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has allowed Regal and Silk Cut to produce advertisements deliberately designed to interest children in smoking and to ensure that they maintain the habit.

The Minister also announced a ban on the advertising of tobacco products in computer games. I assume that the reason for the ban is that the Government now accept in principle the concept that the advertising of tobacco products to children is harmful and that it is also harmful to the public in general. Therefore, why not ban completely the use of any other products for tobacco advertising ? The Government cannot have it both ways. If they accept in principle the notion that a ban is necessary because of the harmful nature of a product, the ban should be extended. The simplest way to proceed would be to allow the House time next week to pass the Bill introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Rother Valley (Mr. Barron).

Mr. Sackville : Let me first deal with the contemptible allegation that the Government have been influenced by the tobacco industry. Does the hon. Gentleman think that if such influence existed we would have increased the price of tobacco products in every successive Budget to a greater extent than almost every other European country ? In this country a packet of 20 cigarettes of the most popular brand costs about £2.50 whereas in some other European countries it costs between 40p and 50p. Does he think that our increases are the actions of a Government who have been influenced by the tobacco industry ? The hon. Gentleman tries to rubbish the voluntary agreement which we are strengthening. I remind him that, since the agreement has been in effect, the number of people smoking in this country has declined progressively. In many other countries where there has been a ban there have often been smaller decreases in the numbers smoking. Indeed, the hon. Member for Torfaen (Mr. Murphy) said in the debate on the Trade Marks Bill :

"In other countries, cigarette advertising is banned. In Hungary, there is no advertising of cigarettes, but there has been an enormous growth in the consumption of cigarettes."--[ Official Report , 18 April 1994 ; Vol. 241, c. 671.]

Several hon. Members rose

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Geoffrey Lofthouse) : Order. Before I call hon. Members, I must point out that I am looking for short questions and short answers.

Sir Terence Higgins (Worthing) : My hon. Friend the Minister enumerated the practices that would not be allowed in future. Will he enumerate the forms of advertising that will still be permitted ? Is it not absolutely clear that the continuation of that advertising will lead to a deterioration in health ?

Mr. Sackville : I have said that there will be a limited amount of poster advertising, but I have pointed out that under the new limit the spend will be only 30 per cent. of the equivalent spend in 1980. That is a considerable reduction in spending. There will continue to be certain promotional items inside shops, for example. Many of the important parts of the advertising programme of the tobacco industry will no longer happen ; they will be reduced progressively. I think that my right hon. Friend will agree that that is a major step in the right direction.

Ms Liz Lynne (Rochdale) : I am delighted that the Minister has at long last made a statement to the House. He was forced to do so because he tried to slip the statement in during a debate on amendments to the Tobacco

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Advertising Bill. How can he think that the voluntary agreement has worked ? He does not appear to have commissioned any research into the matter. Will he now commission research into the voluntary agreement and then tell the House what that research is ? Will he ask the tobacco industry to open the monitoring committee to the public so that they may be aware of what is happening ?

Why is there nothing in the statement about inserts in comics or about advertising in magazines and newspapers ? Will there be no voluntary agreement on that ? Does not the Minister now see that a voluntary agreement does not work and that, therefore, the Tobacco Advertising Bill should have gone forward ?

Mr. Sackville : I remind the hon. Lady that we take the view that a voluntary agreement is the way forward. There is no absolute proof of the effects of advertising, whether in terms of overall consumption or in terms of switching brands. There are no absolutes in this : we cannot be certain. All we know is that we shall continue to follow a programme of removing advertising from children as much as possible and that we shall ensure that anything that we do has that theme.

Mr. Roger Sims (Chislehurst) : The Department of Health accepts that smoking is harmful per se and seeks in "The Health of the Nation" to reduce its incidence. Does it accept that advertising influences consumption ? If advertising does not influence consumption, what is the point of trying to reduce advertising ? If it does influence consumption, why negotiate to allow advertising to continue at all ? Why not ban it altogether ?

