Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: In spite of the increase in expenditure, is the Minister satisfied that we have sufficient supplies of modern helicopters, modern frigates and modern fighters?
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: Will the Leader of the House ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to make a statement on the A330 and A340 Airbus project? Is he aware that more than 400 A320s have been sold, but we guess that 200 sales were lost because of delays? It looks as though we have lost some sales of A330 and A340 aircraft including sales to Alitalia. Will the right hon. Gentleman please urgently...
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that despite the long delay and the orders that have now been announced, we shall still be 50 per cent. short? It reminds me a little of 1939, when we had the appropriate aircraft but not enough of them. The right hon. Gentleman ought to bear that in mind. Will he take it from me that unless there is collaboration with Europe we shall lose face? If he...
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: Will the Leader of the House take it from me that there has never before been a time when hon. Members on both sides of the House who are interested in aviation have seen the American civil aviation industry so worried? It is worried because it sees a real threat from the A320, and a positive approaching threat from the A330 and A340. Should we not avoid losing our lead, and make adequate and...
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: If there is a change in the provision of convalescent beds, will the Minister seriously take into account the importance of applying rehabilitation techniques within those convalescent places? Will he make sure that there is adequate back-up from the paramedical professions?
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: Does the Minister agree that expenditure on capital developments at regional airports would greatly assist the development of the depressed areas of our country?
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: As American airlines have change of gauge facilities in this country, will the Minister arrange for British airlines to have similar change of gauge arrangements in the United States?
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: When the Minister receives the application, will he give it favourable and speedy consideration and appreciate the significance of the rail link, not only for the airport, but for the infrastructure of Manchester and the north-west?
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: I should declare an interest at the outset because I am an old-age pensioner and, therefore, one could say that is an example of enlightened self-interest. I am pleased to say that I am enjoying good health. I would like to strike an optimistic note. I would like the Minister to answer the three issues I am going to raise. I want to talk about a continuing interest I have had over 20 years...
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: Does the Minister agree that AST 404 was the product of a study, but that it did not produce helicopters? Is he aware that Back-Bench Members on both sides of the House have made representations to his Department over four years, and does he realise that without orders Westland is in grave danger of not surviving?
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: Is the Minister unable to combine a little bit of staff duties for pilots with some flying experience as well? Is that beyond the planning schemes?
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: Will the Minister take it from me that we wish him well in his endeavours, but that he needs an awful lot of luck to be successful?
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: After 22 years involvement in the House in respect of disability, I shall now make my shortest speech on the subject. It is heartwarming that the disabled people are concerned about prevention. I am delighted to be associated with the Spastics Society's move to prevent disability in the young. The society has realised the suffering caused by disability, and it is willing to make a sacrifice...
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: On a point of clarity, I can tell the hon. Gentleman that the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 went through the House at about 4 o'clock on the last morning before the general election. The implementation of that Act, known as the Alf Morris Act, was up to the Conservative Government.
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: I can see the problem and I can see the value of the discussion. When the Minister has had the discussions and the sums have been fixed—I assume that this will be in the not too distant future—will he tell the Chancellor of the Exchequer that some of the billions to be given away would be going to a good cause if they were spent on the implementation of my hon. Friends Act?
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: In view of the importance of community care, when does the Minister expect those eligible to be released from long-stay mental hospitals will be evacuated, given the rate at which funds are being provided?
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: If the working party reports and if, as is most likely, it recommends that there should be better trade training and better safety practices, will the Minister undertake to implement such recommendations speedily?
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: Does the Minister accept that it would be a considerable help to Manchester and the regions if he was to have a word with his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and order the A340 Airbus, to allow regions such as Manchester to provide aircraft for the long, narrow routes?
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: Does the Minister agree that this dispute has probably more to do with McColl, the re-signing of the contract with the DHSS and the case now before the court about contracts? Does he not think that drastic needs require drastic action? Will he try to approach the chairman of BTR and tell him that this dispute is not doing his company any good at all?
Mr Lewis Carter-Jones: Is the Minister aware that he would have the support of the entire House if he did not allow the negotiations to prevent his Department from providing speedy support for the A330 and A340 Airbus? Is he aware that his Department's support of the A320 Airbus, which preserved that high technology, is likely to be repaid in the very near future?