Lieut-Colonel David Mather: It is with some trepidation that I rise to make my maiden speech following two such illustrious right hon. Gentlemen. Hon. Members will at once connect the name of Esher with that of Sir William Robson Brown, the former hon. Member for the constituency. He had friends on both sides of the House and served his full span of 20 years as a Member. He had his full share, as many other hon. Members...
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: asked the Minister of Technology what percentage of aerospace industry exports in 1969 were projects initiated during the period 1965 to 1969.
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: Is my hon. Friend aware that what he has said represents a very small percentage? Can he say when the remainder of the projects were initiated?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: asked the Minister of Transport what is the estimated cost of the introduction of tachographs to monitor drivers' hours as provided for in the Transport Act, 1968.
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: This would be an excessively costly requirement. Will my right hon. Friend see fit to cancel it?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: asked the Minister of Transport what is the annual estimated cost to the Government and to industry of the quantity licensing provisions in the Transport Act, 1968.
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: That is welcome news. Has my right hon. Friend any statement to make on carriers licensing?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: I am pleased to have been called to speak following the maiden speech of the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. John). Only a week ago I made my maiden speech, but I am glad to have been called at this time because I have had many connections with Wales. I know the problems of the valleys to which the hon. Gentleman referred and the House in general will agree that there is no better person...
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: Can my hon. Friend say when this aircraft will come into service?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: I wanted to come back to the question whether or not the right hon. Gentleman said that the Americans have decided to go metric. I had the American equivalent of the Metrication Board on the telephone yesterday, and they said that there would be no decision until the end of 1971.
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: I begin by congratulating the three maiden speakers who have addressed us tonight. We were impressed because they were speaking for real people. One of the advantages of being a new boy here is that by the very nature of things one is more closely in touch with real people. I hope that on this issue the Government Front Bench will pay particular attention to the remarks of those hon. Members...
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: asked the Minister of State for Defence if he will stop the rundown of our defence establishments in Malta.
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: Is my right hon. Friend aware that the situation in the Mediterranean has changed, that the Russians now dominate the North African coast, that what we used to think of as N.A.T.O.'s southern flank has become N.A.T.O.'s second front, and that Malta is one of its forward bastions?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: The right hon. Gentleman has referred to the historic decision to leave the Persian Gulf. Is it not true that that was made for short-term economic reasons, not reasons of strategy?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: Has the hon. Gentleman noted in the White Paper, in connection with the United Nations, the fact that of the total number of troops, 3,202, in Cyprus, the British contingent is no fewer than 1,072?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: I am grateful for the opportunity to speak at this late hour. I understand that I have only a short time in which to speak. I should like, first, to take up the point about the possibility of reinforcing the Far East and east of Suez by hon. Gentlemen opposite. There was one major exercise under the last Government for re- inforcement. I refer to Bersitu Padu which took place last summer...
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: The right hon. Gentleman, in quoting the Secretary of State's Blackpool speech, missed out what my right hon. Friend said about the aircraft industry.
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: Has my hon. Friend taken into consideration the fact that if we do not decide to go for the BAC311 it will hit the British aircraft industry in a very big way? This means that one of our most important bargaining counters in entering the E.E.C. will have gone. The fact that we have a high technology industry—the aircraft industry—in which we are pre-eminent as a going concern, which we...
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: I want to make only a brief intervention at this late hour. We have heard some interesting speeches, although there seems to have been a lot of hot air from the Labour benches. Perhaps it is something to do with the jet age. The hon. Member for Southall (Mr. Bidwell) said that they intended to extend nationalisation when the Labour Government were returned to power. Was not that one reason...
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to modify the rôle of the National Freight Corporation.