Mr. Sackville : That is the key question which surrounds the whole debate. We take the view that to seek to ban the advertising of a substance that is itself legal is wrong. We seek, therefore, to take action that is in proportion to the available evidence of the impact of advertising. That is what controls our entire policy.

Mr. Kevin Barron (Rother Valley) : This is the 11th time that the voluntary agreement has been renegotiated. On each occasion, the agreement has restricted advertising. The reason, quite simply, is that advertising increases not only brand share but consumption. The Minister says that poster sites must be outside a 200 m radius of school entrances. Under the existing voluntary agreement there has supposedly been a restriction on posters that are visible from schools for some time. Yet the Minister knows fine well that that restriction has been breached. I have here photographic evidence, compiled by a doctor in London, which shows that the restriction has been breached in the case of more than two thirds of the schools included in the survey. Will the Minister now tell us what policing and monitoring there will be of the voluntary agreement, which has been broken time and again, while our children are being induced to take up this habit, which prematurely kills many hundreds of people each day ?

Mr. Sackville : I have made it clear that we are putting extra resources into the monitoring of the agreement. We are serious about the agreement. My right hon. Friend, who negotiated it, and the Department of Health will be making quite certain that the industry will stick to what it has agreed to. That cannot always be said of statutory bans. Once a statutory ban is introduced, companies go to great

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lengths to try to get round the letter of the law. Companies will stay within the spirit of the law and, if not, they know the consequences.

Sir Peter Emery (Honiton) : I thank my hon. Friend for apologising to the House. I am certain that the House accepts his apology. First, does my hon. Friend accept his own figures that show that lung cancer, especially among women, is on the increase ? Secondly, does he accept that that has been caused mainly by smoking ? If that is the case, why have we an agreement that is to last for five years ? Surely, if it is to be of any use at all, it should be for a much shorter period so that we can get on with trying to stop advertising altogether.

Mr. Sackville : We have the freedom to review the agreement at any time. I agree with my right hon. Friend that it is appalling that more young women are smoking and that there seems to be a higher incidence of lung cancer among young women. We all agree that we want to reduce smoking. What we are about is deciding how to do that, and we disagree with my right hon. Friend on that point.

The Government believe strongly that the voluntary agreement has been a success and that it will continue. It is only part of a comprehensive package, which includes, as I said earlier, action on price by having almost the most expensive cigarettes in Europe and a large, extra budget for an advertising campaign to demonstrate the dangers of smoking. It is a part of a package. My right hon. Friend must not--I hope that he does not-- go down the path of thinking that advertising is the only aspect that affects matters. It is a totem around which many people dance ; it is not the only part of our programme.

Mr. Deputy Speaker : It is becoming obvious to me that the appeal that I made a few moments ago for short questions and short answers has fallen on deaf ears. If that continues to be the case, many hon. Members who wish to speak will not be successful.

Mr. Joseph Ashton (Bassetlaw) : Is the Minister aware that, in the Select Committee on National Heritage two or three weeks ago, the tobacco companies admitted that they were spending £8 million on television sponsorship of snooker--by Benson and Hedges--of horse racing, of rugby league and of other sporting programmes on which they are advertising despite all the bans ? The Minister has mentioned nothing about any restraints on that. The reason why the Government have given the Minister those few tokens to announce is to enable them to spend cash in future.

Mr. Sackville : That is a matter for my ministerial colleagues in the Department of National Heritage. The hon. Gentleman knows about the question of sports promotion. To describe what I have said today as "tokens" when one considers the enormous reductions in spending that are implied by them is very wide of the mark.

Mr. Peter Bottomley (Eltham) : Does my hon. Friend accept that the incidence of smoking ranges from 6 per cent. among doctors to about 75 per cent. among mothers on income support and that children with parents who smoke are two and a half times more likely to smoke ? Does

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he agree that, as well as the discussions about the voluntary agreement and the Bill, the most important thing is to act on what people know and on what influences them ?

