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Dr. Reid: I am not aware of the first case, but I will bring it to the attention of the Home Secretary. On the second, I know that Members on both sides have expressed concern, but we in the House stand by and, indeed, represent the development of democracy as well as people's right to make their point of view known and to demonstrate. However, that always has to be balanced against the convenience and safety of all others in our democracy. That includes the House of Commons, so I will look into the hon. Lady's second point.

John Cryer (Hornchurch): Has the Leader of the House seen early-day motion 1126, which concerns community pharmacies and the barmy Office of Fair Trading plans to deregulate pharmaceutical prescribing?

[That this House congratulates colleagues in the Welsh and Scottish assemblies on their firm rejection of proposals to allow unlimited opening of pharmacies by large national retailers; recognises the role of the

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independent community pharmacist in serving vulnerable urban and rural populations; notes that a 'balanced package of measures' may not necessarily be the best way to serve the health needs of the whole community; and calls upon the Government to follow the lead taken by the Welsh and Scottish assemblies and end the uncertainty about the future which is affecting community pharmacists across the country.]

This matter was referred to earlier at Trade and Industry questions, albeit briefly. If the OFT proposals go through, there could be a serious threat to community pharmacies and the big supermarkets will move into pharmaceutical prescribing. Can we have a debate on the issue or, if not a debate, perhaps a statement from a Health Minister?

Dr. Reid: We are aware of the concerns held not only by my hon. Friend, but by people who have expressed similar views. Although I am not acquainted with that early-day motion, I will have a look at it. I understand that it refers to what is in effect, at this stage, something with the status of a proposal on which we are consulting. Therefore, I am sure that he will find many opportunities to make his views known in that consultation.

Gregory Barker (Bexhill and Battle): The Leader of the House continues to stand by his allegations that there have been leaks from rogue elements in the security services. Regardless of whatever investigations are undertaken by Select Committees of the House, will he at least tell us whether the Secret Intelligence Service takes his allegations seriously and whether any internal inquiry has been set up to look for those rogue elements? If they truly exist, that would be very serious indeed. When does he expect that internal mole hunt to report? Will he allow the publication of the conclusions reached by that report? Is SIS taking his allegations seriously at all?

Dr. Reid: Let me ask two simple questions that might help the hon. Gentleman. Does he believe the BBC reporter who says— [Interruption.] No, he does not—fine. In that case, he does not have to believe that there is anybody in any way connected with intelligence who has briefed the BBC reporter. If, on the other hand, he believes the BBC reporter, by definition he must believe that someone has said something who is connected— [Interruption.] I do not know who that person is, as he is anonymous. We do not know where such people come from and we do not know what credit to place on this matter, but I wish that the hon. Gentleman would spend 1 per cent. of the effort that he is spending on trying to make rather trite cheap party political points in condemning anyone who is misinforming the public about the security services.

Gregory Barker: Is there an internal mole hunt?

Mr. Speaker: Order. Mr. Barker, you have asked a question and the Leader of the House is answering. It may not be of the desired quality, but none the less it is an answer. The hon. Gentleman has to be calm and quiet. That is the way it goes.

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Dr. Reid rose—

Mr. Speaker: I think that the Leader of the House has managed to give a decent enough answer on that one.

Jim Sheridan (West Renfrewshire): Can consideration be given to holding a debate in the House on the question of Government support for indigenous industries? Although many of us welcomed the decision on the construction of the aircraft carriers and the boost that it gave to shipbuilding and to sustained, long-term security for those who work in the major shipyards, a number of small, independent commercial shipyards are struggling to survive. Will my right hon. Friend put pressure on the Department of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Defence, for those shipyards do not have the luxury of waiting for those orders to come through? If we lose these skills, the community will suffer and we may not get them back. Therefore, we may not be able to complete the aircraft carrier contracts.

Dr. Reid: Without diminishing in any way what my hon. Friend says, he will accept, first, that the shipbuilding order placed by the MOD is bigger than any such order placed by any previous Government. Secondly, the DTI has been particularly active under this Government, which contrasts with the days when the then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry was referred to by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor as a man with an empty in-tray, an empty out-tray and a full ashtray. In those days, of course, the Conservative Government believed that there should be no intervention at all to help industry. I accept that challenges remain, but the Government have not only made time available, but made great efforts to assist our industry.

Pete Wishart (North Tayside): Will the Leader of the House confirm that the voting system for Scottish local government is a matter exclusively for the Scottish Parliament? Will he join me in condemning the campaign started by several of his colleagues from Scotland to try to reverse the Scottish Executive's decision to legislate for fair votes, including threatening to review in this House the voting system for the Scottish Parliament? Would not it be better for the whole matter of the voting system to be transferred to the Scottish Parliament to keep it away from the petty feuding and bickering that go on in the Scottish Labour party?

Dr. Reid: Of course, what the hon. Gentleman refers to as bickering is political discussion. We have that in the Scottish Labour party, but I do not know whether they have it in the Scottish National party. If they have had it, it has not been very productive. I suspect that his deep interest in a change in the voting system results from the fact that under the current one there has been a huge decline in the SNP presence in the Scottish Parliament. However, I shall certainly bring his remarks to the attention of the Secretary of State for Scotland.

David Winnick (Walsall, North): Can my right hon. Friend tell me what is new in out-of-control elements in the security services undermining a Labour Government? Has not that been the case since the first Labour Government came to office in the 1920s?

Dr. Reid: All I can say to my hon. Friend is that I have complete confidence in our security services, because

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from top to bottom the vast majority of people in them are committed, professional, loyal and dedicated. That is why I get so angry when there appear to be one or two people who are prepared to put information out that questions the integrity of our intelligence services. I get even slightly angrier, although nothing normally surprises me about the Conservatives, when they jump on a bandwagon apparently supporting those elements who are undermining our security services.

Mr. Paul Goodman (Wycombe): The Leader of the House has twice been asked whether he will approach the Intelligence and Security Committee to give evidence on the serious allegations that he has made. Will he now take the opportunity to say whether he is willing to do so? If he is not, will he perhaps give the House an opportunity to debate the matter further?

Dr. Reid: You said earlier, Mr. Speaker, that I may not have been giving an answer of the necessary quality. [Interruption.] We are very open-minded in the House. There is another suggestion, of course, and an alternative—

Mr. Speaker: Order. Perhaps I should say that that was the opinion of an hon. Gentleman. I am quite happy with the quality so far.

Dr. Reid: Thank you. In which case, I say that there is an alternative solution: the intellectual capacity of those on the other side of the House in grasping even the most simple proposition is somewhat lacking. I do not intend to repeat the answer that I have already given four times, which the hon. Member for Wycombe (Mr. Goodman) might understand if he reads it from the transcript with the aid of some of his fellow storytellers.

Joan Ruddock (Lewisham, Deptford): Does my right hon. Friend share my concern about the situation in Burma? We know that the leader of the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been not only detained, but injured. We also know that the Red Cross has been allowed no access to her and that her deputy, U Tin Oo, was last seen being beaten up and has now disappeared completely. Will my right hon. Friend consider holding a debate in the House so that we can see what we and the international community can do to try to tackle the brutal regime in Burma?

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