Is it not becoming clear that the groups are not willing to spend some of their own money and it is time that we had a fresh look at the 1963 White Paper which, being seven years old, is hopelessly out of date? Cannot we have a crossing that is in keeping with this century?
Does the Joint Parliamentary Secretary appreciate that negotiations have been going on for a very long time and that the effect of this delay that large areas of South-East England are suffering from planning blight? Is he aware of the great deal of uncertainty that surrounds this whole project? Will he give direct answers in future and not just evade the issue?
I suggest that the hon. Gentleman looks up the word "negotiations" in the dictionary. He will find that it means talks. These talks are going on. We are not prepared, while negotiations are continuing, to make a statement.
Does my hon. Friend realise that the financing of this project will damage the trade, industry and commerce of Britain in general and of Scotland in particular because it will encourage workers away from this island?
It is too early to say what the structure and level of tunnel tariffs might be. While the main responsibility for deciding these would rest with the future Anglo-French Tunnel Operating Authority, they would of course work within a framework of Governmental control.
Is the hon. Gentleman saying that he does not know what the Channel Tunnel tolls are likely to be? The whole purpose, if any, of building the tunnel is that transport should be cheaper. If that is the most important factor, why does not the hon. Gentleman make an announcement on the subject?
Would it not be more accurate to describe these as transportation charges rather than as tolls, since presumably the traffic will be carried by rail? Is not this Question another attempt by the anti-Channel Tunnel lobby to denigrate a project for reasons which vary from vested interest to ignorance?