Mr. Sackville : I absolutely agree with the research about which my hon. Friend speaks that is related to the influence of parents. The evidence that there is a very much higher likelihood of children whose parents smoke taking up smoking themselves is overwhelming.

Mr. D. N. Campbell-Savours (Workington) : Is not the real reason why the Government have not been prepared to ban tobacco advertising to be found in the letter from Imperial Tobacco Ltd. of 27 January 1992, which states clearly that the Government did a deal with Imperial Tobacco not to ban advertising during this Parliament ? That is why we cannot pass the legislation and that is why we have a voluntary agreement, which we all know will not work. Is not it the snidy little deals done in smoke-filled back rooms that has led to the Government's squirming on this occasion ?

Mr. Sackville : The Government have no wish to ban tobacco advertising. We mean to go on ensuring that we have a comprehensive package, including restrictions on advertising, to reduce the incidence of smoking among the population as a whole.

Sir Trevor Skeet (Bedfordshire, North) : The Minister has prescribed very harsh terms in his statement. May I ask a question on one term ? If there is to be a health warning on promotional material such as beer mats, how far does he intend to go down that route ?

Mr. Sackville : That is a matter of the definition of promotional material. It may become a factor between the two sides. That is precisely why a voluntary ban can be much more effective than a ban that seeks to define exactly the definitions. The tobacco industry must remain within the spirit of the definition. We all know what we regard as promotional material. If the industry goes outside that common-sense definition, it will know the consequences.

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones (Ynys Mo n) : Will the Minister acknowledge that, despite the introduction of the voluntary code, the tobacco industry will be spending far more money on advertising than the money that health promotion units will have to spend on preventing smoking, especially among young children ? Until the Government are prepared to accept the contents of the Tobacco Advertising Bill or a similar Bill, will the Minister ensure that health promotion units receive comparable sums ?

Mr. Sackville : If we think that further resources are needed for promotional campaigns, we shall make those resources available. As was said earlier, with 20 per cent. of the space on advertising posters containing health warnings, we shall get a huge amount of free anti-smoking material, to which the public are subject. That is something that must not be overlooked.

Rev. William McCrea (Mid-Ulster) : Will the Minister tell the House how many young people's lives he expects to save through the action which he has announced today ? What of the other vulnerable young people ? Are their lives to be consigned to the dustbin like the Bill today ?

Mr. Sackville : The hon. Gentleman knows that there is no absolute research on the different motivations of people taking up smoking. We can try to continue to provide a

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package of measures to persuade people not to take up smoking. If the hon. Gentleman is saying that he would ban all tobacco products, that is another matter.

Mr. Andrew F. Bennett (Denton and Reddish) : First, may I press the Minister to apologise to the House, rather than to blame the Vote Office, for dodging making a proper statement ? Secondly, will he ask the question put by the hon. Member for Mid-Ulster (Rev. William McCrea) : how many lives does he expect to be saved ? Will he confirm that there will be a cut in the tobacco industry's donation to the Tory party as a result of the voluntary agreement ?

Mr. Sackville : I apologised unreservedly. I would not blame the Vote Office, my officials or any officials of the House for anything that happened. I would be happy to repeat my apology. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman was not in the Chamber when I made it.

Does the hon. Gentleman seriously think that a Government who have progressively increased the tax on the products of a company are likely to be seeking donations from that company ?

Mr. Richard Alexander (Newark) : My hon. Friend has announced an increase in the amount of space on an advertisement that must be devoted to the health warning. Does it follow that the Government feel that the health warning has been effective in reducing tobacco consumption ? If they do, do they agree that we should not ban all tobacco advertising ?

