Orders of the Day — Scottish Development Agency Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:41 am on 21st October 1987.

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Photo of John Reid John Reid , Motherwell North 1:41 am, 21st October 1987

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, for allowing me to speak. I realise that it is very good of you to do so at this time of night. I shall be considerably briefer than some of the earlier speakers, and considerably less articulate and astute in my observations than my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley, South (Mr. Buchan). I would not attempt to teach him anything, but perhaps I could correct one fact that I have picked up from his speech. The low incidence of defenestration during the recent City crisis may not be related directly to the incidence of integrity on the Conservative Benches; it may merely be a product of the increase in double glazing over the past 10 years.

I am not only less astute but more sympathetic to Conservative Members than my hon. Friend. There are Scottish Ministers who want at any cost to stop us debating the motion on the SDA. I am understanding, because their burdens are many and their numbers few. I say to my hon. Friend the Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley (Mr. Foulkes) that it is no good telling them that they have just had three months' holiday; some of their colleagues have just been assigned 10 years' holiday.

Let me make two brief serious points. First, there have been a number of Opposition speeches on the substantial motion we are discussing from the Opposition Front Bench, and one maiden speech from the Back Benches. But there have been no speakers from Lothian, Strathclyde, Fife or Lanarkshire, whose constituents are vitally dependent on the motion.