Given that the Secretary of State is a party to the appointment of Lord Crickhowell as chairman of the National Rivers Authority, I am surprised that he did not answer my question. Nevertheless, how can the public have confidence in the integrity and independence of Lord Crickhowell, who is a paid representative of the multinational mining corporation Rio-Tinto-Zinc, in his capacity of chairman of the National Rivers Authority? Given also that the incidence of river pollution is now at a record level of 2,500 cases annually, only one in 28 of which results in prosecution, is not Lord Crickhowell just a Tory ex-politician—a Tory placeman—appointed to preside over the lowering of water quality standards in Wales?
Lowering standards have been well illustrated by the hon. Gentleman's approach this afternoon. I thought that his was a disgraceful contribution.
My noble Friend Lord Crickhowell has made a notable and extremely beneficent contribution to Welsh affairs. Opposition Members should welcome the fact that a person in his position, with his love and knowledge of Wales, is there to protect our interests.
Is it not a fact that legislation governing the purity of water is still in force and has in no way been altered? Is it not a fact also that where there has been an increase in pollution, it is largely due to new treatments of agricultural land, and that a major step is now being taken to improve matters in that respect?