Home Page

Column 1











House of Commons

Tuesday 21 November 1989

The House met at twenty-nine minutes pastEleven o'clock


[ Mr. Speaker-- in the Chair ]

Message to attend Her Majesty :

The House went ; and having returned :

The Sitting was suspended until half-past Two O'clock, and then resumed.




That all Members who are returned for two or more places in any part of the United Kingdom to make their Election for which of the places they will serve, within one week after it shall appear that there is no question upon the Return for that place ; and if anything shall come in question touching the the Return or Election of any Member, he is to withdraw during the time the matter is in debate ; and that all Members returned upon double Returns do withdraw till their Returns are determined.


That no Peer of the Realm, except a Peer of Ireland, hath any right to give his vote in the Election of any Member to serve in Parliament.


That if it shall appear that any person hath been elected or returned a Member of this House, or endeavoured so to be, by Bribery or any other corrupt practices, this House will proceed with the utmost severity against all such persons as shall have been wilfully concerned in such Bribery or other corrupt practices.



That if it shall appear that any person hath been tampering with any Witness, in respect of his evidence to be given to this House, or any Committee thereof, or directly or indirectly hath endeavoured to deter or hinder any person from

Column 2

appearing or giving evidence the same is declared to be a high crime and misdemeanour ; and this House will proceed with the utmost severity against such offender.


That if it shall appear that any person hath given false evidence in any case before this House, or any Committee thereof, this House will proceed with the utmost severity against such offender. Metropolitan Police

Motion made, and Question proposed,

That the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis do take care that during the Session of Parliament the passages through the streets leading to this House be kept free and open and that no obstruction be permitted to hinder the passage of Members to and from this House, and that no disorder be allowed in Westminster Hall, or in the passages leading to this House, during the Sitting of Parliament, and that there be no annoyance therein or thereabouts ; and that the Serjeant at Arms attending this House do communicate this Order to the Commissioner aforesaid.

2.33 pm

Mr. Bob Cryer (Bradford, South) : I understand that, as with the other Sessional Orders, this one is debatable. It is the right of hon. Members to exercise that function in the debates of the House, whether there are television cameras here or not. I am concerned. I fully support the motion that hon. Members should have access to the House, and agree that any obstructions to such access should be removed, but I can recall not very long ago when some members of the citizenry--students--wanted to come to the House and express a point of view. It is important that the House considers extending these rights to the citizens and taxpayers who pay for this institution, so that they may have access to this place, and we may know that when they come to make representations, the police will help them as well, and not cause an obstruction, which is what occurred with the students' demonstration.

Mr. Speaker : The hon. Gentleman is quite correct ; the motions are debatable.

Question put and agreed to.

Column 3

Votes and Proceedings


That the Votes and Proceedings of this House be printed, being first perused by Mr. Speaker ; and that he do appoint the printing thereof ; and that no person but such as he shall appoint do presume to print the same.


A Bill for the more effectual preventing Clandestine Outlawries ; read the First time ; to be read a Second time.



That the Journal of this House, from the end of the last Session to the end of the present Session, with an index thereto, be printed. Ordered,

That the said Journal and Index be printed by the appointment and under the direction of Clifford John Boulton, Esquire, C.B., the Clerk of this House.


That the said Journal and Index be printed by such person as shall be licensed by Mr. Speaker, and that no other person do presume to print the same.

Column 4

Queen's Speech

Mr. Speaker : I have to acquaint the House that this House has this day attended Her Majesty in the House of Peers, and that Her Majesty was pleased to make a Most Gracious Speech from the Throne to both Houses of Parliament, of which I have, for greater accuracy, obtained a copy.

I shall direct that the terms of the Gracious Speech be printed in the Votes and Proceedings. Copies are available in the Vote Office. The Gracious Speech was as follows :

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons

I look forward to visiting New Zealand next February for the 150th anniversary of the treaty of Waitangi and for the Commonwealth Games, and, in June, to paying a State Visit to Iceland and a visit to Canada.

My Government will continue to attach the highest priority to national and Western security and to the preservation of peace with freedom and justice. They will stand by their obligations to the NATO Alliance and will continue to sustain the United Kingdom's contribution to Western defence by maintaining adequate and effective nuclear and conventional forces.

My Government will work for balanced and verifiable measures of arms control. They will continue to play an active part in the Vienna negotiations on the reduction of conventional forces in Europe and the multilateral negotiations in Geneva on the abolition of chemical weapons.

My Government will continue to promote improved relations between East and West, and to work for further progress on human rights. They will aim to strengthen still further the present positive relations between the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, and to encourage reform in that country. They will lend every possible encouragement and support to the remarkable changes taking place in Poland, Hungary and now in East Germany. They will work to ensure that these take place within a stable Europe.

My Government will continue to work with our European Community partners to complete the single market ; to enhance economic and monetary co-operation ; to reinforce budgetary discipline ; and to carry forward the reform of the common agricultural policy. They will play a full part in multilateral negotiations designed to liberalise international trade.

