Mr Roger Knapman: My hon. Friend referred to officials and civil servants. Will we need more of them because it will be a complicated policy, or fewer of them because we shall no longer be running our own policy? Does my hon. Friend envisage any significant effect on the numbers of civil servants as a result of the passing of the treaty?
Mr Roger Knapman: Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that the best majority would be by a referendum on this whole wretched treaty? Bearing in mind that, tonight and every night, the Liberals will maintain the balance of power, if they really want a referendum they could obtain one.
Mr Roger Knapman: Will my right hon. and learned Friend confirm that few councils want to spend more than their SSAs and that most council tax payers want to be protected from the ambitions of high-spending councils? Will he also bear in mind the fact that if Oxfordshire can be in the south-east for area cost adjustment purposes, Gloucestershire would like to be in the south-east for those purposes, too?
Mr Roger Knapman: My right hon. Friend referred to the speed with which subsidiarity is being applied and to a proposal on the conditions in which animals are kept in zoos, but even that has not yet been agreed. Can he confirm that the only three directives that have been withdrawn are one on the compulsory indication of nutritional values on packaged foods and two on radio frequencies? With due respect, that...
Mr Roger Knapman: My hon. Friend will be aware that some people suggest that the treaty is a decentralising measure. Admittedly, Chancellor Kohl in the Financial Times said the opposite. Perhaps the thought that the treaty can mean all things to all people is its strength.
Mr Roger Knapman: I think that my hon. Friend will accept that we might have trouble with the next set of amendments, relating to subsidiarity, because it seems that no one knows what it means. There has been a competition, with a first prize of 140,000 ecu, but who won the prize? A former president of the European Court said that subsidiarity was a prime example of gobbledegook. How can the Committee consider...
Mr Roger Knapman: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what was the size of the science budget 1978–79; and what it will be in 1993–94, at comparable prices.
Mr Roger Knapman: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that excellent reply. Can he, in the real-terms increase in the science budget for the coming year, underline the Government's commitment to supporting British science and technology? Is he aware that the Agricultural and Food Research Council will be able to undertake much valuable research work as a result of the settlement?
Mr Roger Knapman: Will my hon. Friend give way?
Mr Roger Knapman: I urge my hon. Friend not to move on too fast, but to come back to the word "federal" for a moment. I seem to remember that the dropping of the dreaded F-word was a considerable negotiating triumph, and I suspect that that is so. We now hear from the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber (Sir R. Johnston) that federalism is a decentralising concept. If there are those two opposing...
Mr Roger Knapman: If the hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson) is right in suggesting that federalism is decentralising, would it be a good idea to substitute federal union for even closer union? I thought that we had spent a great deal of time trying to get rid of federalism and introduce even closer union. We seem to be in a muddle in this matter.
Mr Roger Knapman: Even if one tenth of what the hon. Gentleman is saying is true, why is he not pushing the amendment to a Division?
Mr Roger Knapman: While it is agreeable to have all these debates on the European Communities (Amendment) Bill on Mondays and Thursdays, can my right hon. Friend say whether there is any particular reason why we cannot have such debates on a Tuesday or a Wednesday?
Mr Roger Knapman: The fact that we have heard several expressions of concern about the likely impact of the social chapter on the British economy means that it is possible that the House may not have understood or appreciated the full import of Monday's statement. Might it not therefore be a good idea to have a day's debate on the statement next week?
Mr Roger Knapman: Is there a danger that regional assistance will distort trade? Will my right hon. Friend confirm that business should always be based where it is most efficient?
Mr Roger Knapman: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?
Mr Roger Knapman: Is my hon. Friend aware that, in a few weeks, we may be asked to vote for some increase in taxes, and that, of course, we must willingly do if it is necessary? Does my hon. Friend agree that, if the public realise that all this extra money is to be spent in Sicily and Sardinia rather than in Stroud and Stafford, the British public may not have such a happy view of cohesion funds?
Mr Roger Knapman: On a point of order, Mr. Morris. Bearing in mind all that has been said and the difficulties of hon. Members from all parts of the United Kingdom who wish to speak, and bearing in mind the fact that, during debate on the Single European Act, the average number of amendments was three whereas in this instance we have 27 amendments and six new clauses, would it be helpful and convenient—
Mr Roger Knapman: Yes, Mr. Moris, but on that occasion, although the point of order was similar, there were 12 amendments grouped together, whereas on this occasion—
Mr Roger Knapman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the trend in export volumes arising from the figures for recent months.