Orders of the Day — Scottish Development Agency Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:27 am on 21st October 1987.

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Photo of Mr Norman Buchan Mr Norman Buchan , Paisley South 1:27 am, 21st October 1987

I am willing to give way as long as I do not lose the opportunity to speak again. Surely the hon. and learned Member for Perth and Kinross (Mr. Fairbairn) is not to make a speech now. I have been awake waiting to make a speech about the Scottish Development Agency. I am trying to point out the inadequacies of the figures while the hon. and learned Gentleman has been sleeping in his fond Elysium, dreaming of castles. That has been his contribution while the rest of us have been working.

We are in a difficult position, Madam Deputy Speaker. First, I have your assurance that you have no power to intervene to reject the monstrous suggestion that has been made from the Government Front Bench, Secondly, there is the smug contentment of the Minister of State and the Under-Secretary of State that they have an army of cohorts who are available to carry the day. They are trying to prevent a debate on the Scottish economy from being conducted during the day by replacing it with the Second Reading debate on which we were engaged. They had a mandate to hold the debate through the night and we were willing to accept that. I hope that the Government Chief Whip and the Prime Minister have been sent for to see the behaviour of his and her junior Ministers. We are faced with a monstrous proposition and I hope that it will be rejected with contempt.

There are Tory Members everywhere and I turn to them. There are some honest men among them—there are not many but statistically there must be some. After all, many of them are still in the Palace. They have not thrown themselves out of windows, despite the events at the stock exchange this week. The fact that they are here shows a devotion to duty beyond the call of profit. I understand that some of them must have been pretty sad this week.

We are facing yet another crisis of capitalism. I have lived through 17 final crises of capitalism and this week we have been witnessing yet another. It would not be relevant to debate what has been happening but I believe that it would be in order to discuss the nature of the present crisis. The Tory party, the governing elite of the country, has rejected its connections with industry, commerce, the land and agriculture. Instead, it has confined itself to creating a link with the City. It is concerned only with exchanging pieces of paper and not with the production of real wealth. It has been assuring the country that these pieces of paper would continue to expand but, lo and behold, they have decreased in magnitude.