Mr. Sackville : We agree that we should not ban all tobacco advertising. We seek to restrict it, and we seek to strengthen the effect of the warnings that it contains. The lettering has been increased to make warnings more visible, which was precisely what we were advised to do by ASH. That is what we are delivering.

Ms Janet Anderson (Rossendale and Darwen) : The press release states that the Government will introduce

"a new code of practice to help ensure that free samples of cigarettes are not available to under 18s".

It is my understanding that that code of practice already exists in the current voluntary agreement. Is the fact that the Minister feels bound to introduce a new code of practice to ensure that restriction evidence that the existing one is not working ? If so, is it not self-evident that the voluntary agreement does not work ?

Mr. Sackville : Obviously there are parts of the current agreement that are unsatisfactory or need improvement, which is why we are announcing improvements.

Mr. Alan Howarth (Stratford-on-Avon) : If we are to proceed by way of a voluntary agreement rather than by a ban on advertising, which I greatly regret, the new voluntary agreement is a significant improvement on its predecessor. To that extent, I congratulate my hon. Friend the Minister and his right hon. Friends on what they have achieved in the negotiations. But if the Department of Health is serious about its responsibility--to promote the health of the nation--it will concentrate on it singlemindedly and judge policies by their results. He can very well justify a ban on the advertising of tobacco products, which would reduce consumption, while retaining the legality of the sale of the tobacco products. We do not want to criminalise the tobacco trade as that would lead to effects comparable to those of prohibition in

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the United States of America. It would cause a new set of evils. My hon. Friend need have no difficulty in making that distinction.

Mr. Sackville : I thank my hon. Friend for his remarks, given his views on the subject and the Bill, which I know. I take what he says very seriously.

Mr. Michael Clapham (Barnsley, West and Penistone) : In his press release the Minister refers to

"the removal of all small poster advertising for cigarettes and hand- rolling tobacco".

Does that cover cigar and pipe tobacco ? Does it cover the advertising of a promotion or brand name ?

Mr. Sackville : As the hon. Gentleman may know, negotiations are currently being held with the European Community about the bearing of warnings on single cigar packaging. That matter has to be negotiated, but all such matters are being progressively tightened up.

Mr. Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley) : The House knows my retail experience and interest in the subject. Does my hon. Friend agree that advertising is not a factor in the consumption of tobacco products ? If that were so, the consumption of a hand-rolling tobacco called Drum would not be as high as it is--it has the third largest share of the market in this country when it is not legally sold here--but would be outstripped by Amber Leaf and Rolled Gold. Those tobaccos are made in this country by tobacco companies in this country ; they can advertise and have special offers in this country.

Mr. Sackville : My hon. Friend probably has more expertise on the likely effect of advertising than anyone else in the Chamber, and I thank him for his comments.

Mr. John Carlisle (Luton, North) : Does my hon. Friend accept that the sponsorship of sport by tobacco companies is outside the agreement, so will be subject to other negotiations ? I think that he will share my concern that Opposition Members might find it difficult were sponsorship to be withdrawn from many such events. They would not be able to enjoy those events that they now attend freely and watch on television. Those events allow them to enjoy, not the hospitality, but the generosity of tobacco companies.

Mr. Sackville : I am sure that my hon. Friend's remarks will be heard by the Department for National Heritage.

Mr. Andrew Miller (Ellesmere Port and Neston) : Will the Minister answer the question posed by my hon. Friend the Member for Makerfield (Mr. McCartney) about computer games ? Will he confirm that there is no evidence to show a distinction between the effects on young people of advertising in computer games and the effects on them of advertising in other media to which they are introduced, such as inserts in comics ?

Mr. Sackville : Clearly we must ensure that advertising and promotion is not allowed in relation to any items that are aimed specifically at young people. That provision must become part of the agreement.

