Gerald Kaufman: Hon. Members opposite cheer again, because this was a partisan speech.
Gerald Kaufman: You were good enough to tell me, Mr. Speaker, that if I strayed beyond the bounds of order you would correct me, and I have said that I would accept your Ruling.
Gerald Kaufman: If I may say so, with respect, since your conduct of the Chair has been such in your period of office as to attract respect from all of us, Lord Cromer is well equipped to defend himself and he speaks in public a great deal.
Gerald Kaufman: I am obliged to you, Mr. Speaker. As I have said, I shall abide by any Ruling you make on this matter. I should like to continue making the point that you yourself have fairly put—that the Foreign Secretary is responsible for these matters and for the conduct of an ambassador. Therefore, if an ambassador behaves in a way in which it is not suitable for an ambassador to behave—namely, as...
Gerald Kaufman: No, I will not give way to the hon. Gentleman.
Gerald Kaufman: I will give way to the hon. Member for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison), for I said that I would do so.
Gerald Kaufman: If I may reply to the hon. Member for Chigwell, whose courtesy I appreciate; the text can certainly be produced. I do not have it with me, but one of my hon. Friends has gone to secure it; it is in the Library. It was reported in the Observer of three or four Sundays ago. If it is not produced in the course of my speech, I guarantee to hand a copy to the hon. Gentleman so that he will know...
Gerald Kaufman: I apologise, Mr. Speaker, and I move from that to say that I submit that the conduct of the Countess of Cromer necessitates that the Secretary of State should recall her husband in order that she may be recalled and stopped from doing greater damage in Washington than she has done already. We all recall that during the General Election campaign there was a notorious broadcast on B.B.C....
Gerald Kaufman: Surely we would not have time to debate that in Easter week because of all the other desirable debates which my hon. Friend is suggesting for that time. Ought we perhaps to sit over the following weekend?
Gerald Kaufman: I have had occasion before to point out that the hon. Gentleman is my representative in the House. He represents some areas in London which are extremely badly housed, and instead of being amused by what my hon. Friend has said he would do better to support him on the matter.
Gerald Kaufman: I would not wish to contradict the right hon. Gentleman were it not for the fact that there are on record from senior members of the previous Government criticisms of Lord Cromer's conduct, unfavourable comparisons being made with his predecessor Sir Leslie O'Brien.
Gerald Kaufman: And the Tory Party.
Gerald Kaufman: On a point of order. My hon. Friend the Member for Hitchin (Mrs. Shirley Williams) put a question to the Secretary of State to which he did not reply, perhaps recognising that it was a matter not for him but for you, Mr. Speaker, and I should like to make a submission to you about it. My hon. Friend asked how it came about in that almost every newspaper today there was an advance story in...
Gerald Kaufman: asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the purchasing power of the £ sterling now, taking it as 100p on 18th June, 1970.
Gerald Kaufman: Without my asking the hon. Gentleman to anticipate his right hon. Friend's Budget Statement, would he nevertheless ask the Chancellor to include in his Budget a declaration making it clear that any tax concessions or social service benefits in the Budget have already lost one-eighteenth of their value as a result of the inflation over which the Tory Government have complacently presided?
Gerald Kaufman: asked the Prime Minister whether he will increase the number of Ministers in the Ministry of Defence.
Gerald Kaufman: That scarcely surprises me. Does the Prime Minister recall his unequivocal pledge on "Panorama" on 2nd February last year that any Government led by him would continue the Labour Government's policy of spending more on education than on defence, and will he say which Minister in the Ministry of Defence is in charge of implementing that pledge in view of the fact, substantiated in the Daily...
Gerald Kaufman: On the subject of traffic noise, would the Minister take power to provide financial compensation—for example, to my constituents in New Bank Street, Longsight, whose homes are being made almost uninhabitable by noise from freight liner traffic passing by, and who need to double-glaze their homes to rid themselves of this intolerable noise?
Gerald Kaufman: It is over-represented.
Gerald Kaufman: I am sorry that I have to disagree with my hon. Friend the Member for Hackney, Central (Mr. Clinton Davis) when he says that this provision which we seek to amend is "bare-faced". I differ from him entirely since I regard it as a sly little provision, which would have slipped through the House of Commons if it had not been for the vigilance of my hon. Friend and also of my hon. Friend the...