Results 1–20 of 2978 for speaker:Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Prayers: East Ayrshire Community Hospital (19 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: I congratulate the hon. Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley (Mr. Foulkes) on securing a debate on this important subject. I should like to say straight away that there have certainly been no cuts in specification for the new hospital. I am extremely encouraged by the recent good progress towards securing the new facility, and I am delighted that more locally based, responsive health...

Prayers: East Ayrshire Community Hospital (19 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: I shall say in the course of my remarks. The hon. Gentleman will, I am sure, be the first to recognise the particular importance of the project. East Ayrshire contains areas of considerable socio-economic deprivation and unemployment, and relatively poor health. All the parties involved with the project have recognised from the outset that the development of health services in the area must...

Prayers: East Ayrshire Community Hospital (19 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: I am just coming to that. As I have said, good progress has been made. The hon. Gentleman will be aware that, in the autumn of 1995, the health board selected Ayrshire and Arran Community Healthcare NHS trust to take forward its proposals for the new community hospital. Having advertised for bidders, narrowed down a shortlist, and examined the resulting tenders, the trust selected a private...

Prayers: East Ayrshire Community Hospital (19 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: We are virtually at the stage at which a PFI project can go ahead. If the hon. Gentleman favoured that—I see that he does not, so I cannot make him an offer, given the election rules. The PFI will greatly benefit the national health service, because it will ensure that public sector funds go much further. The PFI is new territory for the NHS and the private sector, and both have much to...

Prayers: East Ayrshire Community Hospital (19 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: We are close to the possible signing of a contract, but under general election rules we are not in a position to do that. If the hon. Gentleman spoke to the shadow Secretary of State and received his support, and believed it to be in the public interest that the project should go ahead, I would certainly raise it with the Secretary of State for Scotland. However, both Government and...

Prayers: East Ayrshire Community Hospital (19 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: In the half minute that remains, as the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Leith (Mr. Chisholm) is here, I repeat that I have made it clear that PFI projects would not be pursued unless clinicians and local management wanted them. In relation to the question that the hon. Gentleman asked some time ago—

Prayers: Tariff Rebate Subsidy (Northern Isles) (12 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: This has been a very good debate, in which a number of important issues have been raised. I pay tribute to the Chairman and members of the Select Committee for their perseverance and application in inquiring into these complex matters. We share the Committee's view that efficient and affordable sea transport services are vital to the movement of essential imports and economically important...

Prayers: Tariff Rebate Subsidy (Northern Isles) (12 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Certainly not. CalMac has an extremely good record, but, if a public sector organisation subsidised by the state were allowed to compete against the private sector, private sector tenderers would be deterred from coming forward. That could be seen to make for unfair competition. The hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace) asked whether the councils would be consulted. I give him an...

Prayers: Tariff Rebate Subsidy (Northern Isles) (12 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: I am only too happy that there should be consultation on the terms of the specification, but the decision has to be for Ministers of the Government of the day. The hon. Member for Kilmarnock and Loudoun (Mr. McKelvey) asked whether passenger vessels will carry freight in future. I can assure him that the service specification requires the operator to provide capacity for the carriage of...

Prayers: Tariff Rebate Subsidy (Northern Isles) (12 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Very quickly, as I have a lot of points to answer.

Prayers: Tariff Rebate Subsidy (Northern Isles) (12 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: If my hon. Friend is asking for special pleading on behalf of any of those who have not made the shortlist, I cannot do that; he is asking that the whole process be started again. I cannot give that commitment at this stage, and one reason why I cannot is because I am totally opposed to cross-subsidy—a point echoed by the hon. Member for Monklands, East. In determining the subsidy to be...

Prayers: Tariff Rebate Subsidy (Northern Isles) (12 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: I am very sympathetic to the point made by the hon. Gentleman and by my hon. Friend the Member for Ayr, that whoever wins the tender—I have no idea who it will be—should have the necessary access. It is for the Scottish Office Minister at the time to use his or her good offices to ensure that that is implemented. I wish to ensure that the services are carried out effectively in that...

Prayers: Tariff Rebate Subsidy (Northern Isles) (12 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: I welcome the involvement of the Office of Fair Trading in the matter. We understand that, if there were evidence of predatory pricing, it would take strong action.

Prayers: M80 (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) ( 5 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: I congratulate the hon. Member for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth (Mr. Hogg) on his success in obtaining the debate, and on giving us the opportunity to discuss our proposals. I am glad to see so many other right hon. and hon. Members in the Chamber—the right hon. Member for Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar), and the hon. Members for Moray (Mrs. Ewing), for Midlothian (Mr. Clarke) and for...

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Lockerbie ( 5 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The allegations concerning Mr. Thurman are a matter for the United States authorities. I am advised that the United States inspector general's report, after investigation of the allegations, has not yet been published. When the American allegations became known, Mr. Thurman's role in the Lockerbie case was considered by the then Lord Advocate, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry. As long ago as October...

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Lockerbie ( 5 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Obviously, the Law Officers are well aware of the allegations. However, the report has not been published, and it would be wrong to prejudge its outcome. I repeat what I have already said: the Lord Advocate has never suggested that Mr. Thurman did not play a significant part in the investigation. The Lord Advocate and his predecessor have chosen their words carefully in saying that the case...

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Lockerbie ( 5 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: I agree with my right hon. Friend. I was at Lockerbie literally within hours of the tragedy and atrocity. I believe that the Law Officers would not have brought forward the accusations if they had not been based on very strong evidence.

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Lockerbie ( 5 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Those issues could well be addressed to the Libyan Government. The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond and Barnes (Mr. Hanley), made it clear at the Dispatch Box last Friday that we should look to the Libyan Government to assist with the investigation. He went on to say: Libya's record of state sponsorship of terrorism is, rightly,...

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Lockerbie ( 5 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: I have confidence in the Scottish system of criminal justice, which is one of the best in the world. I do not believe that attempts to have a trial elsewhere in Europe would succeed. The Libyans have given no indication that they would co-operate with such attempts.

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Hospices ( 5 Mar 1997)

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Our White Paper on the future of the Scottish health service has been generally well received. To date, there have been six representations about the initiative on hospices as resource centres. I have also met, at Dr. Gray's hospital, the local group campaigning for hospice provision and I am, and remain, sympathetic to its aims.


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