I am very grateful to the hon. Gentleman for taking such a close interest in what I do. I am happy to reassure him on all those issues. I should have thought that anyone who was a builder or a member of Lloyd's deserved a little sympathy at the moment.
Tonight I thought that we had seen the nadir—that means the lowest point—of delays. However, I examined the record a little more closely and read the contribution of the hon. Member for Midlothian (Mr. Eadie) on the revival motion on 14 January. Why was it said that the Bill should not proceed at that time? I remind the House, because the hon. Gentleman's comments merit further publicity. He said:
I recall telling the House in a previous debate that, when I met the Norwegian commanders in NATO, I asked them what would happen if a conflict broke out in the North sea and what consequences it would have for the oil and gas installations. They told me that the installations could not be defended. As a strategic aspect is now involved, because we may soon be involved in a war in the Gulf, the situation has changed since the House last addressed the subject.
That appears to have been the reason for delaying the Bill at that stage. It is a good job that we did not take any notice of the hon. Gentleman's strictures, as my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridgeshire, North-East (Mr. Moss) said so eloquently. He said:
I am listening carefully to the hon. Gentleman. He is saying that with the Gulf crisis, or a Gulf war, we shall not have enough gas in the short to medium term and that we shall have to import it from the Soviet Union through a non-existent pipeline".—[Official Report, 14 January 1991; Vol. 183, c. 675–76.]