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Dr. Desmond Turner (Brighton, Kemptown) (Lab): The Prime Minister announced the long-awaited energy review at the CBI earlier this week, and I understand that a written statement was placed in the Library. It is unfortunate that an issue of such importance was not brought to the House as an oral statement. Can my hon. Friend give us an assurance that there will be an early debate on the issue in the Chamber in Government time, because it is vital that the House should have an input into the energy review at an early stage, rather than after it, when it is a fait accompli? Nuclear power and its relationship with other aspects of energy policy is a vital issue—one of the most important that the Government have on their agenda.

Nigel Griffiths: Any decision taken on the future of nuclear power will, as I said earlier, be the subject of a White Paper, which is likely to be accompanied by a ministerial statement. There will be ample opportunity for a full debate on the Floor of the House.

Mr. Michael Fallon (Sevenoaks) (Con): Is the Deputy Leader of the House aware that my constituency continues to be plagued by unauthorised Traveller encampments in the green belt—a matter on which I pressed him during the July Adjournment debate? What has happened to the long-overdue review of Travellers and planning law, and when will district councils be given stronger powers to resist the current abuse?

Nigel Griffiths: I shall find out what has happened to the review and ensure that the appropriate Minister writes to the hon. Member.

Andrew Miller (Ellesmere Port and Neston) (Lab): It was left to a member of the public to notify me of the disgraceful actions of FirstBus in my constituency in unilaterally cutting services and closing a depot. Will my hon. Friend arrange a debate in Government time on the conduct of bus companies, and when will the Government consider re-regulating bus companies outside London?

Nigel Griffiths: I hope that my hon. Friend will have the chance to put that to Transport Ministers next Tuesday, at Transport questions. Obviously, the provision of local bus services affects the lives of many people and has to be handled sensitively. I hope that the
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company that he mentioned will note his comments and I am sure that it will want to meet him to discuss his grave concerns on behalf of his constituents.

Mr. Jim McGovern (Dundee, West) (Lab): Following the comments of the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire (Pete Wishart) on the Black Watch, I am sure that my hon. Friend will be aware of the high profile of that issue in my constituency. My grandfather, Hugh MacDonald, served in the Black Watch, and is buried in the military cemetery in Gibraltar, where he died in 1941. I believe that one of the concessions made to the Scottish regiments during the merger process was that they would retain the right to their identity via the right to wear the cap badge at all times. Obviously, in the case of the Black Watch that means the red hackle. Will my hon. Friend use his good offices to ask the armed forces Minister to intervene to allow the Black Watch and the other Scottish regiments at least to retain their identity?

Nigel Griffiths: No, I cannot give my hon. Friend that undertaking. There has been a long process of discussion on the reorganisation of the regiments, and it was the settled view of the armed forces themselves that this was the way ahead. I am sure that the memories to which my hon. Friend paid tribute will never be lost.

Dr. Julian Lewis (New Forest, East) (Con): Can the Deputy Leader of the House explain to us why the Armed Forces Bill, which has been long years in the      making, has been shoehorned into the parliamentary timetable at a time when no one can possibly prepare properly for Second Reading, whereas the debate on police restructuring, for which everyone is ready, prepared and raring to go, has been withdrawn from the parliamentary timetable? Is it not blindingly obvious that the former should be delayed and the latter reinstated?

Nigel Griffiths: No, it is not. The Armed Forces Bill is an important piece of legislation that has to be properly timetabled in this House and the other place, and clearly the suitable time for debating it is in eight or nine days' time. As I said, I hope that the fullest possible information on the Bill is available. I know that the hon. Member, like other hon. Members, will not come cold to this subject.

Barbara Keeley (Worsley) (Lab): Tomorrow is carers' rights day. Does my hon. Friend agree that it is now timely to have a debate on carers' rights, particularly on issues such as the overlapping benefit rule, which means that carer's premium and carer's allowance cease for carers over pension age? That matter has been raised by many carers in my constituency, and no doubt will be raised by other carers throughout the country tomorrow.

Nigel Griffiths: Carers do a fantastic job and we all owe them a debt. I can ensure that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is aware of the issue that my hon. Friend highlighted, and I am sure that he will want to respond.
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Mr. Don Foster (Bath) (LD): Two days ago, the national security archive published analysis of recently released documents that show conclusively that the then British Government misled the House and the country about Indonesian atrocities in East Timor in 1975 and further suppressed information about the killing of Australian and British journalists. For example, at Christmas 1975 the then British ambassador to Indonesia sent a cable to London describing Indonesian soldiers as going

In the same cable, he went on to say:

May we have an urgent debate on the previous Government's complicity in the cover-up, which will give Members an opportunity to press the current Government to release further documents that will be of assistance in the much-delayed inquest, to take place in Sydney early next year, on one of those British journalists, Brian Peters?

Nigel Griffiths: I read the accounts that the hon. Member has shared with us and I found them as disturbing as he did. I cannot offer him the debate in this House that he asks for, but I hope that he manages to secure an Adjournment debate that allows him to air these issues with the Minister responsible and to get an appropriate response.

Mr. Malcolm Moss (North-East Cambridgeshire) (Con): Given that an increasing number of housing developments built on contaminated land are coming to light, such as that in Littleport, which is in my constituency; given the contradictory views of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs about the inclusion of soil sampling in the house sellers pack; given the comments of the Leader of the House in response to a recent question from the hon. Member for Birmingham, Hall Green (Steve McCabe); and given the now obvious problems in implementing part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, will the Deputy Leader of the House arrange an urgent debate on contaminated land development, so that we can clear up this mess?

Nigel Griffiths: I can ensure that the concerns that my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House reflected in his response to that question are drawn to Ministers' attention, so that the hon. Member can assist his constituents and we can hopefully ensure that the policy is appropriate to the contaminated site issue.

Chris Bryant (Rhondda) (Lab): May we have a debate on the future of the Rhondda Leader, a very fine local weekly newspaper in which I happen to have a regular column? It has a rising circulation, but its problem is that it belongs to Trinity Mirror, which also happens to own nearly every newspaper in south Wales. Further to the point made by the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Heath), this is an important issue and we all enjoy a wide diversity of competitive and lively national newspapers. All too often, however, we see
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monopolistic practices in our local newspaper markets—practices that the Government, through the Competition Commission, should surely investigate.

Nigel Griffiths: My hon. Friend can raise his concerns directly with the Competition Commission and I urge him to do so. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry takes competition matters very seriously.

Mr. Philip Hollobone (Kettering) (Con): Will the Deputy Leader of the House arrange for the Home Secretary to make an urgent statement to this House on the effect on the criminal justice system and natural justice of leaked reports that the Sentencing Guidelines Council is about to recommend that sentences for muggers be cut from an average of three years in jail to two and a half years?

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