Well, it is a very big subject. We have debated it many times, but certainly the position is as I repeatedly stated when I sat on the other side of the House, that this would be kept in its present form unless and until, as a result of any possible changes in nuclear policy within the Alliance, there were a requirement for it as a N.A.T.O. base.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that, even if the necessity for a nuclear base in Britain is accepted—and I do not accept it—in Scotland we regard its situation as being extremely dangerous—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."]—in view of the fact that it is far too near the greatest industrial centre in Scotland?
When this was debated when the original agreement was signed, my right hon. Friend the then Leader of the Opposition advanced very substantial criticism on the actual siting in that particular part of Scotland. This was very strongly put by a number of us, but it is now in fact there, and I do not think anyone would suggest uprooting it and sending it to a different part of Scotland.
On a point of order. The order Paper says that Questions to the Prime Minister will begin at 3.15 p.m. Today they started at 3.19. Possibly the Prime Minister might have been able to complete answering the Questions to him if we had started punctually. May I respectfully ask you, Mr. Speaker, if you yourself could help when there is a long string of supplementary questions to the Minister replying before the Prime Minister, so that the Prime Minister can start punctually?
No. I proposed to call the first of the Prime Minister's Questions at 3.15. It is a matter of misfortune, or not, according to the view taken, that the Question which last occurred before 3.15 was answered together with two other Questions, involving, of necessity, if we were to get a proper balance, a certain number of supplementaries. I regret this distortion, but cannot from the Chair help.
May I respectfully ask your guidance, Mr. Speaker, in view of the great anxiety and the great uncertainty caused by the ill-defined nature of some of the financial proposals of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and in view of certain statements to the Press, as to whether there is to be a statement now, or an Answer to Questions No. 50 and No. 56, which are related to following Questions to the Prime Minister? Is it possible for the Chancellor to make a statement, or to answer the Questions which are of supreme importance?
It is a curious fact that hon. Members whose Questions are not reached are from time to time tempted to raise them in this way. I would not wish to give encouragement to the practice.
The proper method of postponing a Question is not by addressing the Chair in this fashion. The hon. and gallant Member, with respect, is not quite right in saying that I called the Prime Minister to answer No. 7. It was No. 8, and the Prime Minister proceeded, in error, to answer something else, and when I gave him the opportunity he got hack to the right one.