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I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 9, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration; namely,
I am prompted to raise this matter by the case of a constituent of mine which is but the latest in a long and depressing series of such cases. Mr. John Joseph Girvan, a bricklayer, one evening last week was physically dragged from a telephone booth in Kings Heath and taken to Kings Heath police station, where he was slapped, punched, dragged by the hair and abused obscenely in very specific terms by a number of people whom I can now describe only as uniformed hooligans. To convey properly to the House the horrifying flavour of this attack on a constituent, it is necessary to say that, within a few seconds of this man being apprehended by those three uniformed hooligans, he was referred to as "an Irish bastard". The language which was used on my constituent during the subsequent eight hours was of the same nature. I must emphasise that during the eight hours in question this man was, by definition and by law, an innocent man. During that time he was subject to the most hideous humiliations. He was refused access to a lawyer, his Irishness was constantly emphasised by the uniformed hooligans who had him in their custody and he was never for a moment allowed to forget that they had preponderant physical power over him. They did this by slapping, and punching him, dragging him by the hair and physically throwing him into a cell, only to pull him out and throw him in again. Mr. Girvan was intimidated by threats that he would get a long sentence and rough treatment. He was promised that if he submitted to photography he would be allowed to go. He did so and was not allowed to go. He was, in short, terrorised. As I said, this case is but the latest of a series in my constituency. We all appreciate that the fabric of the law and the institutions which preserve public order in our society depend heavily on the respect with which the public holds officers of the law and the law enforcement agencies of our community. In Birmingham, the Irish community cannot now see the law enforcement agencies in that light, because they—particularly their young men—are being systematically terrorised by members of the West Midlands police. This is a matter of extreme urgency to the House. I believe that similar things have happened in other large cities. I therefore beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment so that we may discuss the matter now."the apparently increasing use of arbitrary violence by the West Midlands Police Force against the Irish community in Birmingham."
The hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Litterick) asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he believes should have urgent consideration, namely,
As the House knows, under Standing Order No. 9 I am directed to take into account the several factors set out in the Order but to give no reasons for my decision. I listened carefully to the representations of the hon. Member. All that I have to decide is whether the business of the House should be changed tonight or tomorrow so that this matter may be discussed. I have to rule that the hon. Gentleman's submission does not fall within the terms of the Standing Order. I therefore cannot submit his application to the House."the apparently increasing use of arbitrary violence by the West Midlands Police Force against the Irish community in Birmingham."