Lord Clinton-Davis: Am I right in saying that the maritime unions have raised no objections to the name of this organisation?
Lord Clinton-Davis: My Lords, is it not clear that the Opposition had absolutely nothing to say about the three European airports mentioned by my noble friend? They had nothing to say about jobs in or around Heathrow Airport. They had nothing to say about the new generation of aircraft that are coming on line. Are these not highly relevant as far as the issue that we are considering is concerned? Has not the...
Lord Clinton-Davis: My Lords—
Lord Clinton-Davis: My Lords, does my noble friend agree—
Lord Clinton-Davis: My Lords, enlarging on what the Minister has just said, may I ask what the Government are doing to ensure that the fragile peace can be converted into a durable settlement?
Lord Clinton-Davis: My Lords, I turn immediately to my noble friend Lord Stone whom all of us wish was the leader of the world. All the problems of the Middle East would be solved if his trade plans were followed. Although I applaud his optimism, I do not think that he has all the answers to our present problems. The situation in Gaza is indeed tragic and complex. No civilised person could fail to be moved by...
Lord Clinton-Davis: My Lords, is not the top priority now to examine the possibility of working out a permanent peace settlement, in view of the tremendously fragile character of the situation at present?
Lord Clinton-Davis: My Lords, will my noble friend say something about Clause 47 referring to "Restriction on studies"? How pervasive will it be? Does he agree that it needs further clarification?
Lord Clinton-Davis: My Lords, I am rather uneasy about certain aspects of the Bill, although some parts of it are fine and deserve our support. I pity immigration practitioners because they have to deal with so many laws, and at present the situation is rather imperfect. Let us take, for example, the conferring of too much power, as I believe, on immigration officials. They are able to determine the linguistic...
Lord Clinton-Davis: To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to prevent an influx of Canada geese from causing damage to airlines, runways and other infrastructure at Heathrow and other United Kingdom airports.
Lord Clinton-Davis: My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper. In doing so, I declare an interest as the president of BALPA.
Lord Clinton-Davis: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for that Answer. Is it not right that large flocks of birds, or large birds, constitute a special problem that ought to be avoided if possible? Does it not illustrate the dangers of the development of estuarial airports, such as Maplin, favoured by the Mayor of London? It is one of the reasons, is it not, why the CAA turned that proposal down?
Lord Clinton-Davis: I adopt entirely the arguments of the noble Lord, Lord Hylton. I cannot understand why the burden of proof should shift on to refugees to satisfy the requirement that they were not at any time during the qualifying immigration period in the UK in breach of immigration laws. I also adopt the argument he adduced that it is impossible for the Government to opt out of their international...
Lord Clinton-Davis: The UNHCR has taken the trouble to write to a number of noble Lords about this issue. It is all very well for the Minister to say that the Government will listen carefully to what has been said but we need something more positive. The Government ought to take into account what the UNHCR is arguing, which is much more positive than what he has just said.
Lord Clinton-Davis: As I said before, the UNHCR considers this issue to be of paramount importance and many Members of this Committee share that view. What I would like the Minister to say is not that the Government will consider the issue but that the Government will be in touch with the UNHCR to derive from it the conditions that it is setting. We should be in absolute obeisance to what it has to say.
Lord Clinton-Davis: My Lords, the Minister referred in his Statement to the broader reform of banking supervision and regulation. May I ask him for further and better particulars about that? What does he have in mind about banking supervision? Surely it will take place immediately. Is that right? Is Parliament to be consulted about the regulations? When will they be made, if at all?
Lord Clinton-Davis: To ask Her Majesty's Government what consultations they have had about the use of current take-off and landing slots at United Kingdom airports in general, and Heathrow in particular.
Lord Clinton-Davis: To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have been consulted about the proposed take-over of BMI by Lufthansa.
Lord Clinton-Davis: My Lords, does not the increase from £200 to £500 represent an increase way above the current rate of inflation? Why is that?
Lord Clinton-Davis: My Lords, would it not have been possible to have investigated the situation from year to year, rather than come to a figure now, which is very difficult to justify?