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Column 76

Corston, Ms Jean

Cousins, Jim

Cox, Tom

Cryer, Bob

Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE)

Dafis, Cynog

Dalyell, Tam

Davidson, Ian

Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)

Dixon, Don

Dowd, Jim

Enright, Derek

Etherington, Bill

Ewing, Mrs Margaret

Faulds, Andrew

Flynn, Paul

Foster, Rt Hon Derek

Foster, Don (Bath)

Foulkes, George

Fyfe, Maria

Garrett, John

George, Bruce

Gerrard, Neil

Godman, Dr Norman A.

Golding, Mrs Llin

Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)

Gunnell, John

Hall, Mike

Hardy, Peter

Hill, Keith (Streatham)

Hinchliffe, David

Home Robertson, John

Howarth, George (Knowsley N)

Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)

Jackson, Glenda (H'stead)

Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)

Johnston, Sir Russell

Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Mo n)

Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW)

Kirkwood, Archy

Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)

Llwyd, Elfyn

Lynne, Ms Liz

McAllion, John

McCartney, Ian

McFall, John

McMaster, Gordon

Maddock, Mrs Diana

Mandelson, Peter

Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S)

Maxton, John

Meale, Alan

Michael, Alun

Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll Bute)

Miller, Andrew

Mullin, Chris

O'Brien, Michael (N W'kshire)

O'Hara, Edward

Orme, Rt Hon Stanley

Patchett, Terry

Pickthall, Colin

Pike, Peter L.

Powell, Ray (Ogmore)

Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lew'm E)

Prescott, John

Raynsford, Nick

Rendel, David

Robertson, George (Hamilton)

Roche, Mrs. Barbara

Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)

Salmond, Alex

Shore, Rt Hon Peter

Short, Clare

Skinner, Dennis

Smith, C. (Isl'ton S & F'sbury)

Spearing, Nigel

Squire, Rachel (Dunfermline W)

Taylor, Matthew (Truro)

Tyler, Paul

Walley, Joan

Watson, Mike

Welsh, Andrew

Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)

Tellers for the Noes :

Mr. Andrew Mackinlay and

Mr. Michael Connarty.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Mrs. Margaret Ewing (Moray) : On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. During the last debate you ruled from the Chair, quite clearly and effectively, that who is called during the course of a debate is a matter for those who represent Madam Speaker in the Chair, and that decisions are taken on the basis of fairness. We accept that ruling. However, during the debate the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State clearly stated that my hon. Friend the Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) was not being called because of events that happened last week. That seems to me to have been a direct threat to the constitutional rights of Back Benchers to speak out on behalf of their constituents or on behalf of their nation.

If the records show that those were the comments of the Minister--we can look at both written and oral evidence of the debate--will the Minister be asked to withdraw those comments in the interests of fairness, which you spelled out so clearly?

Mr. Deputy Speaker : Order. I suggest that we read the Hansard--

Mrs. Ewing : And the recordings.

Mr. Deputy Speaker : I suggest that we read the Hansard recordings tomorrow.

Mrs. Ewing : And watch the video.

Column 77

Sustainable Development (Rio Summit)

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.-- [Mr. Andrew Mitchell.]

[Relevant documents : The First Report of the Environment Committee of Session 1992-93 on Forestry and the Environment (House of Commons Paper, 1992-93, No. 257) and the Government's Response thereto (Cm. 2259).]

7.24 pm

The Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. John Selwyn Gummer) : On 25 January, the Government presented to Parliament four exceptional documents. Each of those was presented by no fewer than 16 members of the Cabinet, including my right hon. Friends with responsibilities ranging over economic and environmental protection. Among them were Trade and Industry, Agriculture and Fisheries, the Exchequer, Health, Defence, Heritage, Science, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and of course the Foreign Office with its interest in overseas development. They raise issues with the widest possible implications, for the principles set out in those papers must increasingly underpin Government policies across the board. Unfortunately, that concern goes under a typically unlovely 20th century name : sustainable development. The term was, as one might imagine, coined by a committee, albeit a distinguished international one. The Brundtland commission in 1987 described sustainable development in this carefully defined prose :

"Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

I prefer to say that we are working for economic growth without cheating on our children.

We must continually stress the two sides of that equation : economic development and environmental protection. Sustainable development is not anti-growth. Indeed, it cannot be achieved except through growth. It cannot be achieved except through the maintenance of a prosperous economy. It depends on the encouragement of profitable, competitive, world-class industries. For modern demands for high standards of living will not abate ; they are bound to continue to increase. It is successful private enterprise which will find new ways of meeting those demands in an increasingly sustainable manner.

It is profitable companies which will develop new solutions to environmental problems--problems such as air pollution. It is profitable companies which are already selling the environmentally sound processes throughout the world, processes which have been developed here in the United Kingdom.

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