Gerald Kaufman: In view of authoritative statements that unemployment will rise this winter to one million, and since firms are pulling out of development areas, instead of going into them, because of the Government's policy, and since incentives are being withdrawn, should not the Government take action, instead of leaving it to the development associations despairingly to try to get together to do the job...
Gerald Kaufman: asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will introduce legislation to make illegal the trading practices of the kind detailed in the communication to him dated 11th November from the hon. Member for Manchester, Ardwick.
Gerald Kaufman: Is the Minister aware, that, despite the inquiry of a few years ago, the practice of the firm Bezelplan Ltd., of conning unsuspecting customers out of their money without necessarily giving them any goods in return, is continuing? Should he not look at the matter again with a view to a further inquiry and trying to stop people losing money to this firm?
Gerald Kaufman: In view of the totally unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible opportunity.
Gerald Kaufman: Is not this in anticipation of the decision on metrication which the Government have promised hon. Members opposite, particularly the hon. Member for Harrow, West (Mr. John Page) will not be made till this House has given them power to decide?
Gerald Kaufman: My hon. Friend is making a powerful case. I remind him of the most remarkable point, about the hiving-off—if I may use that term in the presence of the Under-Secretary—of those staff engaged in the supply of food and drink. I have no views about this and its significance, but their exclusion will make the calculation even more difficult.
Gerald Kaufman: For once my hon. Friend is a little wide of the mark. Surely this work could be done by computer. If computers were bought for the purpose from I.C.L. in West Gorton, which is in my constituency, some good might come from the exercise.
Gerald Kaufman: My hon. Friend is being far too kind to the Government. I suggest that what the Government are doing on this emolument-based levy is infinitely more sinister than he suggests. If he considers the matter carefully, he will realise that the implications of their action go much further.
Gerald Kaufman: With respect to my hon. Friend, surely he is arrogating to himself something which he should not do. On page 2 of the Order he will see a reference to the Act of 1889. Surely, it is for that Act to interpret what is a small or large firm.
Gerald Kaufman: With respect, the hon. Gentleman is not taking into account the very significant differences between this Order and the Order of 1967. It is all very well to say that there was consultation in 1967 and that there has been consultation now, but the Prime Minister has shown at Singapore that the idea of consultation under this Government is very different from that under the previous Government.
Gerald Kaufman: On a point of order, Sir Robert. Can you do something to get silence in the Committee so that the hon. Gentleman can be heard with the respect that he deserves?
Gerald Kaufman: On a point of order. The Leader of the House gave me an assurance that the Government had no attitude to the Bill. Could it be recorded in HANSARD that objection to it was taken by a Government Whip?
Gerald Kaufman: In considering the future of local radio in Wiltshire or elsewhere, will the right hon. Gentleman take into account that allegations of corruption against the B.B.C., which I trust he is taking seriously, will be as nothing to the scope for corruption which there will be if he introduces commercial radio?
Gerald Kaufman: My hon. Friend will remember that Sir Edmund Compton would never have been appointed as Ombudsman to Northern Ireland but for the pressure of hon. Members on this side of the House, against the resistance of hon. Members opposite.
Gerald Kaufman: On a point of order. Before we come to Clause 1, may I ask what we do about approving the Preamble, since it contains certain elements to which I take exception? Do we consider the Preamble when we discuss the Question, That Clause 1 stand part of the Bill?
Gerald Kaufman: On a point of order. Is it in order for the hon. Member for Gillingham (Mr. Burden), but for whom I would have been in the House many years ago, to intervene from a sedentary position when all of us would like to hear from him at length in a standing position?
Gerald Kaufman: My right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. Michael Stewart) mentioned a matter which has greatly concerned me in my consideration of the Bill and which will concern me when we debate the later Clauses; I refer to the need for legislation to be phrased in easily comprehensible twentieth century English. What disturbs me about the Clause is that the Bill, like all Bills, is subject for...
Gerald Kaufman: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. The hon. Gentleman is making a point which arises on the second half of Section 12(2) of the 1889 Act which says— or the Commissioners for the time being of Her Majesty's Treasury". If we are to define words, we must define them with clarity. The hon. Member for Chigwell said that we have Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, but this Section refers to...
Gerald Kaufman: I am about to clarify it.
Gerald Kaufman: I take into account what the right hon. Gentleman said. Therefore, Sir Robert, I do not wish to detain the Committee. My point has some substance, and I hope that I shall be able to return to it on another occasion. In view of what the right hon. Gentleman said, I am prepared to bring by remarks to an end—although I would wish on future occasions to come back to the Interpretation Act, a...