HC Deb 15 December 1993 vol 234 c1105 5.39 pm
Rev. Ian Paisley (Antrim, North)

I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 20 for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely, the situation arising in Northern Ireland as the result of the Prime Minister's signing of the joint declaration with the Prime Minister of the Irish Republic. I am aware that all that I can do is underscore that this matter is specific, important and urgent and that I cannot go into the argument, but, because of the Prime Minister's statement and the remarks of other right hon. and hon. Members, the House is aware of the importance of the situation in Northern Ireland.

In Northern Ireland, we do not have any local authorities that can deal with matters such as this. Our local authorities empty bins, look after graveyards and deal with recreation. They do not have other powers. Therefore, it is essential that every democratic opportunity be taken by the House to air a matter of such grave importance. After all, we have been told today that this matter is going to bring peace. We have heard statements about peace in a week and peace at Christmas, but surely the House should take time to discuss the matter.

This week, we have had guillotines on important Bills. Surely, before the recess, we should have an opportunity to discuss this matter. Points of view should be argued and answers given. All hon. Members know the inadequacy of statements, and you, Madam Speaker, have called our attention to the fact that we must ask questions and not make speeches. I put this matter to the House on behalf of my constituents and the people of Northern Ireland 'who feel that, if all the eulogies that have been paid to the statement are true, the House should take time to discuss it, and discuss it thoroughly.

Madam Speaker

I have listened carefully to what the hon. Gentleman has said. I have to give my decision without stating any reasons. I am afraid that I do not consider that the matter which the hon. Gentleman has raised is appropriate for discussion under Standing Order No. 20. I therefore cannot submit the application to the House.