Mr Richard Stokes: asked the Prime Minister whether he will state the chief objection of Her Majesty's Government to the proposal that hydrogen-bomb tests should be suspended for two years.
Mr Richard Stokes: I am afraid that the Prime Minister has misunderstood the point of my Question. There has been considerable talk of a suspension for two years. Does not the Prime Minister agree that a suspension for ten months would be ridiculous, since the preparation of the tests takes all of that time, so that in fact there would be no suspension? Is he aware that because of that those of us who are...
Mr Richard Stokes: The Prime Minister is well aware of my view of this matter. Does he not agree that the suggestion of a suspension for ten months is ridiculous and that anybody who knows anything about these problems knows that a ten months' suspension means nothing in these processes? What I want the Prime Minister to say is that Her Majesty's Government will agree to a two years' suspension, or state...
Mr Richard Stokes: asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government the rateable value of the St. James's Theatre; and the estimated value of the site when the theatre has been pulled down.
Mr Richard Stokes: Does not this make nonsense of the statement by the Minister last week? Does he not realise that £250,000 is clearly not included in the rateable value? Surely, if that is so—if I am right in my statement, and I believe that I am—the figure of £50,000 which he mentioned last week for compensation in order not to pull down St. James's Theatre pales into insignificance.
Mr Richard Stokes: May I ask the Minister whether he will now indulge in a little mental arithmetic and assess what would be the 20-year purchase at the rateable value? If he does so, he will find that it is £70,000, whereas the value of the site is £250,000. Therefore, it would be to the national advantage to pay £70,000 in order to acquire it, thereby giving the people an asset value of £250,000.
Mr Richard Stokes: That is no answer for the Tory Government continuing—
Mr Richard Stokes: May I ask the Minister, through you, Mr. Speaker, whether he really thinks that is an excuse for the Tory Government continuing to sin against the light?
Mr Richard Stokes: So that those of us who are not in this secret may have a better understanding, will the right hon. Gentleman tell us what sum will be involved if he were to reverse the decision? He says that the ratepayers would have to pay a lot of money. How much?
Mr Richard Stokes: I do not call that anything.
Mr Richard Stokes: May I ask the Minister whether he can at least tell us, and so relieve a great deal of public anxiety, if there was or was not any harmful fallout'? That is what everybody wants to hear about.
Mr Richard Stokes: If I put down a Question will the Minister answer it?
Mr Richard Stokes: Leaving aside the large vested interests, is the Minister aware that the losses incurred by private individuals are assessed by them to be about £30 million? As these individuals have all been ruined as a result of the action taken by Her Majesty's Govern- ment, surely the Government have a responsibility whether they recover from the Egyptian Government or not?
Mr Richard Stokes: Is not this all nonsense? Is not the Minister perfectly aware that a committee representing all these private individuals has stated categorically what are their claims? Does he pretend that the Egyptian Government do not know? Surely he is fooling himself.
Mr Richard Stokes: It is a pity we do not jam some of our own leaders.
Mr Richard Stokes: May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether this is not a clear example of where a tax on land values would stop the landlords exploiting the community in this fashion?
Mr Richard Stokes: The right hon. Gentleman does not understand it.
Mr Richard Stokes: Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the Egyptians subscribed£2 million towards the heightening of this dam, and that, in fact, whether they like it or not, as a result, anyone who does control it can stop 80 per cent. of the flow of the White Nile for three years?
Mr Richard Stokes: Is the Prime Minister aware that it is not without the bounds of possibility that the United States would change their legislation in order to make this possible?
Mr Richard Stokes: Is the Minister aware that sympathetic consideration does not take these people very far? Is he further aware of the fact that same of them have been told that their credits in this country, if their credits in Egypt have been confiscated by Nasser, must be held in this country at the disposal of Nasser? Surely that is both ridiculous and unjust?