My Government will continue to support the right of the Afghan people to choose for themselves a fully representative government. They will continue to work for a peaceful solution to the conflicts in the middle east and to play their part in the search for a settlement in Cambodia. They look forward to the independence of Namibia and will continue to encourage the forces for peaceful change and reconciliation in southern Africa.

My Government will continue to play a full part in the United Nations, and in the Commonwealth.

My Government will maintain a substantial aid programme. They will continue to support sustainable development policies aimed at alleviating poverty and promoting economic and social progress in developing countries.

My Government will maintain their fight against international terrorism ; and continue to seek the release of hostages held in Lebanon.

Column 5

My Government will work vigorously and with determination to restore confidence in Hong Kong, building on the foundation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. They will honour their commitment to the people of the Falkland Islands while seeking further progress in normalising relations with Argentina.

Members of the House of Commons

Estimates for the public service will be laid before you. My Lords and Members of the House of Commons

My Government will continue to pursue firm financial policies designed to reduce inflation and foster the conditions necessary for sustained economic growth. They will continue to promote enterprise and to facilitate the growth of employment.

They will maintain firm control of public expenditure so that it continues to fall over time as a proportion of national income, while allowing further improvements in priority services.

A Bill will be introduced to assist the financial restructuring of the British Coal Corporation.

A Bill will be introduced to facilitate the sale of the Crown Suppliers and of other parts of the Property Services Agency. My Government will continue to attach very great importance to protecting the national and international environment. A Bill will be introduced to provide new powers to control pollution and waste. My Government will work with business, local government, the voluntary sector and local people to regenerate our cities.

A Bill will be introduced to strengthen the law on food safety and consumer protection.

My Government will continue to develop training and enterprise councils. Legislation will be introduced to make further reforms in industrial relations and trade union law.

My Government will vigorously pursue their policies for reducing crime and combating the trafficking and abuse of

Column 6

drugs. A Bill will be introduced to improve the ability of the United Kingdom to co-operate with other countries in the investigation of crime.

A Bill will be brought forward to provide for a wider choice of broadcast services, to strengthen the oversight of programme standards, to reform the independent television and radio systems and to implement the other proposals in the broadcasting White Paper. A Bill will be introduced to improve the administration of civil justice and to increase choice in the provision of legal services. My Government will continue to take action to raise standards in education. A Bill will be introduced to supplement students' grants with loans.

A Bill will be brought forward to improve the National Health Service and the management of community care.

A Bill will be introduced to institute a legal framework for scientific developments on human fertilisation and embryology. For Scotland, legislation will be introduced to establish Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, to prepare for the winding up of the new town development corporations, to increase choice in the provision of legal services and to effect certain other law reform measures.

In Northern Ireland, my Government will maintain its support for the enforcement of the law and the defeat of terrorism. They will continue to encourage the greater involvement of locally elected representatives in the affairs of Northern Ireland, to improve the economic and social wellbeing of the Province, and to work within the framework of the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

A Bill will be brought forward to improve aviation and maritime security.

Legislation will be introduced to make changes to the law relating to social security and occupational pensions.

Other measures will be laid before you.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons

I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels.

Column 7

Debate on the Address

[First Day]

Mr. Speaker : It may be for the convenience of the House if I announce the proposed pattern of the remaining days of the debate on the Loyal Address : Wednesday 22 November--industry and the environment ; Thursday 23 November--rights, freedoms and responsibilities ; Friday 24 November--foreign affairs, European Community and defence ; Monday 27 November--health and social security ; Tuesday 28 November--the economy.

2.36 pm

Mr. Ian Gow (Eastbourne) : I beg to move,

That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, as follows : Most Gracious Sovereign,

We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to Your Majesty for the Gracious Speech which Your Majesty has addressed to both House of Parliament.

I am mindful of the honour done by my constituents through my being invited to make this speech. A year ago, the Leader of the Opposition, quoting the admirable Mr. Colin Welch of the Daily Mail, described my hon. Friend the Member for Pudsey (Sir G. Shaw)--who had just moved the motion--as a

"roly-poly version of Dr. Bodkin Adams."--[ Official Report, 22 November 1988 ; Vol. 142, c. 13.]

The House, and certainly my hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot (Mr. Critchley), may think that that description applies rather better to me. I am sad to have to confirm that the good doctor is no longer with us--sad, because at each dissolution of Parliament he used to send a £5 note for my fighting fund.

I have always voted against the televising of the proceedings of this House, and I expect that I always will. The brief intervention earlier of the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer) did nothing to alter my view. Despite my strongly held opinions, a letter that I received--three weeks ago--I believe that a copy was sent to each of us and possibly even to you, Mr. Speaker--made the following preposterous assertion :

"The impression you make on television depends mainly on your image (55 per cent.) with your voice and body language accounting for 38 per cent. of your impact. Only 7 per cent. depends on what you are actually saying."

