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Sir Sydney Chapman (Chipping Barnet) (Con): May I take the Leader of the House back to an aspect of the business that he announced for the next two weeks? He said that, a week on Monday and for part of the following day, the House will be asked to consider the remaining stages of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill. He will know that the Bill had a rocky, long and rather strange ride during the past Session and that it was sent back to Committee. How much time on the Tuesday will be devoted to the Bill before consideration of the other measure that he announced? Will that time be only for Third Reading or will Report continue on Tuesday?
Mr. Hain: The conclusion of the remaining stages will take place over two daysa long day on Monday and part of a day on Tuesday. The consideration on Tuesday will be followed by a debate on a fisheries motion, which the House expressly asked for before the Christmas recess, to which we agreed. There will be plenty of time to address the issues. As the hon. Gentleman knows, the Bill's purpose is to end the bureaucratic logjam that has existed in the planning system and to allow businesses to invest more easily in enterprise to go forward in a better way so that communities may prosper more effectively. He will find that we have allocated plenty of time to address the remaining stages.
Mr. Bercow: Given the serious concerns that have already been expressed about the Government's intended asylum policy and the evident and extreme discomfort of the right hon. Gentleman, who is a distinguished humanitarian, when trying to defend it today, may we have an urgent statement on the Government's plan to chuck asylum seekers' children into care and break up families simply to boost the breast-beating, sabre-rattling, macho-posturing, he-man image of the Home Secretary? That crypto-fascist policy will be deservedly rejected by the fair-minded majority of the British people.
Mr. Hain: The hon. Gentleman knows that there will be a debate on home and constitutional affairs next Tuesday. He is a distinguished parliamentarian, if I may pay him that compliment, and his intemperate outburst is wide of the mark. As I have said before, the proposals that the Home Secretary has brought forward are to be considered for situations when people have lost an appealsometimes multiple appealsand gone through the whole process, when they are due to go back to their country of origin after being provided with air
Gregory Barker (Bexhill and Battle) (Con): May we have an urgent debate on the national roll-out of the digital transmitter network? In large parts of my constituency in East Sussex, digital television and radio are not available. No date has been set for that availability and it is well nigh impossible to get answers about when a date might be set. What is more, many of my constituents still cannot receive Channel 5 on a free-to-view analogue basis and some cannot even get Channel 4. With Christmas schedules plastered across the media, many of my constituents rightly feel cheesed off.
Mr. Hain: If I am right, the problem in the hon. Gentleman's constituency is the south downs. I know that, in my area in south Wales, valley communities also find it difficult to get digital transmissions. We, as a Government, are committed to the nationwide roll-out of digital and I shall certainly draw the points that he raised about his constituency to the attention of the Secretary of State.
Mr. Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight) (Con): Will the Leader of the House think back to the answer that he gave my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Worcestershire (Mr. Luff)? Written answers are printed in Hansard not only for our benefit but so that the public may read them. Will he arrange for answers that are laid in the Library to be made available to members of the public?
Mr. Patrick McLoughlin (West Derbyshire) (Con): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Can you instruct the Serjeant at Arms to investigate urgently whether the monitors in the offices of Labour Members are working? Only two Labour Back Benchers asked the Leader of the House questions, which I think represents 0.4 per cent. of the parliamentary Labour party, compared with more than 14 of my hon. Friends. There was also a good attendance by the Liberal Democrats. Something is obviously wrong with the monitors.
Mr. George Osborne (Tatton) (Con): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In the Prime Minister's response yesterday to the Leader of the Opposition's reply to the Queen's Speech, the House heard him refuse to give way to the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) because he was from Scotland and the Prime Minister was referring to an English matter. You charitably described that as a slip of the tongue by the Prime Minister, but has he confirmed that? In the forthcoming legislative programme, controversial measures may get through only with the support of Scottish Labour Members.
Mr. Eric Forth (Bromley and Chislehurst) (Con): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Do you approve of doughnuts? You will have noticed that, mysteriously, even as we speak, a number of Labour Members have appeared and are sitting just behind the place from which the Foreign Secretary is about to orate. Do you approve of or deprecate that habit, or is it simply a strange coincidence? Perhaps you could tell us.
Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, supported by Mr. Secretary Prescott, Mr. Secretary Blunkett, Mr. Secretary Clarke, Mr. Paul Boateng, Ruth Kelly and John Healey, presented a Bill to make provision about child trust funds and for connected purposes: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Monday 1 December, and to be printed. Explanatory notes to be printed. [Bill 1].
Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, supported by the Prime Minister, Mr. Secretary Murphy, Mr. Secretary Smith, Ms Secretary Hewitt, Mr. Paul Boateng, Dawn Primarolo, Ruth Kelly and John Healey, presented a Bill to make provision relating to the payment and administration of national insurance contributions and
Mr. Christopher Leslie, supported by the Prime Minister, Mr. Secretary Prescott, Mr. Secretary Darling, Mr. Peter Hain, Mr. David Miliband and Mr. Denis MacShane, presented a Bill to make provision for piloting in certain regions different methods of voting at the European Parliamentary general election in 2004 and at certain local elections held at the same time; and to enable consequential alterations to be made to voting procedures at local elections.
Pursuant to Orders [29 October 2002] (Carry-over of Bills) and [21 October 2003], the Bill was read the First and Second time without Question put; and ordered to be considered on Monday 1 December, and to be printed. Explanatory notes to be printed. [Bill 3].
Mr. Secretary Darling, supported by the Prime Minister, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Secretary Murphy, Mr. Peter Hain, Mrs. Anne McGuire and Mr. Christopher Leslie, presented a Bill to replace Schedule 1 to the Scotland Act 1998 making new provision in relation to the constituencies for the Scottish Parliament: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Monday 1 December, and to be printed. Explanatory notes to be printed. [Bill 4].
Mr. Secretary Blunkett, supported by the Prime Minister, Mr. Secretary Prescott, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Secretary Straw, Mr. Secretary Darling, Mr. Secretary Murphy, Mr. Peter Hain, Beverley Hughes and David Lammy, presented a Bill to make provision about asylum and immigration: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Monday 1 December, and to be printed. Explanatory notes to be printed. [Bill 5].
Most Gracious Sovereign,
We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to Your Majesty for the Gracious Speech which Your Majesty has addressed to both Houses of Parliament[Mr. McFall].