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Manpower Services Commission (Grant)

Volume 938: debated on Monday 7 November 1977

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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

"the grant of £60,000 by the Manpower Services Commission on Merseyside to the Indian terrorist group, Ananda Marg, which practises homosexuality and ritual murder."

I am surprised that Labour Members find ritual murder amusing. The Opposition do not.

The matter is specific in that it is a precise grant to a particular organisation. It is important in that it sets an appalling precedent for the spending of public money in a way that is contrary to the public interest, and it is urgent because it is vital that such organisations should in no way receive help and encouragement from public funds. Therefore, the grant should be immediately withdrawn before a wholly undesirable precedent is set.

Professor Ridley, the chairman of the Merseyside job creation committee, said that he originally had misgivings about making the grant, having heard about the group's activities in India, and wondered whether its members might be on the lunatic fringe. He ultimately decided, however, that such questions were irrelevant and that what he was interested in was the group's ability to run the project.

On that criterion, Mr. Speaker, I respectfully suggest that the IRA could apply for a grant for training its members on the ground that they would thereby increase their efficiency in murdering their fellow citizens. I therefore appeal to you. Mr. Speaker, to allow the matter to be debated.

The hon. Lady asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 9 for the purpose of discussing

" the grant of £60,000 by the Manpower Services Commission on Merseyside to the Indian terrorist group, Ananda Marg, which practises homosexuality and ritual murder."
I can only tell the House once again that the hon. Lady has raised an important question but that I am afraid that I cannot give it the precedence she seeks.