Previous SectionIndexHome Page

Mr. Owen Paterson (North Shropshire): Sadly, the Prime Minister's home straight appears to be stretching out without apparent end. Some estimates suggest that foot and mouth has cost the country £20 billion. As problems rise in the rural economy, the pressure for a full public inquiry mounts inexorably. Why are the Government so pig-headed about that? Why is the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs not coming here next week to announce a full impartial inquiry, under the chairmanship of an independent judge?

Mr. Cook: The Secretary of State did come here only the other week and she made a full statement on foot and mouth. In the course of that, she made it clear that there would have to be an inquiry and that its terms would be announced at the end of the outbreak. That position is fully shared by many people in the industry, including the vets. When the foot and mouth outbreak is over, that will be the time to ensure that we carry out a full inquiry.

Mr. Bercow: Given the welcome advances in medical science and the fact that, whenever a new cure is devised, a new queue is necessarily created, may we please have an urgent debate on the lessons that we can learn from our continental neighbours about the use of private resources to complement those of the public sector, in ensuring that we turn care from a word into a deed?

Mr. Cook: I very much welcome the fact that the hon. Gentleman is willing to learn lessons from our European partners—a breakthrough on which we must try to build. I should remind him and other Members that our continental partners also make a heavy investment in public health provision. We must match that, as well as anything that we do in the private sector.

5 Jul 2001 : Column 417

5 Jul 2001 : Column 419

Speaker's Statement.

Mr. Speaker: We have a complicated day's business before us, so before calling the Minister to move the motion on the business of the House it may be helpful if I indicate how I propose to proceed—assuming, of course, that the motion is agreed to. I propose that motions Nos. 2 to 6, on the recommendations of the Senior Salaries Review Body and related issues, should be debated together.

At 4 o'clock, the question will be put on each motion in turn. Where I have selected an amendment to a motion, and the hon. Member proposing it wishes to press it to a vote, the House will vote first on the amendment and then on the motion, amended or not. A list of the selected amendments is available in the No Lobby and the Vote Office, in the normal way.

Mr. Win Griffiths (Bridgend): On a point order, Mr. Speaker, about today's Order Paper. On looking at it this morning, I expected to see my name on page 147 next to amendment (e) to the motion on the additional costs allowance, which was tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Attercliffe (Mr. Betts), as I had agreed that it be added to the list of Members. It was not there. Instead, my name has been attributed to amendment (a) to the motion on pensions, which was tabled by the hon. Member for Bournemouth, West (Mr. Butterfill). Under no circumstances did I ask for my name to be added to that list. I want to make it clear that there is a mistake on the Order Paper.

Mr. Speaker: I understand that, because of a printing error, a number of Members' names were wrongly printed in support of Mr. Butterfill's amendment to motion No. 4, on parliamentary pensions. Those names should have been printed in support of Mr. Betts' amendment (e) to motion No. 2 on Members' allowances, insurance, and so on. The Table Office has copies of the corrected list.

Mr. Alan Duncan (Rutland and Melton): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I would not of course in any way consider questioning your selection of amendments, but in noting that two substantive amendments that I tabled were not selected, would it be sensible of me to assume that that might be because the issues with which they deal are expected to be covered by the Leader of the House in his opening remarks on the motion?

Mr. Speaker: That remains to be seen. The hon. Gentleman had best not assume anything—the amendments have not been selected.

Mr. Crispin Blunt (Reigate): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I should be grateful for your guidance. My name appears next to that of my hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Melton (Mr. Duncan), in support of amendment (a) to motion No. 2. Even though the amendment has not been selected, will there be any opportunity to press the matter to which it relates to a Division this afternoon?

Mr. Speaker: No.

5 Jul 2001 : Column 420

Business of the House

1.28 pm

The Parliamentary Secretary, Privy Council Office (Mr. Stephen Twigg): I beg to move,

I shall be very brief as I do not wish to reduce the time available for debate on the important substantive business before the House.

The motion on the Order Paper divides the day between two important matters. The time allocated should enable the House to give proper consideration to the motions. Both debates affect the working of the House and its Members. These are important debates, and they are being held in Government time. The business motion ensures that the House will resolve the issues today, so that any changes accepted by the House can be implemented quickly.

This is the earliest opportunity since the election for the debate on the Senior Salaries Review Body recommendations. Members have had the opportunity to study the SSRB report and the motions have been carefully prepared. Members have had the opportunity to study them and—as some have—to table amendments to them. This is a cross-party issue which affects not just Members but our staff, and therefore the efficient working of the House.

The further proposals regarding Select Committees reflect recent machinery of government changes, as well as extending new powers to the Committees. They pave the way for the Select Committees to be set up and to be up and running before the House rises for the summer recess. That will be the shortest period after an election in which the Committees have been established since the Select Committee system began.

I hope that hon. Members will now allow both debates to commence. I commend the motion to the House.

1.30 pm

Mrs. Angela Browning (Tiverton and Honiton): For future reference, given the number of amendments that have been tabled by Back Benchers, and selected by you, Mr. Speaker, it might be helpful if such important matters were given more than just two and a half hours' debate on the Floor of the House.

Question put and agreed to.

5 Jul 2001 : Column 421

Members' Allowances, Insurance &c.

[Relevant documents: Review Body on Senior Salaries, Report No. 47, Review of Parliamentary Pension Scheme, Cm 4996; Review Body on Senior Salaries, Report No. 48, Review of Parliamentary Pay and Allowances, Cm 4997–I; Review Body on Senior Salaries, Report No. 48, Review of Parliamentary Pay and Allowances—Volume 2: Independent study on pay and allowances, Cm 4997–II; The Parliamentary Pensions (Amendment) (Pension Sharing) Regulations 2001; The Parliamentary Pensions (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2001; The Draft Ministerial and other Salaries Order 2001; Second Report from the Information Committee, Session 1999–2000, on Information Technology Provision for Members, HC 758.]

1.31 pm

The President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Robin Cook): I beg to move,

5 Jul 2001 : Column 422

5 Jul 2001 : Column 423

Mr. Speaker: I remind the House that with this it will be convenient to discuss the following motions:

Next Section

IndexHome Page