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 matter is specific. Sixteen women from Greenham Common peace camp have been imprisoned for 14 days after occupying a sentry box at Greenham Common base. They have not been accused of any crime and no violence was involved, yet because they refused to be bound over they have been imprisoned in a harsh and vindictive way by magistrates acting as willing lackeys imposing repressive Government policies. There is also the serious specific issue of turning the non-criminal act of trespass into a criminal charge by that method. Men and women have a right to protest against the installation of those missiles and the use of a power dating back to 1361 to curb that right is a matter of great concern. The matter is important. It is ironic that magistrates are seeking to bind the women over to keep the peace when that is just what the women are dedicated to do. they rightly fear that the installation of nuclear cruise missiles under American control, without any right of veto as to their use by the Government, will take Britain a step further towards nuclear war and the massive destruction of life that this and future generations will face if such a war is invoked. There can be no more important issue before humanity today. Urgent consideration should be given to this issue, because of the outrageous way in which these peaceful protesters have been treated and because the majority of our people deeply oppose the idea of their country being turned into a base for nuclear weapons, either British or, as in this case, American owned. No Government have the right to threaten mass extermination as a means of conducting—"the rights of protest against the installation of cruise missiles".
Order. The hon. Gentleman must stick to the question why I should grant an emergency debate tonight or tomorrow.
I am dealing with why this matter should be given urgent consideration. One of those considerations, which I hope will weigh heavily with you, Mr. Speaker, is that the original decision to install cruise missiles was not debated by Parliament. That should be urgently remedied so that the case so heroically supported for more than 15 months by the women of Greenham Common peace camp may be debated in this House.
The hon. Gentleman gave me notice before 12 o'clock midday that he would seek leave to move the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 9 for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he thinks should have urgent consideration, namely,
As the House knows, I decide not whether this matter should be discussed but merely whether it should be discussed tonight or tomorrow night as a matter of urgency. The House knows that under Standing Order No. 9 I am instructed to take into account the several factors set out in the order but to give no reasons for my decision. I have given careful consideration to the hon. Gentleman's representations, but 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."the rights of protest against the installation of cruise missiles."
Ballot For Notices Of Motions For Friday 3 December
Members successful in the ballot were:
- Mr. Norman Buchan
- Mr. Kenneth Carlisle
- Mr. Dennis Walters
Police And Criminal Evidence
Mr. Secretary Whitelaw, supported by Mr. Secretary Nott, Mr. Secretary Younger, Mr. Secretary Edwards, Mr. Leon Brittan, Mr. Attorney-General and Mr. Patrick Mayhew, presented a Bill to make further provision in relation to the powers and duties of the police, criminal evidence and complaints against the police; to provide for arrangements for obtaining the views of the community on policing and for a rank of deputy chief constable; to amend the law relating to the Police Federations and Police Forces and Police Cadets in Scotland; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time upon Thursday 18 November and to be printed. [Bill 16.]
Commonwealth Development Corporation
Mr. Neil Marten, supported by Mr. Barney Hayhoe, Mr. Cranley Onslow, Mr. Kenneth Baker, Mr. Peter Rees and Mr. Malcolm Rifkind, presented (under Standing Order No. 91 (Procedure upon Bills whose main object is to create a charge upon the public revenue)) a Bill to authorise the making of loans to the Commonwealth Development Corporation by the Secretary of State out of the National Loans Fund and to impose new limits on sums borrowed by, or guaranteed by, the Corporation or any of its subsidiaries: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time upon Thursday 18 November and to be printed. [Bill 13.]
Mr. Secretary Jenkin, supported by the Prime Minister, Mr. Secretary Whitelaw, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Secretary Sir Keith Joseph, Mr. Secretary Heseltine, Mr. Kenneth Baker and Dr. Gerard Vaughan, presented a Bill to provide for the appointment of a Director General of Telecommunications and to confer functions on the Director General so appointed; to abolish the exclusive privilege with respect to telecommunications conferred on British Telecommunications by section 12 of the British Telecommunications Act 1981 and to make new provision with respect to the provision of telecommunication services; to make provision, in substitution for the Telegraph Acts 1863 to 1916, for the matters there dealt with and related matters; to provide for the vesting of all property, rights and liabilities of British Telecommunications in a company nominated by the Secretary of State and the subsequent dissolution of British Telecommunications; to make provision with respect to the finances of that company; to amend the Wireless Telegraphy Acts 1949 to 1967 and to make further provision for facilitating enforcement of those Acts; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time upon Thursday 18 November and to be printed. [Bill 15.]