[Hon. Members :-- "Hear, hear."] I thought that I should enlist the sympathy of the Opposition with that last proposition.

The letter went on--and hon. Members may think that this is an extravagant claim so far as I am concerned :

"We can guarantee to improve your appearance through a personal and confidential image consultation. You will learn if you need a new hair style--and where to get it--and the type of glasses to suit your face."

The House will understand why I considered that I was beyond redemption on both counts.

Eastbourne has been a separate parliamentary constituency since 1885. Then the electorate was 8,000 ; today it is 80,000. I am glad to report that for 100 out of those 104 years Eastbourne has been represented in the Conservative interest. The solitary lapse took place in 1906, but four years of Liberal representation were more than enough and provoked the highest turnout ever

Column 8

recorded--90.3 per cent.--at the following general election. Since then, Eastbourne has been true blue, and, since 1974, dry as well. East Sussex has long attracted the retired and semi- retired. Lord Shawcross lives at Friston, the right hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey), whose decision not to seek re-election to this place we all deplore, is the squire of Alfriston and Lord Callaghan has his estate nearby. It will be a source of satisfaction to the Opposition, particularly to those who sit below the Gangway, as it is to me, to learn that those three comrades have been able to share in the growing prosperity of the nation created during the premiership of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister.

Others have shared in that prosperity. Over these past years, 1,657 former tenants of our borough council have bought their houses or flats. They remember that the right-to-buy legislation was fiercely opposed by the Labour party. I was proud to have had a hand in extending the opportunities for home ownership in the Housing Act 1985.

Last month, phase two of our district general hospital was opened. All the medical wards have been transferred from St. Mary's hospital, which was built in Napoleonic days, to our new hospital. I am pleased to be able to tell the House that our hospital has informed my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health of its intention to seek approval to become a self-governing hospital trust within the National Health Service.

In August 1980, the House gave a Third Reading to the Eastbourne Harbour Bill. Indeed, 180 of my right hon. and hon. Friends stayed up until 6.10 am to vote for it. The House will want to know that construction work on the harbour project is well under way. Jobs are being created in the short and long term. The new harbour will keep Eastbourne in the vanguard--no, ahead of the vanguard--of Britain's increasingly important and increasingly successful tourist industry. When the harbour is completed, our fishermen will no longer have to drag their craft on to the beach. There will be berths for 1,800 small boats. Miners from Bolsover, entrepreneurs from Newham, North-West, refugees from Brent, East, grocers from Old Bexley, intellectuals, real or imagined, from Chesham and Amersham and the hon. baronet the Member for Clwyd, North-West (Sir A. Meyer), whose reported aspirations to become the Queen's first Minister I am unable to endorse-- all these and many more besides--will be able to moor their boat or seek refuge from the storm in the new Eastbourne harbour.

Mr. Simon Hughes (Southwark and Bermondsey) : Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Gow : There is absolutely no way in which I shall give way to a member of the Liberal party.

I must leave the virtues of Eastbourne and turn to the merits of the Gracious Speech. I welcome the commitment to support the remarkable changes taking place in eastern Europe. Speaking in Poland last month, the German Chancellor said that Moscow, Warsaw, Prague, Budapest and Vienna--he made no mention of Leipzig--were as much a part of Europe as London, Brussels, Paris, Rome or Berlin. Dr. Kohl was echoing General de Gaulle's famous concept of a Europe des patries stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals. It is a concept which I share. I am strongly in favour of the free

Column 9

movement of people, goods and capital within the 12 countries that make up the Community, but I have no confidence in the presumed superior wisdom of the Commission in Brussels as compared with the judgment, fallible though it is, of this elected House of Commons. Recent events in eastern Europe have reinforced that view. If we look forward to the day--as I do--when the whole European family can share in that freedom and democracy which we enjoy, the long-term enlargement of the Community is more likely to come about if the nation states of the Twelve do not succumb to the vaulting ambitions of the supranationalists.

I also welcome the commitment in the Gracious Speech to defeating terrorism in Northern Ireland, Great Britain and Europe. We should send a message from this place, to friend and foe alike, that our resolve will never weaken, that those who choose the bullet and the bomb will gain no concessions from Her Majesty's Government, and that their campaign of terror is as odious as it is futile. Terrorism flourishes where those who perpetrate it believe that one day terror will triumph. That is why all of us need to give no hint that it ever will.

The Gracious Speech reaffirms the Government's commitment to pursue firm financial policies, designed to reduce inflation. It is of deep regret to me that inflation is now more than 7 per cent. High interest rates are not the only weapon to defeat inflation, but they are an essential weapon. I hope that the abatement of inflation until we secure our declared aim of stable prices will characterise the stewardship of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Yesterday the President of Romania made a speech in Bucharest which lasted for six hours and which was punctuated by 67 standing ovations-- [Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker : Order. It is customary to give a fair hearing to the hon. Member moving the motion for the Loyal Address.

Next Section

  Home Page