Mr. John Austin-Walker (Woolwich) : No doubt the Minister is aware of the memorandum from the Secretary of State for the Environment to the Prime Minister last November in which he said that, if the Government wanted to be seen to be serious about wishing to reduce the

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prevalence of smoking and to improve health, they would introduce an outright ban on tobacco advertising. May we take it from his statement today that the Government do not wish to be seen to be serious about tackling the problem ?

Mr. Sackville : The Government are extremely serious about tackling the problem in a number of ways. The idea that an advertising ban is the only thing which must be addressed to try to reduce the incidence of smoking is a complete myth.

Mr. Toby Jessel (Twickenham) : Does my hon. Friend agree that the health warning would be very much more effective if the size of the lettering was increased by more than a mere 80 per cent. ? The lettering is so small at the moment that it is often hardly legible. If the space for the warning is to be increased to 20 per cent. of the poster, will not that waste of lot of space ? Would not it be better to increase the size of the lettering by more than 80 per cent. ?

Mr. Sackville : We have arrived at the answer of a minimum of 6 in because we believe that that is generally readable at some 210 ft. We regard that as a fair distance.

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Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall

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

3.5 pm

Mr. Toby Jessel (Twickenham) : Any hon. Member initiating a new debate this weekend will wish to join in the tributes to the late right hon. and learned Gentleman, the Leader of the Opposition, following his sudden death yesterday, and I certainly make no apology for doing so. I came to know him in 1982 on a 10-day Commonwealth Parliamentary Association delegation to India, and I grew to like respect and him immensely. He will be greatly missed.

I am grateful for the opportunity to raise the subject of the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall, Twickenham, which must be done in the context of the current defence cost study.

Kneller Hall is one of the glories of our country. It trains British Army bands which are the envy of the entire world. They have a high standard of excellence. They lift the spirits of the nation. Who does not feel uplifted by the sight and sound of a British Army band on one of our royal or state occasions ? The bands are without doubt one of our finest traditions. As part of the traditional British scene, they help to attract visitors whose spending generates employment and income and yields tax to the Government. The amount of that yield cannot be exactly measured, but it undoubtedly exists. Allowance should be made for it, and some such allowance should be offset against the cost of bands.

The immensely high standard of British Army bands is linked inextricably with the famous name of Kneller Hall, the Royal Military School of Music at Whitton, which is in the Twickenham constituency. It trains Army bandmasters and instrumentalists to a level of precision, strength, control and musicianship, which in military music has never been surpassed.

It is an efficient training. It is tried and proven, its quality and fame distilled from vast experience and woven into an effective system. Kneller Hall is also enormously popular--some 25,000 visitors pay to come annually to its celebrated outdoor summer concerts. The bandmasters and pupils benefit from the stimulus of an audience, 80 per cent. of whom are said to come from within 10 miles.

Within Twickenham and Whitton, Kneller Hall is a highly prized asset. Many of the audiences come from within my constituency, and many come from that of my hon. Friend the Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Mr. Deva), since Kneller Hall is right on his boundary. I hope that my hon. Friend will catch your eye later, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Many also come from the constituency of the Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond and Barnes (Mr. Hanley). He has always been most supportive of Kneller Hall. I remind the House that, in 1986, he seconded my early-day motion in response to the proposal from the then Secretary of State for Defence to close Kneller Hall. As it was a long motion, I shall read just part of it :

"That this House pays tribute to the high standards of excellence of the bands of the Army trained at Kneller Hall, Twickenham, the Royal Marines trained at Deal"--

I am glad to see my hon. Friend the Member for Dover (Mr. Shaw) in his place

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"the Royal Air Force trained at Uxbridge, all of which add splendour to Royal and State occasions . . . takes note ofthe . . . Report of the Public Accounts Committee which

expresses grave disquiet that the Ministry of Defence should have decided on a joint Defence School of Music which would disrupt the training of service musicians and entail expenditure of £10 million before carrying out a full investment appraisal . . . and hopes that band training will long continue to flourish at Kneller Hall, Twickenham, at Deal and at Uxbridge respectively."

