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Eton Axles Ltd

Volume 14: debated on Monday 30 November 1981

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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 announcement by Eton Axles Ltd. of Newton Aycliffe that it is to make approximately 250 of its work force redundant, including 50 apprentices".
Eton Axles is the largest employer of males in Newton Aycliffe, which serves the whole of south-west Durham. It has already run down its work force from 1,200 to just over 700 in the past 18 months. It now proposes to get rid of a third of the remaining workers, including nearly 50 engineering apprentices. One out of every four males in the surrounding areas is already out of work, while one in every two youngsters must enter the youth opportunities programme. Subsequently, fewer than a quarter are getting work. Every job is being chased by more than 50 unemployed people.

I hope that the House will agree that its business should not proceed without fully debating the effects of these redundancies upon the workers, their families and the whole area, but especially the devastating effect upon the redundant apprentices.

The hon. Gentleman gave me notice this morning that he would seek 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,

"the announcement by Eton Axles Ltd. of Newton Aycliffe that it is to make approximately 250 of its work force redundant, including 50 apprentices".
The House knows that whenever I receive an application in connection with the closure of a factory and unemployment, my decision obviously causes me considerable anxiety, but the House also knows that I do not decide whether this matter should be debated. I merely decide whether it should be debated tonight or tomorrow night.

Although I listened with great care to what the hon. Gentleman said, I have to rule that his submission does not fall within the provisions of the Standing Order and, therefore, I cannot submit his application to the House.