Lieut-Colonel David Mather: As the development of Concorde has reached a crucial stage, will my right hon. Friend urge upon our French partners to keep the momentum going now?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: asked the Minister of Aviation Supply if he will make a statement giving details about the Air France commitment on Concorde.
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Has he any present information as to the numbers required by Air France?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: Further to that point of order. The last Measure of this kind which came before the House was the Statute Law Revision Bill, which covered statutes right back to 1297 and revised such Measures as Magna Carta. In Committee on that Bill it was suggested that so complicated a Measure had not come up in this form before and that if revision of statute law was to be made it ought to be done in a...
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: It must be fundamentally wrong that we in Parliament do not have access to these documents and yet the Law Commission does have access. If we are to do our job properly at all, we must obviously see the documents which we are asked to repeal. I have spent some considerable time searching for these documents, and I have managed to obtain most of them. Perhaps that is why some hon. Members...
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: Some of us are in considerable difficulty. We have not the documents, but I hope that the debate will go ahead. It will be up to hon. Members to decide how they vote at the end of the debate, and I might say to the hon. Gentlemen opposite that, even when documents are available it takes a considerable time to digest them, whatever happens. Whether people will have the time to do this job is...
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: Will my hon. and learned Friend also concede that these Statutes, particularly the earlier Statutes, and particularly the Charter of the Forest, which runs in parallel with the Magna Carta, are the foundation of our Statute Law; and that if one is removing the foundation of Statute Law the whole of the Statute Law is thereby weakened? It is not so much what these laws actually do but the...
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: Will my hon. Friend mention any of these animals?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: My hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Robert Cooke) has made some valid points that we have not heard before about the caution which we need to have in examining these matters before we sweep them away, even though they may not appear to have any practical value. My hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Blenkinsop) appears slightly to have misinterpreted what went on in...
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: I was attempting, Mr. Wallace, to bring out this extremely important point of principle, which I think is absolutely fundamental to the Bill. However, I will not continue to quote from that, but anyone can look it up in the Statute Book. It is the foundation of our English liberties, and that is what the Law Commission was attempting to do. The Charter for Forests and the Magna Carta are the...
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: Is it intended by the Government to revert the Bill to its former phraseology, and table an Amendment to bring back royal fish into the Bill and thereby abolish them?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: On their own initiative?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: Is it really true that the Lord Chancellor gave precedence to this kind of Bill in preference to all the other urgent matters that hon. Gentlemen opposite have mentioned, which should have been dealt with first? Quite apart from our modern law, which is in urgent need of revision, I cannot believe that the Lord Chancellor actually gave his approval for this operation to be carried out.
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: No.
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: If it is in order—
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: If it could be recorded that I dissent—
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the progress towards a Union of Arab Emirates between the Trucial States and Bahrain and Qatar.
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: While thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask him, in view of the increasing instability in the area and the territorial threats from various sources, whether he can give an assurance that there will be no hasty decision about withdrawal of British troops from the area?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: Would my hon. Friend also bear in mind the claims of small transport firms, to many of whom this is a heavy burden bringing very little benefit?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: asked the Prime Minister to what extent in his recent talks with President Pompidou the defence interests of an enlarged Community were discussed.