Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank the House.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that his statement, the announcements by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health, and the other measures to which he has referred, will be warmly welcomed by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and the National Commission of Inquiry into the Prevention of Child Abuse, of which I am a member? The considerable body of evidence that the commission has received shows that the abuse of children in institutions is a widespread and continuing problem. It is part of the wider issue of child abuse, because the adults involved are members of community as a whole.
Does my right hon. Friend agree that, while inquiries and reports are necessary, it is essential that, thereafter, measures should be implemented to ensure the prevention of further abuse and to wipe out this scourge of our society?