Lord Renton: My Lords, this cross-country rail franchise is badly needed. How long will it take to implement?
Lord Renton: My Lords, the Minister may not be aware that the noble Baroness the Lord Speaker served in another place in a constituency close to the one in which I served. In her present position she would gladly, I am sure, accept any further responsibility that we place on her.
Lord Renton: My Lords, will the Government bear it in mind that in the interests of security, and the great need for it, it would be better not to have increased vehicular access to the Palace of Westminster?
Lord Renton: My Lords, although it is unsafe for trains to run fast on certain small branch lines, is it not the right policy to permit speed on the rail?
Lord Renton: My Lords, having been in the other place from 1945 until 1979, may I say that the other place has somewhat declined in its representation and that your Lordships' House has increased its representation to a most remarkable extent? Indeed, I venture to suggest that it is better left as it is, because if it tried to be representative by election it might decline.
Lord Renton: My Lords, will the Government bear it in mind that there is really no scope for reforming divorce law but that maintenance law could be relaxed?
Lord Renton: My Lords, is not the real question that in any modern democracy the great mass of people is only concerned in the broadest terms about who is going to have power and that we must educate the people much more than they have been in order to get them to understand the real situation?
Lord Renton: My Lords, bearing in mind the importance of the energy review, can the Minister give an undertaking that it will be published in good time for both Houses of Parliament to discuss it before we rise in July?
Lord Renton: My Lords—
Lord Renton: My Lords, does the noble Baroness agree that Parliament Square is one of the most historic and elegant places in the United Kingdom and that the various placards placed there from time to time diminish its importance?
Lord Renton: My Lords, will the Government explain to the Egyptian Government that in this country we pride ourselves on being open-minded towards people of other religions and that we tolerate their existence here?
Lord Renton: My Lords, is the noble Lord aware that fathers who are married have considerable responsibilities, which do not need to be enlarged, but that fathers who are unmarried, perhaps even fathers who are divorced, need to have their responsibilities considered carefully?
Lord Renton: My Lords, I have served in Parliament for the past 60 years—34 years in the other place and 26 years in your Lordships' House. Of course, there have been tremendous changes in that time. These conventions for consideration are based on what was, not what is or what should be. For example, the Salisbury/Addison convention was formulated when your Lordships' House consisted entirely of the...
Lord Renton: My Lords, when for hundreds of years in England and Wales we have had schools called "school", why would it be of advantage to any of them to change their name to "academy"?
Lord Renton: My Lords, surely everyone who suffers from incapacity is entitled to the benefit that the state allows. Can the Minister give us an undertaking that, in every case, there is a full inquiry into the incapacity benefit that should be paid?
Lord Renton: My Lords, although I have been in Parliament for more than 60 years, I have never before seen the expression "transformational agenda". Does the noble Baroness know what it means? If so, could she tell us?
Lord Renton: My Lords, as Christians and Muslims each believe in one God, which must be the same God, how can they possibly justify the killing of other Christians and Muslims?