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Cricketers (South African Tour)

Volume 19: debated on Monday 1 March 1982

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3.31 pm

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 visit to South Africa of a group of cricketers being describe d as an 'England Eleven' ."
The matter is specific because 12 English cricketers, who are already becoming known as "the Dirty Dozen", have decided, in defiance of the advice of the Test and County Cricket Board, to tour South Africa and play so-called Test matches, describing themselves for this purpose as "the English team".

It is important because these men are placing in doubt the forthcoming tours of Britain by Indian and Pakistani cricket teams, are jeopardising this country's place in international Test cricket, and could affect the future of both the Commonwealth and the Olympic Games.

The matter requires urgent consideration because the tour is due to begin on Thursday, which leaves very little time for the Government to fulfil their obligations under the Gleneagles agreement by taking every practical step to discourage a group of men who, by giving aid and comfort to what the Gleneagles agreement describes as "the abomination of apartheid", are selling themselves for blood-covered Krugerrands.

Order. The right hon. Member for Manchester, Ardwick (Mr. Kaufman) gave me notice before 12 o'clock midday that he would seek leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he thinks should have urgent consideration, namely,

"the visit to South Africa of a group of cricketers being described as 'an England Eleven' ."
I listened, as the House did, with concern to what the right hon. Gentleman said.

The House knows that it has instructed me to take into account the several factors set out in the standing order but to give no reasons for my decision.

The fact that I am ruling that the right hon. Gentleman's submission does not fall within the provisions of the Standing Order in no way minimises my belief that he has raised an important matter, but I cannot agree that his application should be submitted to the House.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is it not out of order that such a scurrilous attack should be made by the right hon. Member for Manchester, Ardwick (Mr. Kaufman)?

Statutory Instruments &C

Ordered,

That the draft Representation of the People (Variation of Limits of Candidates' Election Expenses) Order 1982 be referred to a Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c.
That the draft Filament Lamps for Vehicles (Safety) Regulations 1982 be referred to a Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c.—[Mr. Mather.]

Reserve Forces Bill Lords

Ordered,

That the Reserve Forces Bill [Lords] be referred to a Second Reading Committee.—[Mr. Mather.]