Is that not a remarkable set of figures? Does it not demolish once and for all the myth put round by the Tories and their associates in the motor organisations that in some way this Government have cut back road building?
I am grateful to my hon. Friend. [Interruption.] I should have thought that anyone who travelled round the country would have seen the evidence with their eyes and would have discounted the propaganda that certain organisations are putting out.
Order. The hon. Gentleman must withdraw the word " lie ". It is not in order to accuse an hon. Member of telling a lie. The hon. Gentleman must withdraw the word " lie ". If not I must ask him to withdraw from the Chamber.
I have not the slightest doubt that the Minister answered the Question very well even if he did not himself put the Question down. Would not the Minister agree that, as there is a four to five-year delay in road-building programmes, what his answer effectively reveals is that this Government have built only the roads that their predecessors planned?
On the question of responsibility for the Question, I have a serious confession to make to the House. Until this Question was put down it had never occurred to me to get the sums done to produce the figures. I was very impressed when I saw them. Obviously, the plans on which roads are built emanate many years before the completion of the roads, but there is a great difference between drawing a line on a map and organising, and finding the money for, the building of roads.
On a point of order. May I seek your guidance, Mr. Speaker? My hon. Friend the Member for Rugby (Mr. William Price) was good enough to fall in with your wishes in a very courteous way. There was an implication that my hon. Friend had put down a Question as a result of pressure from the Minister, and the Minister has assured us that this was not so. Do not you agree with me, Mr. Speaker, in view of the courteous way in which my hon. Friend dealt with this, that it was arrogant of the hon. Member for Tavistock (Mr. Michael Heseltine) not to withdraw what he said, and that he should now do so?