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South American Mainland (Operations)

Volume 24: debated on Wednesday 26 May 1982

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4.15 pm

I gave you notice, Mr. Speaker, before 12 o'clock midday, of a subject that should be raised under Standing Order No. 9, namely,

"operations on the South American mainland."
It would be an abuse to make the speech that I would have made had I been given leave to do so. As I said to the Foreign Secretary, whatever one thinks of the merits of the issue, the fact is that a helicopter has landed in the Republic of Chile and we know today that the crew of the helicopter are now in Santiago. Whether one likes it or not, there should be some explanation of what has occurred.

Last night I had the opportunity during the debate on the Spring Adjournment to outline the reasons why that landing was extremely important in relation to our long-term Latin American policy. I put it succinctly that at least the Foreign Secretary should offer a statement on this important subject.

The hon. Gentleman 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,

"operations on the South American mainland."
I have listened carefully to what the hon. Gentleman has said. It is, I believe, the same application as, or almost identical to, his request yesterday. In any case, I listened with great care to what the hon. Gentleman said, but I must rule that his application does not fall within the provisions of the Standing Order and, therefore, I cannot submit his application to the House.