HC Deb 11 May 1995 vol 259 c907 4.39 pm
Mr. Hugh Bayley (York)

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 announcement earlier this afternoon that the ABB carriage works in York are to close with the loss of all 750 jobs. This afternoon, the Prime Minister claimed that the Government are no more responsible for that closure than they are for somebody catching measles. The man is suffering from amnesia. Did not his Government claim, when rail privatisation legislation was going through the House, that there would be no hiatus in rail investment? Is the Prime Minister not aware that last year, for the first time in British Rail's history, it did not place a single new order for rolling stock for London commuters? Has the Prime Minister forgotten the statement made a year ago by his own Minister of State, Department of Transport that an order would be placed by September 1994?

This closure is an unforgivable act of industrial sabotage. In this week when the country is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the victory in Europe, the Government have achieved what Hitler did not achieve in the war—the destruction of a fine British manufacturing industry. Ministers should come to the House to say, in debate, what they intend to do to provide alternative work for the 750 men who are to be made redundant.

Already this afternoon, I have had commitments from York city council and North Yorkshire training and enterprise council to provide £50,000 each to look for alternative work. Will the Government match that pound for pound from their single regeneration budget? The Government have caused this crisis. They have a responsibility to find solutions and a duty to answer in debate for that catastrophe.

Madam Speaker

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