The experience reported by my hon. and learned Friend of what is happening in his part of the country reflects what has been happening in our economy as a whole. In the past two years, we have experienced the fastest growth of any major European economy, we have the best record of low inflation for some 30 years, we have unemployment that is well below the European average and continuing to fall and we have a recovery that is export and investment led and that is the most soundly based this country has seen for a generation.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that crime levels in north Hertfordshire have also been falling recently? However, does he agree that there is more to be done and that one way of dealing with it is closed circuit television? I thank my right hon. Friend and the Government for the £100,000 grant that has been given for closed circuit television for Hitchin town centre. Is it not astonishing that the new Labour administration on North Hertfordshire district council is now reconsidering closed circuit television and talking about big brother? Is that not more like old Labour than new Labour?
I have already made some reference to these matters in response to my hon. Friend the Member for City of Chester (Mr. Brandreth). As my hon. Friend said, recorded crime fell by 5 per cent. nationally in 1994. Together with a 1 per cent. fall in 1993, those two years show the biggest fall in recorded crime for some 40 years. I believe that that reflects the efforts that my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary has made to get more police on the beat, to strengthen the law through the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and, not least, through his very imaginative scheme for CCTV. I am appalled to learn what my hon. Friend said about CCTV being reviewed by his district council.
In the light of the statement by one of the Prime Minister's leading supporters, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the programme of the former Secretary of State for Wales is ultra-right wing and likely to keep the Conservatives out of power for 1,000 years, does the Leader of the House believe that the Cabinet is well rid of him?
My right hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham (Mr. Redwood) has always made a positive contribution to the development of Government policies. My only puzzlement is why he should not have stayed to continue to make that contribution.
Does my right hon. Friend agree that yesterday's celebration of 50 years of achievement by the United Nations was wholly appropriate? Does he also agree, however, that it is unacceptable that this country is expected to bear a disproportionate burden of United Nations military activities when many countries are not even paying their dues? Will my right hon. Friend put pressure on those countries to remedy an unacceptable situation? [Interruption.]
My hon. Friend, like me, was present at the excellent ceremony held in Westminster Hall yesterday, which undermined—[Interruption.]—underlined our continuing commitment to the United Nations organisation. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister reminded that gathering—it is an important point, to which my hon. Friend has adverted—that we have put forward proposals not only to strengthen UN peacekeeping and preventive diplomacy, but to reform its financial mechanisms. We shall continue to press that case.