§ Mr. Allan Roberts (Bootle)
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 threatened closure of the factory, Courtaulds Clothing Ltd. at Seaforth in my constituency.This is a specific matter because on Friday the whole work force of 220 people was called into the canteen and given 90 days' notice of the closure of the factory. Of that work force, 58 per cent. are women and the sole breadwinners in their homes and 57 per cent. are under 21 years of age and in their first real job.
It is urgent because the House, by debating the issue, can prevent the closure of this viable factory which makes clothes for such companies as Mothercare and Marks and Spencer. It is urgent because the factory has a full order book and is being closed only for reasons of internal politics at Courtaulds. An urgent debate is needed because the work force has issued a statement saying that it will consider any method of non-violent, direct action to secure the future of their jobs and prosperity.
The House must ensure that the company opens the books to the work force and that, if Courtaulds does not want to continue to operate that factory, a workers' cooperative is able to do so in co-operation with the companies for which the factory now produces goods. The issue is especially urgent because it is happening on Merseyside, where unemployment is at its highest ever and already running at 30 per cent. in Bootle and Seaforth. If the redundancy notices stand, the highly flexible, skilled work force is likely to be on the dole for some considerable time.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member for Bootle (Mr. Roberts) asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 10, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he thinks should have urgent consideration, namely,The proposed closure of the Courtaulds factory at Seaforth in the constituency of Bootle.I regret that I must give the hon. Member the same answer that I gave to the other hon. Members making Standing Order No. 10 applications. I do not consider 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, but I hope that he will find other methods of raising the matter, which is of concern to his constituents.