Mr Fred Silvester: Does my right hon. Friend recall that on a previous occasion his hon. Friend the Minister assured us that, when the review was undertaken, all Departments would be considered, and that it would not simply be a matter of that part of regional policy which was on his vote? That is particularly important in respect of inner city policy, for example, where patches of aid lead to great local...
Mr Fred Silvester: I refer to my right hon. Friend's reply to the question of my hon. Friend the Member for Stamford and Spalding (Sir K. Lewis) about the report of the Procedure Committee (Finance). Is my right hon. Friend prepared to find a proper day and time for the House to be asked to reach a decision on this matter? My right hon. Friend's attitude to it is somewhat cavalier.
Mr Fred Silvester: asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science why it is not possible to implement the appointment of school governors by 1 September 1984.
Mr Fred Silvester: Why is it that the Government expect the privatisation of British Telecom within two years, or can mount an invasion of the Falklands within a few months, yet take five years to appoint a few school governors? As parental influence is at the heart of the Government's economic policy, does this not represent a surrender to the administrative convenience of the officers of his Department?
Mr Fred Silvester: Has my right hon. Friend seen the latest attack on Christian education by Manchester city council, which proposes to substitute pop songs for Christian hymns and periods of silence for Christian prayer? Does she agree that the protection of the rights of minorities cannot be obtained by bleeding the Christian content out of the school curriculum for the majority?
Mr Fred Silvester: Does my right hon. Friend believe that our economic recovery would be advanced by reducing public expenditure? If so, on what does he base that belief?
Mr Fred Silvester: I should like to bring to the House's attention one of those smaller matters which affect a large number of people and about which we could do something before the House rises. It is a practical matter—the payment of housing benefit. The introduction of the housing benefit scheme had the full support of most hon. Members, although there were arguments about its format. However, local...
Mr Fred Silvester: Will my right hon. Friend explain why he has had consultations with the Shell Oil Company and other major oil companies in respect of the Petroleum Stocks (Amendment) Order, but has not consulted the Association of United Kingdom Oil Independents?
Mr Fred Silvester: asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the present state of development of the community programme.
Mr Fred Silvester: As voluntary bodies now have more experience of the programme, have they overcome some of the their earlier resistance so that more of them are taking part?
Mr Fred Silvester: Is my hon. Friend aware that when those appeals are heard it is not uncommon for them to be turned down on the ground that too much strain would be put on the school's resources? Does it not follow that local authorities must be encouraged to match the necessary resources to meet the wishes of the parents, rather than the other way round?
Mr Fred Silvester: Does my hon. Friend recognise that in any radical approach to this problem he must consider the impact of expenditure by Departments other than his own? Will he assure me that those Departments are included in this review?
Mr Fred Silvester: I present the petition of Mrs. Anna Hughes, who is petitioning the House on her own behalf. She does so because of the circumstances surrounding her husband's death when he was left unattended, or did not get to hospital, for more than one hour and 50 minutes. She wishes to draw attention to the circumstances of the matter, and is anxious that there should be a process whereby she may have a...
Mr Fred Silvester: asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 29 March.
Mr Fred Silvester: Has my right hon. Friend had an opportunity to study the recent report of the CBI on expectations in industry, which shows a remarkable upturn in its expectations for output? Is it not time that those who enjoyed commenting on the gloom of previous studies took pleasure in the optimism of this one?
Mr Fred Silvester: I am not so sanguine as my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) as to squeeze in so many subjects for reply between now and the Easter recess. I shall concentrate on one matter, although it concerns several relevant decisions. I have discussed with a Minister the Government's approach to money spent in the regions. We discussed the argument that one way to deal with a...
Mr Fred Silvester: I also associate myself with the remarks made by my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Wavertree (Mr. Steen). The case has been well put and I shall not elaborate it. The need for the service varies according to how the service is marketed and its cost, but that utilisation is high, as has been demonstrated. There is a difficulty in assessing one service, and so one must look at the...
Mr Fred Silvester: asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether any changes have been made by the Arts Council in the touring budget following his statement of 20 December 1982, Official Report, column 664–65.
Mr Fred Silvester: I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his care about touring. Does he recognise that one of the distressing aspects of the saga of the visit of the Royal opera house to Manchester was its on—and-off nature, despite the great deal of investment and commitment that the operation received? Is he prepared to say that with the new arrangements people will be able much more to rely upon the...
Mr Fred Silvester: asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 1 February.