Results 1–20 of 9526 for speaker:Mr John Biffen

Working Time Directive (12 Nov 1996)

Mr John Biffen: May I welcome my right hon. Friend's statement and in so doing commend the remarks of my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Thames (Mr. Lamont) about the importance of developing national institutions for guarding and developing what are essentially national issues? In that context, is it not clear that the price for European partnership cannot be purchased by the danegeld of...

Orders of the Day — Accelerated Slaughter Programme (24 Jul 1996)

Mr John Biffen: I welcome the decision of my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister to take part in this debate. I very much appreciate his gesture, given the difficulty that he has with his voice. I believe that the whole House welcomes it; it underlines the importance of this topic to many of our constituencies. I assure you, Madam Deputy Speaker, that I shall try to keep my remarks to the minimum,...

Orders of the Day — Accelerated Slaughter Programme (24 Jul 1996)

Mr John Biffen: I see that his son and heir is present. I am not sure whether the hon. Gentleman represents quite the same robust views on the issues of our time. Mr. Peart fought his battles with the Treasury, but above all, broadly speaking, he was the master of his own Department. He did not have to go across to Brussels every five or 20 minutes to seek guidance, secure permission, and so on. I am not in...

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (29 Apr 1996)

Mr John Biffen: Is my right hon. Friend aware that many farmers who are privileged to be Welsh use Oswestry market? Is it his judgment that the Government's slaughter programme—covering cull cows and other categories—consigns to death and incineration an enormous number of cattle that show no sign of BSE? How does he think that that will restore public confidence in beef eating?

Oral Answers to Questions — House of Commons: Parliamentary Procedures (22 Apr 1996)

Mr John Biffen: Is my right hon. Friend aware that it is increasingly clear that it is a Herculean task to sustain British interest in the European Union? To that end, will he consider the procedures of this Parliament so that the House of Commons can increasingly add its voice and its votes to guide the Government on our policies in Europe so that, once again, it will be seen that this House speaks for Britain?

BSE (3 Apr 1996)

Mr John Biffen: I tender my respects to my right hon. and learned Friend for the stamina that he has shown in the past few days at the Council of Ministers. During that great ministerial marathon, when our partners proposed a more intensified policy of slaughter, did they also advance scientific and veterinary evidence to justify those proposals? If not, were the proposals designed to promote a restoration...

Millennium Exhibition (28 Feb 1996)

Mr John Biffen: As my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister is in the market for another job, may I suggest that he be directed to establish a millennium-free zone, to which all those may repair who do not want to be deafened and drenched by millennium mania in the next two or three years?

Business of the House (22 Feb 1996)

Mr John Biffen: On Monday's business, has my right hon. Friend been approached by the official Opposition about the offer of an Opposition day to match the Adjournment debate, the motion for which would be amendable, which would consequently enable a two-day debate on Scott and therefore validate the sincerity of their protestations?

Standards and Privileges (6 Nov 1995)

Mr John Biffen: My right hon. Friend the Member for Bridgwater (Mr. King) described a sense of unease—almost distaste—about the nature of this debate. Obviously no one enjoys talking about his emoluments. But there is also a sense of frustration, in that, ideally, we should like to discuss the whole question of registration and financial disclosure and its regulation and enforcement. The context that...

Bosnia (12 Jul 1995)

Mr John Biffen: I warmly congratulate my right hon. and learned Friend on his appointment as Foreign Secretary. Does he ever reflect on the wisdom that echoes down the ages in Bismarck's comment that the Balkans were not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier? In that context, is it not incumbent upon us to make the most realistic assessment of our current military commitment in that part of the...

Points of Order (10 Jul 1995)

Mr John Biffen: Further to that point of order, Madam Speaker. Did it occur to you that the quality of Welsh questions was enormously improved today? I wonder, in those circumstances, whether you might use your good offices to have today's proceedings made into a permanent routine.

Council Tax (15 Jun 1995)

Mr John Biffen: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment was challenged on account of the length of his speech. I regret that, because it is all too much of a rarity now to have a ministerial speech peppered with interventions, yet that is at the heart of the practice of Parliament and the exposition of difficult and arcane topics, and there are probably few topics more arcane than...

Council Tax (15 Jun 1995)

Mr John Biffen: And certainly more brief. I shall concentrate upon the fortunes of Shropshire. The county sought a budget of just more than £245 million against the Department of the Environment's preferred budget of £239 million. It is the £6 million difference that has been at the heart of the discussions and the dissent. I pay tribute to the Minister of State for his courtesy and care in consulting...

Business of the House (25 May 1995)

Mr John Biffen: I appreciate that the business announced covers relations with Russia and the Ukraine but it does not mention Shropshire. May I inquire of my right hon. Friend that one may know soon that the Government have accepted the balanced and wise budgets determined by Shropshire county council and endorsed by the hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mr. Grocott) and my hon. Friend the Member for Ludlow (Mr....

Privileges (20 Apr 1995)

Mr John Biffen: These are unhappy occasions for the House of Commons. It is quite clear that my hon. Friends the Members for Colne Valley (Mr. Riddick) and for Bosworth (Mr. Tredinnick) have, as they said, committed errors of judgment. I might say that they were most breathtaking errors of judgment. However, ever since they have been Members of this House I have been pleased to operate with them as political...

Privileges (20 Apr 1995)

Mr John Biffen: No. I have said that I would be brief, and I hope to hold to the promise. The House is at its best when it is trying to make equitable judgments and not fashion punishment.

Orders of the Day — Committee of Selection (11 Jan 1995)

Mr John Biffen: I do not usually have the immediate presence of my hon. Friend the Member for Altrincham and Sale (Sir F. Montgomery) on these Benches, but I am delighted that that is the situation this evening because I should like to pay tribute to him as Chairman of the Committee of Selection. The Committee does a tremendous and unsung task for the House. It is a good example of where this place properly...

Fisheries Council (10 Jan 1995)

Mr John Biffen: Is it not clear that the House is now beginning fully to understand the difficulties that arise when European Union decisions are resolved by majority voting? Does my right hon. Friend agree that at the intergovernmental conference in 1996 there must be a clear statement of British policy that the present scope of majority voting will not be extended?

Orders of the Day — Adjournment (Christmas) (19 Dec 1994)

Mr John Biffen: I should like to detain the House for a few moments to put to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House some of the problems arising from the provisional revenue support grant for the county of Shropshire. The matter will be taken further forward on 3 January when a delegation from the county council, which I will accompany, will discuss the matter with a Minister from the Department of...

Ways and Means (13 Dec 1994)

Mr John Biffen: I apologise to the House and, more particularly, to the Front-Bench spokesmen, that I have an unbreakable commitment that will keep me from the bulk of the debate, including the winding-up speeches. I assure the Whip, however, that I shall be here for the vote and I shall, I hope, compensate for my bad behaviour by making a short speech. I always enjoy these occasions, not least because my...


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