Millennium Fund

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th January 1995.

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Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , Linlithgow 12:00 am, 18th January 1995

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment for what projects under the control of his Department he will be applying for funds from the millennium fund.

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , Linlithgow

Is the Secretary of State aware that when my former steelworker friend, my hon. Friend the Member for Cunninghame, South (Mr. Donohoe), my hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian (Mr. Clarke) and I made a four-hour visit to the greatest structure of the 19th century—the Forth rail bridge—we were appalled at the flaking paint, the debris of dead birds and, frankly, seagull shit on the bare steel structure? As Railtrack has other priorities, should this not be a matter for the millennium fund as the bridge is a national monument associated not only with Scotland but with Britain and Europe?

Photo of John Gummer John Gummer Secretary of State for Environment

I shall take a considerable interest in inspecting personally the structure to which the hon. Gentleman refers and I will do my best to assess what he has said.

I remind the hon. Gentleman that what he has done today in asking a question as a Scottish Member is something that he would be able to do in future if Labour's devolution plans were to go through but which no English Member would be able to do as English Members would not be able to ask questions about Scotland.

Photo of Mr John Marshall Mr John Marshall , Hendon South

Will my right hon. Friend advise the House whether it would be in order to apply to the millennium fund to finance a preservation order on the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell)?

Photo of John Gummer John Gummer Secretary of State for Environment

The example that the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) put forward is one of considerable importance. I also believe, however, that we should all recognise that we have a history which is worth preserving and that part of that history is a constitution which should not be monkeyed about with.