First Day

Part of Debate on the Address – in the House of Commons at 3:23 pm on 6th May 1992.

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Photo of Mr John Major Mr John Major , Huntingdon 3:23 pm, 6th May 1992

I think that, from every part of this country, the constituents send Members of Parliament here to this place to express their constituents' views on all matters. The voice of Scotland is represented on the Opposition Benches and on the Government Benches. In my experience in the House, the voice of Scotland has always spoken up forcefully in all parts of the House for Scotland's interests, which is the way that it should be.

We will take stock of the present position in Scotland and then report back to the House. It is a matter of some importance and we will proceed with it. We are proceeding with it now, and when we have concluded, we shall report back to the House.

We shall also continue our determined assault on the problems of Northern Ireland. The courage of the people of Northern Ireland is undoubted. They have the assurance that we shall not turn our back on their needs. Our overriding aim is to eliminate the evil of terrorism, and to do that we shall make progress on security, and in the social, political and economic spheres.

A further institutional reform is important to the whole House. I refer to the recommendations of the Committee chaired by my right hon. Friend the Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Mr. Jopling) into the procedures debated by the previous Parliament. But I believe that the present Parliament must also discuss them before decisions can be taken. Therefore, we shall make time available for debate and undertake further consultations. I believe, personally, that the time has come for some of our procedures to be reformed, although that is essentially a matter for the House.