May I say how much I welcome this debate and how grateful I am to my hon. Friend the Member for Swindon (Mr. F. Noel-Baker) for raising this subject, because my constituency is one of the constituencies which lie astride the Wall, or the site where the Wall stood. Not one small part of it remains in my constituency, which is entirely built up, but, originally, the Wall ran right through the middle of it.
I welcome the debate not only because it calls attention to the present method of restoring file Wall, though I am not, I think, quite so worried as my hon. Friend is about that, though I have some doubts about the matter, but also because it calls attention to the existence of the Wall. I shall explain in a minute why I think that is tremendously important.
This great Wall which runs from the Tyne at Wallsend right across the country to Solway has stood there not a thousand years, as my hon. Friend said—he got his arithmetic a bit wrong—but for 1,800 years.