Mr Norman St John-Stevas: That is an absurd intervention. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO."] The right hon. Gentleman should go back to literature. Another theme of the debate has been concern over unemployment. Both former Prime Ministers expressed their concern. So, rightly, did the hon. Member for Liverpool, Scotland Exchange (Mr. Parry). The unemployment situation is one of desperate concern, I believe, to every Member of the...
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: I hope—[HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."]—that I shall be allowed—
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: My first remark is that the right hon. Gentleman is not a totally objective witness. My second is that, having been attacked from one side by my right hon. Friend the Member for Sidcup and from the other by the right hon. Member for Down, South, I conclude that we are probably getting it about right, against an Opposition who, on every major issue, whether public ownership, incomes policy,...
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: No.
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: The truth is that despite the difficulties of the day, despite the period that we are going through, the hopes and aspirations of the majority of our fellow citizens, rest with this Government. When you are in the depths of winter, Mr. Deputy Speaker, you think that spring will never come. It will, and it does. What people need today is hope, the hope that Arthur Benson linked with glory, and...
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: That is absolutely right.
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: The business for next week will be as follows:
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: We shall follow the established custom of the House. Both written and oral statements will be made, and it will be a matter of judgment which should be resorted to. I shall ensure that the traditions of the House are maintained.
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: I note that political judgment, which the right hon. Gentleman is entitled to make. I can only say that I do not agree with him.
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: I have seen my hon. Friend's early-day motion, which he tabled with his usual speed in the interests of his constituents. I shall draw the attention of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade to the dangers to the people of Canvey Island. I assure my hon. Friend that my right hon. Friend will communicate speedily with him.
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: I am interested in the suggestion that the nationality Bill should be put through this new procedure. There are some difficulties, precisely because it is a long and complicated Bill. However, I shall certainly raise the matter with my right hon. Friend.
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: I shall certainly consider that matter. I understand that under the rules of the Synod of the Church of England the 1662 Prayer Book remains the official book of the Church of England and is available to parishioners.
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: As the right hon. Gentleman recognised, the Falkland Islands could not be described as exactly central. I cannot raise the matter with the Minister of State, but I will—[Interruption.] I can answer questions without prompting—raise it with my noble Friend the Foreign Secretary and consult him on the important point made by the right hon. Gentleman.
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: All suggestions are gratefully received. I wish that all members of the Government were as enthusiastic for their Bills to go through this new procedure as Members of the House evidently are.
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: Of course, it is an important question. Any motion in this House that attracts 100 signatures must obviously be considered seriously. I shall refer the matter to my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science. However, I must point out to the hon. Gentleman that by the will of this House the administration and provision of school meals are now the...
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: It is indeed a serious matter. The situation in both Afghanistan and Poland is causing the Government continuing concern. I shall raise the matter as one of urgency with my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal.
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: The right hon. Gentleman's questions involve three or four Ministers. I shall draw them to the attention of the appropriate Ministers. As for the right hon. Gentleman's remarks about a pay policy, perhaps he will forgive me if I correct him and say that it is not a 6 per cent. pay policy but a 6 per cent. cash limit.
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: The points that arise under the Bill, which affect many millions of people, can best be raised in this House on Second Reading and subsequently in Committee.
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: I am very happy to tell the hon. Gentleman about the situation as far as the British Government are concerned. I am sure that we were all deeply distressed to, learn that Italian casualties continue to rise and that the scale of the disaster far exceeds initial estimates. Her Majesty's Government will continue to send what assistance they can to help the Italian people in this tragedy. So...
Mr Norman St John-Stevas: I cannot give a guarantee that my right hon. Friend will make a statement. He was answering questions in the House earlier today. However, I shall certainly pass on my hon. Friend's anxieties to the Secretary of State.