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Member for Dagenham completely and utterly misjudged the mood of the House. His main complaint was not about what was in the Bill but what was not. He was worried not about the direction in which the Government were moving but that they were not moving even faster. I am afraid that my enthusiasm for the refreshing novel approach from the Opposition waned somewhat when I heard the long shopping list of extra items that the hon. Gentleman actually wanted. I would be staggered if the hon. Gentleman ever missed even a spurious opportunity to demand more money for local authorities, but his list of additional demands grew so long that I fully expected the Labour party's policy review demands for 100 new quangos, 10 regional assemblies and a Ministry for Women to pop up somewhere along the line. Perhaps we shall get that in Committee. I am looking to the hon. Member for Dewsbury (Mrs. Taylor) to introduce it.

Mrs. Gorman : I hope that my hon. Friend is not in any way suggesting that women are a pollutant.

Mr. Trippier : I have a high regard for the approach of British women to environmental matters. I am the first to pay them warm tribute and to compliment them on the way in which they have spearheaded the consumer- led reduction in the use of CFCs. I am glad to have this opportunity to put that on the record.

Perhaps in Committee we can examine what the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett) meant when he talked about state capitalism, which is a new term used to describe those Governments, if they can be called Governments, in eastern Europe who are being emancipated. It is state capitalism that many of us do not understand, and perhaps we can study it in Committee.

As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State said, the Bill is not our final word on the environment. As a result of his personal initiative, we shall publish a major White Paper on the environment later this year. I assure the House that every aspect of environmental protection will be fully and comprehensively covered. That will include the environmental protection commission to which my hon. Friends the Members for Hertfordshire, West and Basingstoke (Mr. Hunter) referred.

Mr. Dalyell : In a case where there is argument as to what is a Scottish issue and what is an issue for Great Britain--I think particularly of the flow country--who, under the Minister's proposals, decides?

Mr. Trippier : We are going a little wider than Great Britain--we are talking about the United Kingdom, not Great Britain, as I shall make clear later. The issue would be decided by the statutory joint committee which will be set up under the powers of the Bill, the chairman of which, Professor Holliday, was announced today. The call of the hon. Member for Dagenham for measures to comply especially with the fourth environmental action programme of the European Community and with other international commitments overlooks the fact that many of the clauses ensure compliance with that programme. In several cases, the Bill goes much further.

Part I allows us to implement the large plants directive and to control discharges in line with Community legislation. IPC puts us in the lead in Europe with a philosophy that is attracting much overseas attention. Part II strengthens the licensing provisions that implement EC

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legislation on waste and the controls on the imports of hazardous waste are stronger than Community legislation. I know that the hon. Member for Wentworth (Mr. Hardy) will particularly welcome that. The proposed new powers and duties on recycling will put us in good stead with forthcoming Community legislation, as my hon. Friend the Member for Hornchurch said. The control of genetically modified organisms puts us ahead of the game, as do the provisions on public access to information and the provisions, writ large in the Bill, on studying existing chemicals. Those provisions will give us greater powers than those proposed in the draft directive. All that does not look to me as though the Government are ignoring their international obligations--quite the opposite. The same is true of the commitments that we have made outside the Bill.

Mr. George Howarth : How will the provisions on commercial confidentiality facilitate public information?

Mr. Trippier : I am delighted to repeat the assurance that my right hon. Friend gave. We shall be rigorous, not only in Committee but, given our responsibility as Ministers, to ensure that commercial confidentiality is not used as an excuse for keeping information which is vital to the public off the copies of registers to be held in every town hall.

I have referred to what the Bill does, but we are not just talking about the Bill. We have already signed the Montreal protocol and the Noordwijk declaration. Given the fact that the previous Labour Government spent five years in office without even implementing part II of the Control of Pollution Act 1974, I find it impossible to stomach the strictures and allegations of delays made by the hon. Member for Dagenham.

I am still amazed at Opposition Members criticising our proposals to devolve responsibilities for conservation to new bodies in Scotland, England and Wales. It seems that it is the policy of the Labour party to foist new Parliaments on the people of Scotland and Wales, but not to trust them to run and staff their own nature conservation agencies. I remind the House that the NCC had a raw deal under the previous Labour Government. We inherited expenditure on the NCC to the tune of £8 million ; next year that expenditure will be more than £45 million.

