§ Mr. John Smith (Monklands, 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 which should have urgent consideration, namely,the crisis in the merchant shipbuilding industry.I shall be brief, but I hope that my brevity will not lead the House to think that there is any lack of seriousness in my application.
The matter is specific because this afternoon we heard the proposal to close three shipyards and to make 3,500 workers in the shipbuilding industry redundant. The matter could hardly be more specific for those most directly affected.
The matter is important because, as was made clear in our exchanges when questioning the Secretary of State, the whole future of the British merchant shipbuilding industry may be at stake. It is difficult, if not impossible, to underestimate the significance of this afternoon's statement and the matters to which it relates.
The issue requires urgent consideration because time is short and 1986 may be the year in which it is decided whether the British merchant shipbuilding industry survives or disappears. An important part of the industry has already disappeared as a result of the statement this afternoon. I submit that the subject falls within the purview of Standing Order No. 10.
§ Mr. Speaker
The right hon. and learned Member for Monklands, East (Mr. Smith) asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter which he thinks should have urgent consideration, namely,the crisis in the merchant shipbuilding industry.I listened with great care to the right hon. and learned Gentleman, as I listened with care to what was said in the House earlier this afternoon. As the right hon. and learned Gentleman knows, my sole duty when considering an application under Standing Order No. 10 is to decide whether it should be given priority over the business already set down for this evening or for tomorrow. I regret that I cannot rule that the matter meets all the criteria laid down in the Standing Order and I cannot, therefore, submit his application to the House.
§ Mr. Neil Kinnock (Islwyn)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The House respects your judgment in the conventional form and is aware of all the matters that you must take into account when coming to that judgment. It would be inappropriate to make any comment on that, but Ministers are present and they understand that this is an emergency, although we understand why you do not regard it as such. I hope that the remarks by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Monklands, East (Mr. Smith) will be taken into account, so that in the very near future we may have a debate.
§ Mr. Speaker
The right hon. Gentleman and the whole House understands that I am bound by the Standing Order. I hope that there are other ways in which this important matter may be raised on the Floor of the House.