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Animals For Slaughter (Export)

Volume 889: debated on Monday 24 March 1975

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I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order 9, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration.

I have evidence that the Government assurance given about the implementation of the O'Brien Report on the export of live animals is not being honoured.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Fred Peart) rose—

Order. I understood that this application was being made to me, not the Minister.

It was not I, Mr. Speaker, who called the Minister.

As a result of the BBC "Midweek" programme of 20th March, which showed the transportation of lambs for the duration of 34, 39 and 48 hours without food, rest or water, I interviewed the director of the programme and am now in receipt of additional evidence to show that the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food grossly deceived the House in his assurances of 16th January, and that as a result of discussions today between the Ministry and the BBC—

Not even on an application under Standing Order 9 is it in order to say that the Minister has grossly deceived the House. The hon. Member must not use that phrase.

May I withdraw it and use the phrase "inadvertently misled the House"? As a result of discussions today between the Minister and the BBC, they are well aware of the fact that the House was inadvertently misled.

Having voted for the adoption of the report as a result of the promises of the two Cabinet Ministers, I herewith make application to move the Adjournment under Standing Order 9 so that the House will have a chance to reassess the situation.

The hon. Member gave me notice of his intention to make this application. I have considered the matter. I have also considered what he has said today. No doubt this is an important matter. My decision is only whether it should be pursued under Standing Order 9. In my view this is not an appropriate matter to be pursued under Standing Order 9. The hon. Member can pursue it in other ways.

Will the right hon. Gentleman make a statement in the House on this matter before Easter?