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Volume 983: debated on Friday 25 April 1980

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On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I seek your advice and, through you, ask whether it will be possible in the course of the day for the Government to make a statement on the events that occurred in Iran this morning. There is no doubt that this is a matter of very grave international importance.

I appreciate that the time is short and that I have been unable to notify you of my request in advance. But the landing in Iran of American forces with a view to relieving the hostages clearly implicates the United Kingdom, which is an ally of the United States. I would be grateful, Mr. Speaker, if you would convey to the Government a request that a statement be made on this matter before the House rises today.

I am obliged to the right hon. Member for Bristol, South-East (Mr. Benn). I remind the House that on Fridays we have a rather different system. If there are to be statements or private notice questions, notice must be given to my office by 10 o'clock. I leave the Chair to consider any applications either for a statement or a private notice question and at 11 o'clock, if there is a statement, business is interrupted. We are not yet accustomed to the new system, but I remind the right hon. Gentleman that that is the situation.