Results 1–20 of 7111 for speaker:Hon. Douglas Hurd

Orders of the Day — BSE Crisis (17 Feb 1997)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: It is reasonable that the House should debate BSE yet again, but it is wholly ludicrous that it should do so in the terms suggested by the Opposition and exemplified by the hon. Member for Warrington, North (Mr. Hoyle). In the past few days, I have read many unrecognisable things about my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister. I have worked closely with him for a good many years, at the...

Orders of the Day — BSE Crisis (17 Feb 1997)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: No, I had better make my speech. Those Ministers are asked whether it is safe and are told that people do not want any of their glib, shilly-shallying, politicians' answers. People ask, "Can my children eat the stuff or not?" The Minister turns to his scientists and is told: We are not in a position to confirm whether a causal link between BSE and human disease exists. I am quoting the...

Orders of the Day — BSE Crisis (17 Feb 1997)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: If I may, I will continue, as I know that many hon. Members wish to speak. In the case of BSE, since last March, there have been at least two new developments in the scientific sphere, both of which have been mentioned in this debate. First, there was new thinking on the—perhaps 10 per cent.—possibility of maternal transmission. That development is important, but, as my right hon. and...

Orders of the Day — BSE Crisis (17 Feb 1997)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: Yes; particularly the hon. Member for Peckham. As Opposition Members often do, they had a choice between treating the situation as a national problem and crisis and joining in—as the Opposition sometimes do, particularly in international matters, as the Foreign Secretary knows—a national task of informing, educating, assessing risk and persuading. They could have taken the latter...

Orders of the Day — BSE Crisis (17 Feb 1997)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: If in the history of this Session of Parliament there has been a subject that is unsuited to constant party warfare, this is it.

Orders of the Day — BSE Crisis (17 Feb 1997)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: After talking to fanners in my constituency, I am quite clear on the fact that farmers do not see the matter as the Opposition do. Farmers of course become indignant with the Minister, and then, as he described, they—perfectly understandably—change their position. They pressed him to take action, and he has taken it. Farmers of course are in ferment and are anxious, but they, and British...

Orders of the Day — BSE Crisis (17 Feb 1997)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: I think that, over quite a number of years in the House, I have been generous in giving way—[Interruption.] I feel that, in the twilight of my political life, I might be allowed to make a short speech, which I am concluding, in my own way. The hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Sheerman) is using the oldest trick in the game, to try to spoil the final seconds of a speech.

Orders of the Day — BSE Crisis (17 Feb 1997)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: I am just drawing to a close, very quietly, Madam Deputy Speaker. Because of the interruptions, I merely repeat that, in the view of British farmers and consumers, if ever there were a subject unsuited to the type of perpetual sniping and point scoring in which the Opposition have indulged since their strategic choice last March, it is this one. Although it has misfired, they have once...

Royal Yacht (22 Jan 1997)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: Is it not characteristic that new Labour should have announced its conversion to private finance on the wrong occasion? May I congratulate the Secretary of State on the Government's decision, including the decision on finance, which seems to me entirely right? I accept entirely what my right hon. Friend says about the usefulness to British finance and industry of Britannia and her successor,...

European Union (11 Dec 1996)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: The right hon. Gentleman always speaks eloquently and in tones of certainty. He speaks now in December 1996 as if he knows what the position will be in December 1997 or the spring of 1998. I think that that is wrong. Next year will be a year of turbulence and uncertainty right across the argument. This year began with doubts about whether the timetable and criteria for economic and monetary...

European Union (11 Dec 1996)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: The right hon. Gentleman should not debate in this way. After the remark about my hon. Friend being a Euro-sceptic, the right hon. Gentleman went on to attribute to him remarks on the Frost programme that he now knows my hon. Friend did not make. In those circumstances, the right hon. Gentleman should withdraw.

Former Prisoners of War (Compensation) (4 Dec 1996)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: The hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. MacShane) has done well to raise the matter. My remarks will be brief. The recovery of Japan is one of the most striking achievements of any nation since the war—not just the rebuilding of towns and cities and the amazing economic performance to which the hon. Gentleman referred, but the creation for the first time of a durable democracy. Politicians as a...

Former Prisoners of War (Compensation) (4 Dec 1996)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: That is true and is borne out by my own experience. On the legal side, I was always advised, and I tested the advice, that it is not possible for Her Majesty's Government to demand as a legal right from the Japanese Government more than the 1951 peace treaty provided, because the British Government of the day accepted that compensation. I agree with the hon. Member for Rotherham that this...

Orders of the Day — Crime (Sentences) Bill (4 Nov 1996)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: I am amazed, although I have listened to him before, that the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) should think that that kind of speech will impress the House, his constituents or anyone else's. It was highly politicised. Our constituents do not think about crime, criminals or criminal justice in those terms, but he set those issues in a certain political context, from which lessons may be...

Orders of the Day — Crime (Sentences) Bill (4 Nov 1996)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: No, I am coming to a close, and I know that many hon. Members want to speak. If that case is neglected because of financial difficulties due to the needs of new prisons, and if the finances available are swallowed up, it is possible that our prisons will turn out more accomplished criminals, and that the purpose of the Bill will, in the medium and long term, be frustrated. My right hon. and...

European Council, Florence (24 Jun 1996)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: Given that the Government adopted a legitimate, even familiar, tactic for a specific and limited objective that they have now obtained, will my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister take no notice of the Leader of the Opposition's confused mischief making? Does my right hon. Friend accept that the best service that the House, particularly we on the Conservative Benches, can do in the difficult...

Council Tax (22 May 1996)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: Will my hon. Friend acknowledge that the Minister without Portfolio, my right hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Dr. Mawhinney), who cannot intervene, is in his place and supports what my hon. Friend is saying?

Council Tax (22 May 1996)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: The arguments heard in Oxfordshire this year are not a bad example of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object. There exists a contradiction that the hon. Member for North-West Durham (Ms Armstrong) has done nothing to explain, and which is difficult to explain—how £5.95 million extra for education in Oxfordshire via the standard spending assessment grant is converted into cuts...

Council Tax (22 May 1996)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: No. The county council is trying to argue that Oxfordshire is a special case and that the calculations were in some way unfair to the county—and, the hon. Member for North-West Durham added, to Cambridgeshire. It is suggested that the calculations are the result of some mysterious conspiracy against my county, or of an experiment in ideological dogma. I cannot understand why my right hon....

Intergovernmental Conference (21 Mar 1996)

Hon. Douglas Hurd: This is an admirable White Paper and the Foreign Secretary has spoken admirably. I should love to follow the right hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Stepney (Mr. Shore), but I can make only three brisk three-minute points: referendum, court and foreign policy. It is obviously much easier to be clear about the referendum from the Back Benches. I am not in favour of referendums as a general...

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