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Foreign Nuclear Chemical And Biological Bases (Prohibition)

Volume 19: debated on Sunday 4 April 1982

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Mr. Tony Benn, supported by Mr. Frank Allaun, Mr. Norman Atkinson, Mr. Robin F. Cook, Mr. Bob Cryer, Mr. Joan Evans, Mr. Stuart Holland, Miss Joan Maynard, Mr. Ian Mikardo, Mr. Stan Newens, Miss Jo Richardson, and Mr. Stan Thorne, presented a Bill to prohibit by law the siting of nuclear, chemical and bioligical weapons under the ownership or control or joint control of foreign countries within the United Kingdom, the British Isles or British territorial waters or British airspace or bases; and for purposes connected therewith: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time tomorrow and to be printed. [Bill 78.]

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The House recognises that the Bill that has been presented stands no prospect of reaching the statute book. Moreover, the House agrees that it stands not the slightest prospect of ever being debated. Therefore, I wonder whether the Select Committee on Procedure might by invited to consider, with the other points that were raised earlier today, whether this meaningless practice should continue.

We need not argue about that. The right hon. Member for Bristol, South-East (Mr. Benn) was well within his rights. If the Select Committee is ever set up, it will have plenty of matters to consider.