HC Deb 01 July 1991 vol 194 c42 4.43 pm
Dr. Jeremy Bray (Motherwell, South)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Today, after 12 o'clock—so I was not able to raise this matter under Standing Order No. 20—British Steel announced the strategic decision to close the Dalzell platemill in my constituency. It is one of the last remaining steel plants in Scotland. This was a major decision, but no announcement was made by the Department of Trade and Industry or by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. A statement was made by the Secretary of State for Scotland, but it was made outside the House.

The questions raised about considering the case made for redevelopment of the Dalzell steelworks have not been answered. No adequate measures have been taken to create the jobs needed to replace the steel jobs lost. Would it not be appropriate for the Minister to make a statement in the House this afternoon?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member has raised this point of order now because the question arose after 12 o'clock, when I consider such matters. I am sure that his comments have been heard by those on the Government Front Bench. I remind the hon. Member that there will be a debate on Thursday on these matters when, no doubt, he will be able to make his points.

Mr. Kenneth Hind (Lancashire, West)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Have you received from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health any request to make a statement on the licensing of RU486, an abortifacient drug which is undergoing tests by the Department and is manufactured by Roussel? There were strong signs in the Sunday newspapers and today in the Evening Standard that the Department had given approval, yet there is nothing on the Order Paper to show that that approval has been given.

Mr. Speaker

That matter has not been raised with me, but I am sure that those who are responsible for such matters have heard the hon. Member's comments.

Mr. John Bowis (Battersea)

Further to the point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker

Order. There is a busy day ahead.

Mr. Bowis

I appreciate that, Mr. Speaker. My hon. Friend the Member for Lancashire, West (Mr. Hind) raised an important matter. The drug is known to have produced cancer effects in France. It would be wrong for a licence to be given without a statement being made to the House.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member should use the channels available to him, not necessarily the Chamber, to raise that matter with his right hon. Friends.