Mr Ken Lomas: asked the Minister of Transport if he will define the term, "Slow down", which is now displayed on many roads of this country when a hazard is ahead; and if he will substitute for this phrase one which states a maximum speed at which vehicles may travel.
Mr Ken Lomas: Does not my hon. Friend agree that there is a world of difference, in relation to two vehicles, one travelling at 70 m.p.h. and one at 30 m.p.h., in what "Slow down" means? Should there not be a specified speed limit substituted?
Mr Ken Lomas: Would my hon. Friend agree that a Green Paper on industrial health, safety and welfare would be a tremendous help to hon. Members so that we could try to persuade the Minister to understand our views on this important subject, which may help the First Secretary of State when she formulates her White Paper leading to legislation?
Mr Ken Lomas: Is it possible to give the average rate of increase in the cost of living over the same period?
Mr Ken Lomas: In view of the importance which the hon. Gentleman obviously attaches to this part of the Bill, are we to assume that he and his hon. Friends intend to divide the House on this issue? May we have some guidance about that from the Opposition Front Bench?
Mr Ken Lomas: On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, is it not farcical, and does it not bring the House into disrepute, that fewer than 7 per cent. of the Opposition and only one-twelfth of the Liberal Party are here and keeping the House awake at this time in the morning? Is it not time that we tried to bring this farcical situation to an end?
Mr Ken Lomas: asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to designate all patients who need hospital treatment as chronic sick and exempt them from prescription charges.
Mr Ken Lomas: Does the Minister not appreciate that prescription charges are completely against the principle of a health service free for all in time of need, in which we believe? Does he realise that hon. Members on this side of the House believe that people who need hospital treatment are being penalised—especially those on low wages? Cannot something be done about this?
Mr Ken Lomas: asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what estimate he has made of the cost of additional staff in hospitals needed for the collection of prescription charges and of the cost of the additional clerical and bookkeeping work involved; and if this sum will be taken into consideration when he assesses the benefit to the Exchequer accruing from these charges.
Mr Ken Lomas: Is the Minister aware that early this afternoon he gave a figure of savings amounting to £25 million through the imposition of prescription charges? Does not he now agree that with the additional cost involved it is not worth the candle to do this kind of thing to people who are in need? Will he seriously consider abolishing the whole scheme?
Mr Ken Lomas: I welcome the new Highway Code. Although I could point to faults in it by going through it with a tooth-comb, but it must be said that it is high time that we had a new code giving a sense of purpose and direction to road users. I want to draw special attention to Rule 132, which concerns cyclists. I have received a tremendous amount of correspondence from such organisations as the...
Mr Ken Lomas: I recall my hon. Friend's thoughts to my own remarks: How busy is busy? How narrow is narrow? How long is long?
Mr Ken Lomas: Mr. Lomas (by Private Notice) asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity whether she will make a statement on the breakdown of talks in the present dispute concerning municipal busmen.
Mr Ken Lomas: May I assure my right hon. Friend that her statement will be received in many quarters of the House with a great deal of satisfaction? I hope that as much publicity as possible will be given to it. I wish to ask my right hon. Friend two questions. Do I understand from the statement that the £1 a week increase can be paid at once to all municipal busmen covered by the agreement as soon as a...
Mr Ken Lomas: When I entered the Chamber I made two promises to myself. The first was to be brief—a promise I intend to honour. The second was—for a change— not to be political. But the speech of the hon. Lady the Member for Birmingham, Edgbaston (Mrs. Knight) sorely tempts me to break that promise because it seemed to me to accuse hon. Members on this side of the House of not holding an examination...
Mr Ken Lomas: Mr. Kenneth Lomas (Huddersfield, West)rose—
Mr Ken Lomas: My feelings about this have been expressed many times. I believe that the over-riding necessity is to get the country's economy right, and the Bill is a vital part of that process. Therefore, the penal Clauses, or perhaps I should say the long stop-powers which the Government have to stop people taking more than they are entitled to are necessary. I also believe that once the economy is...
Mr Ken Lomas: Is it possible to draw my hon. Friend's attention to the speech of the Under Secretary in Committee? This is where my hon. Friend is chasing shadows. The Under Secretary said: 12 per cent. of the entire agricultural industry is on this minimum rate. The other 88 per cent. are not getting the minimum— currently 11 guineas or slightly more. The other 88 per cent. are getting more than that."...
Mr Ken Lomas: On a point of order. We are talking about Clause 5, which is specifically related to agriculture.
Mr Ken Lomas: I am most grateful to my hon. Friend for giving way. I apologise if I am under any misapprehension on agricultural wages. May I say to him that I agree that £12 a week is a low wage, but under the criteria in the Bill and in the White Paper surely these people are allowed to get through? I do not see what he is arguing about.