Nicholas Soames: In congratulating the right hon. Gentleman and his Committee on the extraordinarily great service that they have rendered to the House in drawing its attention to what is, by anyone's standards, one of the greatest procurement scandals of the century, may I ask him whether be believes that, as it is so difficult for the House properly to supervise the spending of public funds in the Ministry...
Nicholas Soames: Does my hon. Friend agree that we should do everything we can to persuade the Americans that we are serious about tourism in this country? Does my hon. Friend agree that, to that end, the decision of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport to cancel the heli-link between Gatwick and Heathrow does nothing to promote the interests of tourism?
Nicholas Soames: Is my right hon. Friend aware of the grave concern from both sides of the House about certain aspects of the defence procurement programme? While I acknowledge that there will be an important debate on the Defence Estimates, will he try to arrange a special day for the House to debate some of the unearthed scandals that lie in that Department?
Nicholas Soames: If my hon. Friend were to permit such a contingency reserve at the Ministry of Defence, will he stipulate that not one penny of that money should go to that sink of profligacy, the Procurement Executive, whose, incompetence and mismanagement have led to an appalling waste of money on Nimrod and the torpedo programme?
Nicholas Soames: Will my right hon. Friend make time available for the House to debate the excellent report from the Public Accounts Committee on the torpedo programme and the other procurement scandal, apart from Nimrod, that lurks within the Ministry of Defence? At the end of the day it is likely that the Tigerfish torpedo will cost even more money than the Nimrod programme. May we have an early debate on...
Nicholas Soames: Is my hon. Friend aware that the imposition of sanctions is likely to produce more bloodshed and more anger? In the townships of Uitenhage and New London unemployment is already running at 50 per cent. What possible advantage could accrue to those we wish to help by the imposition of sanctions?
Nicholas Soames: Does the hon. Gentleman agree that it is an appalling indictment of those who work in those kitchens that they allow them to be so disgraceful?
Nicholas Soames: Will my hon. Friend ignore the blandishments of my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton), who has for a long time now borne the imprint of the last lobbyist to have sat on him? The important point is not the number but the geographical content of the Committee. My hon. Friend will be aware that much of the detail of the Bill and much of the land acquisition hangs upon the...
Nicholas Soames: Will my right hon. Friend acknowledge that in the south-east in particular there is real difficulty because of the extraordinarily high price of housing? At the same time there is a good deal of surplus NHS property. How will my right hon. Friend handle the matter in the south-east?
Nicholas Soames: As we have a new Secretary of State for the Environment, whose views on that subject appear to be somewhat ambiguous following the Channel tunnel planning application, will my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House give an assurance that there will be an early debate on the green belt? In that way those of us who are greatly concerned will have an opportunity to elucidate our views.
Nicholas Soames: When my right hon. Friend is considering the Channel tunnel project, will he bear in mind the shambles that has been caused on the M25 by the inaccuracy of the planning of officials in his Department? What confidence can my right hon. Friend have in the forecast traffic levels for the Channel tunnel project?
Nicholas Soames: Will my right hon. Friend join me in regretting today's announcement by British Caledonian of nearly 1,000 redundancies, many of whom are my constituents [Interruption]—
Nicholas Soames: In the light of this sad news, will my right hon. Friend have a word with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport and ask him to overturn his appalling decision to revoke the licence for the air link between Gatwick and Heathrow?
Nicholas Soames: I am very grateful for this opportunity to debate the Heathrow to Gatwick helicopter airlink. It is an issue of profound importance to my constituents. The licence was originally granted to British Caledonian Airways Ltd. and British Airways Helicopters Ltd. for one year only in 1978. A new application was granted in 1979 for four years. In 1983, British Caledonian and British Airways...
Nicholas Soames: I endorse entirely the action taken by my hon. Friend and his Department, but, nevertheless, will he tell the United States Government that, despite evidence of Syrian terrorism, it would be utterly wrong for the United States to undertake any punitive raid against Syria and that, although the Soviet Union may almost certainly have given the green light on the Libyan raid, it definitely would...
Nicholas Soames: Nevertheless, does my right hon. Friend agree that the museum authorities are extremely unhelpful about requests of this type? Will he assure the House that no reasonable and properly underwritten request will be turned down for the loan of such pictures in the provinces?
Nicholas Soames: What representations has my right hon. and learned Friend made to the Government of Israel about the outrageous abuses of human rights meted out to the Palestinians on the West Bank?
Nicholas Soames: asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received on the science part of his Department's budget.
Nicholas Soames: In view of the increasingly unsatisfactory way in which the Government administer the science budget, does my right hon. Friend agree that there should be a Minister in his Department whose sole responsibility it would be to pull together all the strands of the science budget in the Government's spending programme?
Nicholas Soames: I welcome the news that further talks are to take place, but does my right hon. Friend agree that the prison officers who took part in the action yesterday showed a gross and inexcusable dereliction of duty?