The Bill embodies our absolute commitment to secure a substantial and permanent reduction in the national scandal of litter which disfigures our streets, desecrates our public places and debases many areas of otherwise spectacular beauty. That was the principal message of my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Burns). My hon. Friend the Member for Devizes (Sir C. Morrison) asked me about future responsibility for litter on and at the side of motorways. That will be the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, who is reviewing the frequency of litter clearance in those black spots.

There are still far too many people who do not realise that dropping litter is an anti-social, filthy and personally degrading act. Some local authorities are doing their utmost to tackle litter. The Bill will ensure that they all do so. It will bring nearer the day when those who pollute and litter, and those who suffer as a consequence will know that the British people will no longer tolerate abuse of their environment. We have a responsibility to harness whatever skills we have and pass on to our children not

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only higher living standards and a better quality of life, but a purer, cleaner and safer environment. I commend the Bill to the House.

Question put, That the amendment be made :--

The House divided : Ayes 202, Noes 282.

Division No. 35] [10 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane

Allen, Graham

Anderson, Donald

Armstrong, Hilary

Ashley, Rt Hon Jack

Ashton, Joe

Banks, Tony (Newham NW)

Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)

Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich)

Barron, Kevin

Battle, John

Beckett, Margaret

Benn, Rt Hon Tony

Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)

Bermingham, Gerald

Bidwell, Sydney

Blair, Tony

Blunkett, David

Boateng, Paul

Boyes, Roland

Bradley, Keith

Bray, Dr Jeremy

Brown, Gordon (D'mline E)

Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)

Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith)

Buchan, Norman

Buckley, George J.

Caborn, Richard

Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)

Campbell-Savours, D. N.

Canavan, Dennis

Cartwright, John

Clark, Dr David (S Shields)

Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)

Clay, Bob

Clelland, David

Clwyd, Mrs Ann

Cohen, Harry

Coleman, Donald

Cook, Robin (Livingston)

Corbett, Robin

Corbyn, Jeremy

Cousins, Jim

Cox, Tom

Crowther, Stan

Cryer, Bob

Cummings, John

Cunliffe, Lawrence

Cunningham, Dr John

Dalyell, Tam

Darling, Alistair

Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)

Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)

Dewar, Donald

Dixon, Don

Dobson, Frank

Doran, Frank

Dunnachie, Jimmy

Dunwoody, Hon Mrs Gwyneth

Eadie, Alexander

Evans, John (St Helens N)

Field, Frank (Birkenhead)

Fields, Terry (L'pool B G'n)

Fisher, Mark

Flannery, Martin

Flynn, Paul

Foot, Rt Hon Michael

Foster, Derek

Foulkes, George

Fraser, John

Fyfe, Maria

Galloway, George

Garrett, John (Norwich South)

Garrett, Ted (Wallsend)

Godman, Dr Norman A.

Gordon, Mildred

Gould, Bryan

Graham, Thomas

Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)

Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)

Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)

Grocott, Bruce

Hardy, Peter

Harman, Ms Harriet

Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy

Haynes, Frank

Healey, Rt Hon Denis

Heffer, Eric S.

Henderson, Doug

Hinchliffe, David

Hoey, Ms Kate (Vauxhall)

Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)

Home Robertson, John

Hood, Jimmy

Howarth, George (Knowsley N)

Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath)

Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)

Hoyle, Doug

Hughes, John (Coventry NE)

Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)

Hughes, Roy (Newport E)

Illsley, Eric

Ingram, Adam

Janner, Greville

Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)

Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)

Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald

Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil

Lambie, David

Lamond, James

Leadbitter, Ted

Leighton, Ron

Lewis, Terry

Litherland, Robert

Livingstone, Ken

Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)

Lofthouse, Geoffrey

Loyden, Eddie

McAllion, John

McAvoy, Thomas

McCartney, Ian

Macdonald, Calum A.

McFall, John

McKay, Allen (Barnsley West)

McKelvey, William

McLeish, Henry

McNamara, Kevin

McWilliam, John

Madden, Max

Mahon, Mrs Alice

Marek, Dr John

Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)

Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)

Martlew, Eric

Maxton, John

Meacher, Michael

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