Mr Roger Knapman: I congratulate my right hon. Friend on the settlement—game, set and match, as they say, to the Canadians, the conservationists and common sense. Will my right hon. Friend assure the House that, having paid so many millions of pounds to help set up the overblown Spanish fleet, British taxpayers will not now be asked for further millions of pounds to decommission part of it?
Mr Roger Knapman: Is my hon. Friend aware that the export-led recovery is becoming apparent even to a few of the more thoughtful Opposition Members? Will not that awareness be assisted by the recent £1 billion export order won by Lucas Industries in my constituency?
Mr Roger Knapman: I congratulate my right hon. Friend on Scotland's continuing success in attracting inward investment. Might that in any way be prejudiced by Opposition parties' policies with regard to devolution?
Mr Roger Knapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many homes have been sold under right-to-buy legislation.
Mr Roger Knapman: That is excellent news. Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that housing is more affordable than it has been for some years, and seek to promote opportunities for tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people to join the property-owning democracy, for their benefit and for ours?
Mr Roger Knapman: My hon. Friend chose to make his statement while the Commonwealth day festival is proceeding. Surely the Canadians are dealing with the Spanish fleet by using the best time-honoured and traditional practices. [HoN. MEMBERS: "Not in international waters."] If we are given the choice between supporting our kith and kin in Canada or our so-called fellow Euro-citizens, should not we choose the...
Mr Roger Knapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last visited Denmark to discuss bilateral relations.
Mr Roger Knapman: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that reply. Is there any common ground between our two countries on cohesion funding, budgetary discipline and fraud within the common agricultural policy? If so, will that help us to win the arguments in the approach to the intergovernmental conference?
Mr Roger Knapman: If there should be a referendum when there is constitutional change, I wonder what happened to the hon. Gentleman's party just two years ago. There was just such a vote during the passage of the Maastricht treaty Bill, and some of us voting then felt slightly lonely in the Division Lobbies, possibly because most of the Liberal Members were not there at the time.
Mr Roger Knapman: My right hon. Friend has made clear the Government's opposition to a unilateral ban on the export of veal calves, but who now supports the Protection of Calves (Export) Bill, other than its promoter, the hon. Member for Carlisle (Mr. Martlew)?
Mr Roger Knapman: I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Sutton (Mr. Streeter) on securing the Adjournment debate, which is very well-attended. I also congratulate my right hon. Friend the Minister on his speech. We have come to expect good speeches from him, but today's was particularly commendable as he has spent two trying days in Brussels. It is deliciously ironic that Opposition Members...
Mr Roger Knapman: I agree entirely with my hon. Friend; I think that a lot more work should be done in that area. There is no "right" number of hours that animals should spend in transit. It may be highly convenient for parliamentary draftsmen and others to mention a number of hours as the basis of an agreement, but we should press for a certain amount of flexibility in the system. I suspect that Professor...
Mr Roger Knapman: To be fair to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East, I think that he said that he agreed with certain points that the hon. Member for Carlisle made, but that he could not attend the debate on Friday, probably because he was busy elsewhere. The Labour party's paper on animal transport says: we will seek a ban through the European Commission and Council of Ministers. If that is what the Labour...
Mr Roger Knapman: That is a fair point. If the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East has forgotten his own voting record, he may also have forgotten some of the finer points of the O'Brien report.
Mr Roger Knapman: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for making the position clear. I understand that the hon. Member for Carlisle is seeking a unilateral ban on live exports. What would that achieve? What would happen to small calves? They will be born on the farm and killed on the farm, and not all farmers have suitable equipment for stunning and killing small calves on their farms. It would lead to...
Mr Roger Knapman: A few moments ago, the hon. Gentleman said that his Bill seeks the imposition of a unilateral ban, but he seemed a little less sure whether he had the support of his Front Benchers on that matter—no doubt they will clarify that later. Labour's policy paper on animal transportation suggests that the hon. Gentleman does not have their support: We will seek a ban through the European...
Mr Roger Knapman: Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?
Mr Roger Knapman: In view of all that the right hon. Gentleman says and his enthusiasm for referendums, why did so many Liberals not vote for the referendum proposals during the passage of the Maastricht treaty?
Mr Roger Knapman: Why is it that the areas most addicted to socialism remain the poorest despite having most public money directed to them?
Mr Roger Knapman: Would I be right in thinking that if a British-owned firm, such as an engineering firm in Gloucester, wished to expand its production or perhaps even export its production to Japan, no such subsidies would be available to it, but if a Japanese-owned firm wanted to set up in the north-east, several thousand pounds per job would be available for it? Is that wholly satisfactory?