HC Deb 23 June 1986 vol 100 c27 3.54 pm
Mr. David Madel (Bedfordshire, South-West)

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 announcement by Bedford commercial vehicles that it intends to reduce its work force of 7,200 in Dunstable and Luton by 1,700 by the end of the year. There are three reasons why I think that the matter should take precedence over the announced business. First, the announcement has serious employment repercussions for the area. Secondly, urgent action will be needed to provide extra opportunities for retraining. The House should now consider that. Thirdly, the House could resume its debate on the future of the commercial vehicle industry and the extent to which continuing American investment is essential. When sharp local increases in unemployment occur, the House should adjust its programme so that the matter can be properly debated.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Gentleman 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 redundancies announced by Bedford commercial vehicles today. I listened with great care to what the hon. Gentleman said. As he knows, the only decision that I have to take is whether to give this matter precedence over the business set down for today or tomorrow. I regret that I cannot find that the matter that he has raised is appropriate for discussion under Standing Order No. 10 and I cannot. therefore, submit his application to the House. I hope that he will find other appropriate ways of bringing the issue before the House.


Mr. Alan Williams (Swansea, West)

I do not challenge your ruling Mr. Speaker, but you will appreciate how crippling a blow the loss of 1,700 jobs will be to the area represented by the hon. Member for Bedfordshire, South-West (Mr. Madel) as a result of the failure of General Motors to invest as it should have done in this country. As we cannot have a debate tomorrow, I wonder whether the. Leader of the House, who is in his place, can be asked, through you, if he will ensure that a statement is made on this matter tomorrow afternoon.

The Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. John Biffen)

I take note of that request.