Results 41–60 of 2018 for speaker:Mr William Ross

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Clause 1 (30 Nov 2000)

Mr William Ross: The right hon. and learned Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Mr. Hogg), who is no longer in his place, mentioned that matter. He made a powerful case for following the course of action that the hon. Member for Montgomeryshire (Mr. Öpik) puts before the House. I cannot see any good reason for permitting a citizen of a nation that does not share our interests—our needs—to sit in this...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Clause 1 (30 Nov 2000)

Mr William Ross: That is a totally different issue; it is a red herring. If a Commonwealth citizen lives in this nation, is a taxpayer here and is on the electoral register, I have no objection. I recall that Australian and New Zealand citizens—the most recent was Mr. Gould—sat in this place; there may be Canadian or Australian Members at present. If they live in this country and give it their allegiance—

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Clause 1 (30 Nov 2000)

Mr William Ross: Indeed. If they fulfil the normal obligations, that is all right with me; no one could seriously object to that. No reciprocal arrangement has been made with the Dail; it would need to amend its constitution. This type of cross-over sitting would be available only to Northern Ireland Members of Parliament, not to Members of Parliament from Great Britain—in that sense, it is strictly a...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Clause 1 (30 Nov 2000)

Mr William Ross: I do not disagree with the hon. Gentleman; he correctly expresses my view of the matter. There is no consensus for this constitutional reform. No one in Britain asked for it. Apart from Sinn Fein, no one asked for it in Ireland. Indeed, in the other place, Lord Fitt said that none of the major parties in the Irish Republic were in favour of the reform. He had asked them; they were not in...

Orders of the Day — Disqualifications Bill: Clause 1 (30 Nov 2000)

Mr William Ross: Where in the Good Friday agreement is there any indication that the Bill would be introduced?

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry: Tobacco Manufacturing (30 Nov 2000)

Mr William Ross: Do the Government recall that, in past years, tobacco workers sounded a clear warning about the consequences of increasing taxation on tobacco? That was ignored, and we have seen a constant rise in smuggling and the consequent loss of jobs in the United Kingdom industry. Why do the Government continue to ignore the warnings that are being sounded by tobacco workers on the EU ban?

Clause 20 (29 Nov 2000)

Mr William Ross: I have listened with interest to the last two or three contributions, but living as I do in Northern Ireland and knowing exactly how such proposals are put into effect there, I shall not use the gentle words that some hon. Members have used in an effort to persuade the House of the rightness of their cause. Frankly, at this stage in the consideration of any Bill, the chances of changing the...

Clause 20 (29 Nov 2000)

Mr William Ross: I appreciate what you are saying, Mr. Speaker, but there is a fine line. I think that "inextricably linked" is the term that is applied to Sinn Fein/IRA, so what is political and what is terrorism in that respect?

Clause 20 (29 Nov 2000)

Mr William Ross: I accept that, Mr. Speaker, but my hon. Friend has drawn attention to political links and to the political protection that Sinn Fein offers to the terrorist organisation to which it is inextricably linked. In those circumstances, the links are not just terrorist but political. I have said enough about fuel smuggling and the amount of money that is lost through that. If the Minister thinks...

Clause 20 (29 Nov 2000)

Mr William Ross: I support the amendment tabled by the hon. Member for Beaconsfield (Mr. Grieve), which is widely supported by Opposition Members. I suspect that if Labour Members thought about it, they would also support it. Frankly, we always have difficulty getting people to take on the onerous task of being secretary. One will always get a chairman, or a vice-chairman—he figures that he will not have...

Orders of the Day — Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill and Disqualifications Bill(Allocation of Time): The allotted day (29 Nov 2000)

Mr William Ross: Does the hon. Gentleman appreciate that it is not merely an expatriate Irishman who can send money back? Someone who is expatriate four or five generations down the line, who still calls himself an Irish American or an Irish Australian can do so.

Pre-Budget Statement (8 Nov 2000)

Mr William Ross: The Chancellor will no doubt be delighted to hear that I agree with his strictures on spending temporary surpluses as though they were permanent features. I welcome the fact that he is spending at least part of the temporary surplus on repaying public debt and I hope that he will continue with that course until the public deficit is eventually eliminated. Does he agree that the fatal flaw of...

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Petrol Prices (8 Nov 2000)

Mr William Ross: Given that the number of vehicles is up and the consumption of all sorts of fuel in Northern Ireland is down, is the Minister prepared to deny the estimate by some people in Northern Ireland that there has been a loss of up to £1 billion to the revenue of the United Kingdom? If he does deny that, why? Will he then produce his own estimates, as the Treasury has clearly been unable to do so?

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment, Transport and the Regions: Home Improvement Grants (31 Oct 2000)

Mr William Ross: The Minister in the past has paid some attention to affairs in Northern Ireland and will be aware that, some years ago, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive went over to a means-tested system for housing grants. He will also know that, to put it mildly, that has not been an unmitigated success. Will he therefore keep in mind that any policy that he produces must also take account of the...

Spending Review (Defence) (24 Jul 2000)

Mr William Ross: It was evident from the right hon. Gentleman's statement that he intends to remedy some of the equipment defects that have shown up in recent conflicts. However, will he go further and tell us exactly how many extra soldiers, sailors and airmen there will be? Equipment is not much use if we do not have the men to wield it. Above all, what steps will he take to ensure that the soldiers on the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Weapons (19 Jul 2000)

Mr William Ross: How many weapons believed to be held by terrorist organisations have been recovered by the RUC and the Army in Northern Ireland this year. [129860]

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Weapons (19 Jul 2000)

Mr William Ross: Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that we on these Benches— [Interruption.]

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Weapons (19 Jul 2000)

Mr William Ross: Does the Secretary of State appreciate that we on these Benches agree entirely with the remarks by the right hon. Member for Bracknell (Mr. MacKay)? Does he also appreciate that not a single round of ammunition or weapon that he has just detailed was given up voluntarily, but that they all had to be recovered from the terrorists, who were unwilling to give them up? Has the Secretary of State...

Orders of the Day — Police (Northern Ireland) Bill (Allocation of Time): Supplemental Orders (11 Jul 2000)

Mr William Ross: All visitors to the House pass through St. Stephen's Hall, in which there is a depiction of the barons confronting King John. That was the first formidable effort to restrict the power of the Executive in those days, and the House is directly descended from that incident.

Orders of the Day — Police (Northern Ireland) Bill (Allocation of Time): Supplemental Orders (11 Jul 2000)

Mr William Ross: Magna Carta, as the hon. and learned Gentleman says. Therefore, Members of the House have a duty not only to represent the views of their constituents, but to curb the excesses of the Executive and to call them to account. Guillotined Bills and timetable motions are an attempt to limit the capacity of all Members of the House to fulfil that duty, and no Member should lose sight of that...


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