk, East (Mr. Ewing) asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he thinks should have urgent consideration, namely,The threat to the Commonwealth games in Edinburgh caused by the boycott by African countries as a result of the British Government's policy towards South Africa.As the hon. Gentleman knows, the decision which I must take in this matter is whether to give his application precedence over the business set down for today or for Monday. I regret that I do not consider that the matter that he has raised is appropriate for discussion under Standing Order No. 10 and I therefore cannot submit his application to the House.