§ Mr. Anthony Beaumont-Dark (Birmingham, Selly Oak)
As this is a good day for contrition all round, may I express my regret that my acute disappointment yesterday led me astray in implying, improperly, that you, Mr. Speaker, have ever been unfair. Obviously, the unfairness lay with me. I apologise for that.
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 disappearance from this country of Mr. Mordecai Vanunu.Two years ago, Mr. Dikko, a former Nigerian Minister, was found drugged in the hold of an aircraft. At that time, there was, rightly, an outcry in the House. Now, Mr. Mordecai Vanunu has vanished from a London hotel and, like a rabbit out of a hat, has appeared in Israel. He went through no normal recognised channels, but he was in this country one day and a short time later was in Israel.
Mr. Vanunu took the state's shilling and betrayed its trust. That is odious, but it is not the point of asking the House to become involved in the matter. Civilised countries cannot expect to pluck someone at will illegally from another country as though he were cargo. How did Mr. Vanunu get out of Britain? Mossad seems to be implicated, but no explanation has come from Israel, except that the matter is too secret to be discussed there. However, no matter which concerns a person who suddenly disappears and reappears somewhere else can be too secret to be discussed in this House. I believe that this type of thing should leave a chill, because there is an implication that if the motive is worthy, a country may do what it will in another country. That cannot be right.
I believe that the House should be given all the information that is at the disposal of Her Majesty's Government so that we at least know that our Government have reacted and are acting properly in this serious matter. That is why I have taken the time of the House to call for the Adjournment on this matter.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Beaumont-Dark) has asked leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely,the disappearance from this country of Mr. Mordecai Vanunu.I have listened with great care to what the hon. Gentleman has said. I regret that I do not consider that the matter he has raised is appropriate for discussion under Standing Order No. 10, and I cannot submit his application to the House.
§ Mr. Marlow
I do not in any way challenge what you have said, Mr. Speaker. Obviously, you are aware of the diplomatic significance of these matters. There was an issue with the Syrian embassy, action was taken with regard to the embassy and there was a statement in the House. The world looks upon this House to be objective. I wonder how we can get a statement, a question or some 961 explanation from a Minister as to what the Government know about what seems to be a sinister issue. Our status in the world and our objectivity in the middle east depend upon the House being able to find out the truth and the reality behind the situation.
§ Mr. Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)
If you manage, Mr. Speaker, to follow the advice that has been given by the hon. Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow) in trying to ascertain some more information for the benefit of the House, would you bear in mind that the whole affair may lead us to Johnson Matthey bank, Abdul Shamji and, who knows, Conservative Central Office?
§ Mr. Speaker
My ruling is concerned only with whether this matter should have precedence over the business set down for today or tomorrow. As to the wider issues, I do not in any way underestimate what was said by the hon. Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow) or what was contained in the submission of his hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Beaumont-Dark). These are serious and important matters. The hon. Member for Selly Oak must find other ways of seeking to obtain his objective, but he cannot do so, unhappily, under Standing Order No. 10, for the reasons I have given.