I beg to move amendment No. 22, in
clause 38, page 23, line 3, leave out subsection (2).
The amendment simply removes the privilege amendment inserted in another place to secure the right of this House to consider measures that might increase public expenditure. Given the hour, I shall not delay the Committee by setting out the amount by which we have increased expenditure on waste management, through the environmental, protective and cultural services, the challenge fund or the private finance initiative. That is the purpose of the amendment.
Amendment agreed to.
Clause 38, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Question proposed, That the Chairman do report the Bill, as amended, to the House.
I shall speak for one minute, which will leave one minute for the Minister and no time for the hon. Member for Lewes. This has been a useful, enjoyable and productive Committee. The contributions from hon. Members of all parties have been good. I speak for the hon. Member for Lewes as well as for myself as the representative of the official Opposition party. I hope that you will agree, Mr. Amess, that we have conducted our affairs properly. We have been delighted to be chaired by you, in your usual benign and sagacious way, and your colleagues who have shared the Chair. Chairman Mao said that waste is a very great crime, and Confucius said:
''Virtue is more to man than either water or fire. I have seen men die from treading on water and fire, but I have never seen a man die from treading the course of virtue.''
Finally, hypothecation is a seventeenth century word drawn from the mediaeval Latin, not a creation of the Liberal Democrats. On that happy note—a note of virtue, good grace and courtesy—I am delighted to end my involvement with the environment once and for all.
Since I probably have less than 30 seconds, I shall not reiterate all those sentiments, but it has been a great pleasure to serve on this Committee. I congratulate my hon. Friends on their patience, and the Opposition and the Liberal party on the quality of their contributions, which have been outstanding. We
have had a fascinating time. As we went along, I have learned about plastic bags hidden in kitchen drawers, the train journeys of the hon. Member for Lewes and the weekends of the hon. Member for Guildford (Sue Doughty), as well as learning about waste in Denmark, and the trip of Environmental Audit Committee—and, indeed, the difference between symmetry and balance.
The only thing that I was concerned about was the more controversial headlines that threatened ''Meacher murders muckrakers'' and a number of other sallies. It has been an excellent Committee. I am very grateful to everyone. I have learned a lot. I think that we have unanimity and a real spirit to carry the Bill forward. I would also like to thank you, Mr. Amess, for your charming, friendly and inspiring leadership.
On behalf of my colleagues Anne Begg and Win Griffiths, I thank the Committee for the way in which it extended its courtesy to us, and I congratulate hon. Members on the way that they have conducted themselves throughout our proceedings. In every sense, it has been a model Committee. I wish to thank the Committee ushers, those who report our proceedings and those who advise us for their hard work. Last, but not least, I thank our Clerk for his wisdom, without which wise counsels would not have prevailed.
Question put and agreed to.
Bill, as amended, to be reported.
Committee rose at one minute past Five o'clock.