Child Abuse (North Wales)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 17th June 1996.

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Photo of Mr Rhodri Morgan Mr Rhodri Morgan , Cardiff West 3:31 pm, 17th June 1996

We welcome today's announcement of a judicial inquiry into events in north Wales, but does the Secretary of State accept that the need to co-ordinate the different actions now proposed—the Waterhouse judicial inquiry that the right hon. Gentleman has announced, the Utting review that the Secretary of State for Health is announcing and the Home Secretary's review of sentencing and probation procedure for paedophiles—is paramount?

Will he forgive me if I suggest that the impression given by Ministers in the past few days—going back to last Thursday's Prime Minister's questions—has been of their almost competing with one another for the limelight rather than co-operating, as suggested by the hon. Member for Lewes (Mr. Rathbone)? Will he acknowledge that, without careful co-ordination, there is a danger of interdepartmental cross-sterilisation, if I may call it that, between the different inquiries?

Does the Minister accept that our residential child care system is now on trial? These children's homes were supposed to provide care: instead, they dished out a diet of sadism by day and sodomy by night. If this tragedy is not to be repeated, it must be followed not by more inquiries but by action.