Brazil

David Alton brought to the attention of the House of Commons the serious problem of the street killings of Brazilian children and the selling of other children into sex slavery.

Business of the House

4.16 pm

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Tony Newton) : With permission, Madam Speaker, I should like to make a short business statement.

The business for today and for the remainder of this week will now be as follows :

Today—-Debate on the Earth summit in Rio on a motion for the Adjournment of the House.

Mr. Dennis Skinner (Bolsover) : I suggested that yesterday.

Mr. Newton : I am grateful for the hon. Gentleman’s suggestion. I am glad, for once, to accommodate him.

Sir Peter Emery (Honiton) : Not too often.

Mr. Newton : I accept that as well.

Thursday 4 June—-Proceedings on the Community Care (Residential Accommodation) Bill [Lords] , followed by proceedings on the Mauritius Republic Bill [Lords].

Friday 5 June—-The same business I proposed when I made my statement last week–a debate entitled “Tenants’ Rights, Opportunities and Participation” on a motion for the Adjournment of the House. I shall, of course, be making a statement tomorrow, in the normal way, on the business for next week.

Madam Speaker : Before I call hon. Members to ask questions on the business statement, I remind the House that it is a supplementary statement and that it deals only with the business for today and tomorrow. It would be totally out of order to ask other questions ; I would not accept them.

Mr. David Alton (Liverpool, Mossley Hill) : I welcome today’s debate on the Rio summit but will there be a statement during the debate on the Government’s attitude towards the assassination of street children in Brazil? Bearing in mind that the number of killings has increased in the run-up to the summit, does the Leader of the House agree that this is an urgent matter which requires the intervention of the Prime Minister during his visit to Rio and a statement during today’s debate?

Mr. Newton : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, who will speak in the debate, is in his place and will have heard what the hon. Gentleman said. The hon. Gentleman will be aware that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made a reference to the matter in response to a question during Prime Minister’s Question Time on Tuesday.

Brazil 2

David Alton brought to the attention of the House of Commons the serious problem of the street killings of Brazilian children and the selling of other children into sex slavery.

Business of the House

Mr. David Alton (Liverpool, Mossley Hill) : Will the Leader of the House ensure that the terms of early-day motion 46 concerning the assassination of Brazilian street children is drawn to the Prime Minister’s attention before he goes to Rio for the Earth summit? [That this House welcomes the visit of Paulo Melo, Brazillian State Deputy for Rio and President of the Parliamentary Commission on the Assassination of Street Children ; notes that in 1991 10,800 children in Rio alone suffered from violence and that 306 were killed ; expresses concern that up to 20-30,000 children are currently on the streets in Rio, with 1-2,000 sleeping rough ; and urges the Prime Minister, during his forthcoming visit to Brazil, to raise these matters with the Brazilian authorities and to assert the belief of this House that the killers of these children should be brought to justice.]

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that, with 300 children being killed in Rio last year and a further 10,000 being tortured, this is an issue that the Prime Minister should draw to the attention of the Brazilian authorities and demand that those responsible–

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Madam Speaker : Order. The House will remember that I made a statement last week in which I said that business questions must deal with the business coming before us the following week. I hope that hon. Members will bear that in mind. Questions must concern only next week’s business.

Mr. Alton : On a point of order, Madam Speaker–

Madam Speaker : Order. May I take the point of order later?

Mr. Alton : My question referred specifically to an early-day motion on the Order Paper today signed by Members of all parties.

Madam Speaker : The hon. Gentleman was not asking for a debate next week ; that is the point. Would the Leader of the House care to make a response?

Mr. Newton : If it will help, I am happy to respond. I suspect that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has already noted the early-day motion, but I shall ensure that the hon. Gentleman’s comments are drawn to his attention. As the hon. Gentleman will know, we are pressing the Brazilian authorities to take effective action to remedy the situation.