That early-day motion was signed by 163 Conservative Members, of whom 95 are still here, including 14 Ministers and Whips in the present Government. They included not only my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond and Barnes, who is now Minister of State for the Armed Forces and will reply to the debate--at that time, he had the freedom of the Back Benches--but his parliamentary secretary Viscount Cranborne and my hon. Friends the Members for Shrewsbury and Atcham (Mr. Conway), who is sitting on the Front Bench as the defence Whip, and for Romford (Sir M. Neubert), whom I am glad to see in his place as he is a distinguished wind musician as well as a former Defence Minister.

Outside the Government and these Benches, may I say, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that two of your colleagues in the Chair, my hon. Friends the Members for Northampton, South (Mr. Morris) and for Plymouth, Drake (Dame J. Fookes), also signed the same early-day motion ? At that time they, too, had the freedom of the Back Benches. In the debate on the Army on 4 May, my hon. Friend the Minister said :

"Support areas make a vital contribution to the front line." Britain has one of the world's best armies. Its courage, skill, professionalism and self-control are legendary. That has been proven time and time again under fire, as in the Falklands, the Gulf, Northern Ireland and Bosnia. My hon. Friend also said :

"The UK contribution to current UN operations in former Yugoslavia is second to none in terms of its professionalism, efficiency and effectiveness."--[ Official Report , 4 May 1994 ; Vol. 242, c. 727- 38.]

I fully endorse those words.

As a naval man--I served for six years in the Royal Navy--I know of the superb military qualities of the British Army which are hugely respected at home and abroad. Those qualities flow from the motive of regimental loyalty. Regimental loyalty is a powerful motivator. Just as in the Royal Navy a man will not want to let his shipmates down, so in the army a man will not want to let down his mates in his regiment. Regimental loyalty is territorially based. It is intense. It is purposely fostered. Without doubt, it is the mainspring of what makes the British Army tick.

Loyalty to Crown and country is strongly buttressed by loyalty to colonel- in-chief, to badge and to band. If the bands are weakened, so are our defences. If that motivation is undermined, so are the high standards of professionalism, as shown in Bosnia. My hon. Friend rightly paid tribute to that in his speech on 4 May.

Last time round in 1983, it took me nine meetings with different Ministers ; it took me raising the subject 17 times in the House ; it took the early- day motion signed by 163 hon. and right hon. Members on this side of the House ; it took a petition signed by 16,000 people ; and it took asking the Public Accounts Committee to report on the finances of the proposal to close Kneller Hall made by the then Secretary of State for Defence in his 1983 White Paper. In its first conclusion the Select Committee on Public Accounts said :

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"We are gravely disquieted that the Ministry of Defence should have decided"

to close Kneller Hall

"before carrying out a full investment appraisal. We were therefore glad to receive the Ministry of Defence's undertaking that, in future, such appraisals would be carried out wherever a financial investment was contemplated and the results would be reported to Ministers before a decision was made."

In the end we got the Government to reverse their decision to close Kneller Hall. That decision was taken in March 1987. I tell my hon. Friend the Minister that while I am not asking to go through all that palaver again, I am absolutely ready to do so if needs must--and to double it. He can save himself and the Secretary of State a very great deal of trouble by doing the right thing and announcing in July that they will keep Kneller Hall open.

Incidentally I remind the Secretary of State, who has promised to read the report of this debate, that his appointment as a member of the Cabinet of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister was approved by Her Majesty the Queen while she was at Kneller Hall in November 1990. The list of names was submitted to the Queen by telephone. She had decided not to stay in Buckingham Palace that afternoon but to carry on with her visit to mark the completion of the restoration of Kneller Hall following the Government's decision in 1987 to reprieve the Royal Military School of Music from closure. I ask my hon. Friend the Minister to remind me of the cost of that restoration which was carried out in 1987-90.

