Bill Cash: I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his statement and on the Green Paper, which represents a landmark in responsible government. Will he explain more precisely how he will protect widows? Will they receive the 7 per cent. increase that has been allowed for everyone else? He was not entirely specific on that point.
Bill Cash: Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?
Bill Cash: Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?
Bill Cash: I welcome the Bill, with some reservations. I shall confine my remarks to part II, which deals with licensed conveyancing, and at the outset I declare my interest. I am a solicitor, and for about 10 years I have been a legal adviser to the Institute of Legal Executives. I played some part in the preparation of evidence to the Farrand committee. I am also a legal adviser to the Society of...
Bill Cash: Could I please ask my hon. Friend, with whom I have the pleasure to share a room, and who frequently asks me for my opinion as a lawyer, which I am happy freely to give him at almost any time of the day or night, to tell me, because of the extreme attack that he has made on the legal profession this evening, how Acts of Parliament which come before tribunals would be interpreted if lawyers...
Bill Cash: As the vice-chairman of the Conservative Small Business Bureau, may I say to my room mate that I should be glad to look into that matter, particularly as I happen also to be on one of the parliamentary committees of the Law Society. I shall take it up with both bodies.
Bill Cash: Does the hon. Gentleman agree that one or two of the statistics that he has given suggest that there are many cases where people have pursued unfair dismissal applications unreasonably, vexatiously or frivolously and that as a result unjustified time was spent by employers? The facts that he has given about the few cases which have been upheld by the courts demonstrate the point that I am making.
Bill Cash: To bring matters a little more up to date, does the hon. Lady accept that, of the 10,381 cases which went to hearing, 68 per cent. were dismissed, showing that there was no real substance in the cases?
Bill Cash: Will the hon. Gentleman be good enough to explain how it was that in 1978, when the precursor to this order was going through the House and the Labour party was in Government, it allowed a private Member's Bill that contained the essence of this order to be passed against the then Government's Whip because Labour Members did not turn up to support their Government?
Bill Cash: I wish to complete the story by explaining that I have some knowledge of this because I drafted the Bill in question.
Bill Cash: In view of the words that the hon. Gentleman used in the earlier part of the proceedings, when he referred to part V, will the assurance that he has just given be translated into an undertaking that the GLC will agree to exclude part V by amending the Bill?
Bill Cash: The hon. Gentleman mentioned national interest. Perhaps he has overlooked the point that it is a proven national interest. Does he agree that the appropriate time for considering the matters of proof will be before the Opposed Private Bill Committee, to which the Bill will be referred?
Bill Cash: I am grateful to my right hon. and learned Friend for making a statement and for agreeing to the independent inquiry for which I have called over the past week. I am also grateful for the effective and immediate advice tendered to the district health authority by the Government and their officials. Has my right hon. and learned Friend any idea when the inquiry is likely to take place?
Bill Cash: On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I wish to protest about the procedural position that has developed.
Bill Cash: My point is that these proceedings are wasting time.
Bill Cash: I wish briefly to show the sort of nonsense that the hon. Member for Torfaen (Mr. Abse), who is a lawyer, has been speaking by quoting Lord Devlin's remark about the word "knowingly". He said: All that the word 'knowingly' does is to say expressly what is normally implied". The hon. Gentleman is indulging in an exercise to waste time, and he knows it.
Bill Cash: My hon. Friend has had reason to use the word "knowingly" in proceedings. Is he aware, as I pointed out in an earlier intervention, that Lord Devlin has taken the view that the word "knowingly" is not necessary, that it is superfluous and would normally be implied in a situation of the kind with which my hon. Friend is dealing?
Bill Cash: rose——
Bill Cash: Having spoken about the vindictiveness of the Government and the way in which Mr. MacGregor has behaved, will the right hon. Gentleman explain why, under the Labour Government, when he was a Minister, no redundant miner under the age of 50 received any capital payments, whereas under the present Government, whom the right hon. Gentleman has so heavily criticised, a 49-year-old miner with 33...
Bill Cash: Did the branch secretary concerned take the case to the industrial tribunal on the ground of unfair dismissal? Does the right hon. Gentleman have any information about that?