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Mrs. Beckett: I am aware of the great interest and concern about these matters. Indeed, having had such an issue raised in my constituency I, probably like my hon. Friend, have ploughed through the literature and am well aware how far from clear the position is. The matter is being kept under review, but I shall certainly draw his remarks to the attention of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.

Mr. John Bercow (Buckingham): Can we please have a full debate as soon as possible in Government time on cancer services? Does the Leader of the House agree that it would be made particularly timely by tonight's palace of varieties' concert in which no fewer than 21 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum are participating, including the right hon. Lady, my hon. Friend the Member for South Staffordshire (Sir P. Cormack) and me? Does she accept that members of the public would think it appropriate that, whatever our views about the solutions to the problem, the House should have a full debate as early as possible about a disease from which at some stage in life no less than one person in three has the misfortune to suffer?

Mrs. Beckett: The hon. Gentleman is right. The whole House shares the concern about cancer services and is anxious that they are provided to the highest possible standards. I am not sure that I am entirely grateful to him for drawing attention to the fact that such a large number of us are making fools of ourselves in a good cause. My participation is not entirely voluntary as the invitation was accepted by my husband without consulting me, but there you go.

Mr. David Winnick (Walsall, North): Is my right hon. Friend aware that, although I profoundly disagree with what the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) said yesterday--there was no justification for his remarks--I also disagree with my hon. Friend the Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours)? The trouble with the hon. Member for Macclesfield is that, unlike me, he is an excitable person.

Remembering the exercise that was organised by Opposition Back Benchers yesterday, when, clearly, Opposition Front Benchers were not in control of matters, will she bear it in mind that, as we near what could be a crisis point over Northern Ireland, many Members on the Opposition Back Benches--not the Front Bench--together with some Unionists, are determined to do what they can to undermine the Good Friday agreement? They are not just arguing about the lack of decommissioning. They were against the Good Friday agreement from the beginning.

Mrs. Beckett: My hon. Friend is correct--I do not think that any hon. Member would dispute it--that some of those who took part in the activities of the past couple

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of days oppose many of the things that have taken place in Northern Ireland, as they have made plain in the House. I do not think that anyone would argue that that is a misrepresentation. However, my hon. Friend will be aware, as we all are, that the official Opposition have continued to say that they support the Good Friday agreement.

Mr. Winnick: Front Bench.

Mrs. Beckett: Indeed. That is what I mean when I say the official Opposition. Most Members in every party support the Good Friday agreement and wish the peace process to succeed. We all understand that anxieties and fears are raised. That is inevitable when there are such difficult issues to be resolved in a dispute that has gone on for so long, but we must all hope that those matters are resolved--that, in future, in the House, as elsewhere, they are no longer matters of dispute.

Mr. Douglas Hogg (Sleaford and North Hykeham): The right hon. Lady referred to the debate on Thursday on the police grant. She will know that, in the Home Office, there is a working party report on sparsity. The Home Secretary sent me a copy. Will she ensure that it is generally available by putting it in the Library before the debate? She says that she will talk to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland about a statement. Will she urge on him the desirability of telling the House what the genesis of the Disqualifications Bill was because, most of us believe that we have not yet been told the facts?

Mrs. Beckett: The right hon. and learned Gentleman makes an important point about the working party report. I do not know whether it is possible for it to be placed in the Library. I undertake to draw his request to the attention my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, who, as he knows, is always keen to keep the House informed. I am sure that the Home Secretary will carefully consider that proposal.

I am sorry to hear the right hon. and learned Gentleman returning yet again to the issues that have been discussed over the past couple of days. I am not entirely sure whether he was here for the Second Reading debate on Monday.

Mr. Hogg: I spoke in it.

Mrs. Beckett: In that case, I beg his pardon, but if he spoke in it, he will have heard the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe), the shadow Home Secretary, say on behalf of the official Opposition that they did not object to the Bill and that the rest of the discussion would be given a fair wind. It is unfortunate that that did not happen. However, it is not for us to grieve when the Conservative party insists on shooting itself in the foot.

Mr. David Drew (Stroud): Will my right hon. Friend consider a debate in the House on rural policy? I gather that the Prime Minister will make some statements in the next week, which would be useful. [Interruption.] I should welcome such a debate, if for no other reason than to clear up the misrepresentations that characterise the comments of Conservative Members and inform the debate in the run-up to the White Paper on rural policy.

Mrs. Beckett: I cannot undertake to my hon. Friend to find time for a special debate in the near future, but he is

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right that a White Paper is in train and to seek to highlight the extra investment in, for example, rural buses that has been made under the Government. I am sure that there will be opportunities for such a debate.

I hope that I will not offend you, Madam Speaker, if I briefly take the opportunity to tell Opposition Members--who, not for the first time, are heckling hon. Members such as my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Drew) who make serious and sensible points by making remarks about a Tory gain--that the last person I heard say that before the general election was the then Conservative Member for Wirral, West. He said it to my hon. Friend the Member for Wirral, South (Mr. Chapman). The one who is still here is my hon. Friend.

Mr. Peter Viggers (Gosport): Do the Government have any intention to bring before the House legislation to amend the Oath sworn by hon. Members?

Mrs. Beckett: No.

Mr. Geraint Davies (Croydon, Central): A constituent of mine claims that his son was abused in a McDonalds restaurant, by a McDonalds employee, in the McDonalds play-zone for children. When will there be an opportunity to debate the screening of prospective employees of organisations that look after our children, when our children may be at risk, so that such incidents do not occur in future?

Mrs. Beckett: I am sorry to hear about the experience of my hon. Friend's constituent. I can certainly tell him that, in the very near future, there will be a debate in Westminster Hall in which he may find an opportunity to raise such issues.

Mr. Patrick Nicholls (Teignbridge): If the right hon. Lady is minded to reconsider the request made by the hon. Member for North Cornwall (Mr. Tyler), will she bear it in mind that, throughout the recent debates on the Disqualifications Bill, Liberal Democrat Members both voted and spoke, and that one of the speakers was the hon. Gentleman himself?

Will the right hon. Lady therefore reject that idea, but consider instead a debate on the proposals by the Lord Chancellor to reduce the number of magistrates courts in Devon by more than half? Would not such a debate give us the opportunity to realise that what the Lord Chancellor should be doing is providing a proper criminal justice

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system as expeditiously and cheaply as possible--rather than simply working out the tiny sum that he is prepared to throw at the system and producing whatever criminal justice system results? That is not in the tradition of this country, and it is not how criminal justice should be administered.

Mrs. Beckett: Leaving aside the issues yet again of what was discussed in the past couple of days, the hon. Gentleman makes an important point on rural courts. He may be aware that the matter was debated last week, in Westminster Hall. I can only say that the Lord Chancellor fully shares the goals and principles that the hon. Gentleman expressed of having an efficient and effective justice system and believes that his proposals will assist in achieving them.

Mr. Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham): The Financial Services and Markets Bill is to be allocated two days on Report. Is the right hon. Lady aware that, in those two days, we shall have to consider no fewer than 464 amendments, 43 new clauses and two new schedules, the vast majority of which were tabled by the Government? Although I realise that parliamentary scrutiny is unfashionable with the Government, will she guarantee that if two days prove to be insufficient to debate a highly technical and detailed Bill which has been in Committee since July, she will make extra time available, rather than using the guillotine and thereby denying the House the opportunity properly to scrutinise an entirely new raft of clauses?

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