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On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The House is always keen to debate matters of public concern. I raised earlier a question about the news that there has been a nuclear fuel leak at Sellafield and that all bar the emergency staff from one part of the building have been evacuated. In view of that, has anybody contacted your office, Mr. Speaker, about the Government making a statement on this issue either today or as soon as possible? This is a matter of great public concern. Therefore, it would be a good thing if we were able to shed a little more light on the subject.
Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I rise, first, because my constituency is involved and, secondly, because I speak for the Opposition on these matters. This is a matter of concern. I have called for an immediate statement from the management and I have a copy of that report here, although I shall not detain the House by reading it. I am assured that the appropriate regulatory authorities have been notified of the incident, that no-one has been damaged and that there has been no release of radiation to the environment. I put it on record now that we shall be considering further information in due course, and I might, on behalf of the Opposition, be calling for a statement tomorrow from the Government.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The Minister opened the statement by saying "With permission". I understand that it is with your permission, Mr. Speaker, that Ministers make statements to the House. Today, we have a controversial Supply Day and the Government have deliberately chosen to eat into its time by making a statement on another controversial matter, which may knock British Leyland out of the headlines. When the Government do that deliberately as part of their news management, should you not refuse that permission, Mr. Speaker, and let them come another day?
Order. The "with permission" preamble is nothing to do with me. As I understand it, it is purely a convention. Unfortunately, I have no power to refuse to listen to a statement.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. We have had two statements, one relating to England and one to Wales, on an important matter that will bring immense benefit to people living in those areas. Have you had any intimation from the Scottish Office that we are to know what the proposals for Scotland are? I appreciate that there water is the responsibility of the local authorities.