I hope that the Minister will confirm that the Government would never countenance any suggestion, as has sometimes been put about, that army bandsmen should be trained at civilian music colleges such as the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music. A moment's thought would show that that would never work.

As a form of higher education those fine colleges train gifted young people, mainly those who are 18-plus and have reached grade 9 or above as singers or composers, or for solo work, for chamber music or for orchestras. I am second to none in my admiration of our symphony orchestras, but those colleges cannot train military musicians. They cannot train people to march as they play and to stay exactly in line as they march with military precision out of doors and in all weathers. We would still need a place to train military bands.

Can the Minister imagine the Halle orchestra performing at the trooping of the colour, at which I have no doubt he will be present next month on Horse Guards parade ? Can the academic colleges of music train music bandmasters, army band conductors, and army band leaders ? Can they handle security measures and the ring fencing of their colleges that the training of army personnel would have to entail ? Have those colleges, which are already oversubscribed, been asked whether they could accept such conditions ?

Without doubt we need to retain a military school of music whether on its own or merged with the training of Royal Marine bands which would, of course, be warmly welcomed at Twickenham if, unfortunately, they were not able to stay at Deal.

Mr. David Shaw (Dover) : Does my hon. Friend accept that if there were to be combined school of music his bandsmen would also be welcome at Deal ?

Mr. Jessel : I am sure that they would be welcome, but they would not be welcome to leave Twickenham, and I

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shall give my hon. Friend, the House and the Minister eight reasons why the training of the bandsmen should stay at Twickenham. First, Kneller Hall is a world-famous institution. Secondly, a large sum has been spent on it as recently as 1987-90, following the decision in March 1987 to reprieve Kneller Hall. Thirdly, it remains easily the largest of the three, so that any other solution would be the tail wagging the dog. Fourthly, as it is only half an hour from central London, the specialist music tuition can be given by top instrumentalists from London orchestras, who would not be so ready to make journeys of two, three or four hours to the coast, whether in Devon, Hampshire or Kent. Fifthly, it has a good bandstand. Sixthly, it draws large audiences. That is part of the training. They also bring in some money. Seventhly, due to past reductions in bands, it has the capacity to take in the training of the Royal Marines, Royal Air Force bands, or both, without much additional expenditure on modernisation. Eighthly, it could not be sold for much. My hon. Friend the Minister should regard any figures that he has given on that not merely with caution but with the deepest scepticism. As we are now halfway through the debate, as I am hoping that my hon. Friend the Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Mr. Deva) will catch your eye, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and as I want to leave plenty of time for my hon. Friend the Minister, I shall not enlarge on that eighth point now, but will write to my hon. Friend.

I hope that my hon. Friend the Minister will able to declare today that in no way will he ever put at risk the superb standards of that internationally famous institution which is Kneller Hall.

3.20 pm

Mr. Nirj Joseph Deva (Brentford and Isleworth) : I am extremely grateful that I have the opportunity to speak in the Adjournment debate of my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel). I commend his speech to the House.

I could not add more to enlighten the House on how important Kneller Hall is to the people of London and the nation. I merely want to say that Kneller Hall it is a very important attribute to the welfare and cultural aspects of my constituents. As you know, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Brentford, Isleworth and Hounslow are exposed to the rigours of environmental pollution, motorway traffic and Heathrow airport. The people of Brentford and Isleworth, and particularly the people of Hounslow, do not have outdoor facilities near their homes, other than Kneller Hall. In the summer, some 5,000 people go there to enjoy the excellent music provided by the Royal Military School. Kneller Hall has been a national installation. It has provided the people of Brentford and Isleworth with the only available easily accessible source of music, including military music, in the past several decades. We have heard from my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham why it has been a national institution. It provides the people of west London with a national asset of very high quality. Some 25,000 people a year go there to be entertained and, in the summer particularly, the people of the somewhat deprived parts of my constituency have only that place to go to follow some cultural activity.

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