Mr Geraint Howells: I agree with the hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Davies) that the Bill is not contentious, and certainly it has our support. As I did not have the privilege of serving on the Committee, I have one or two questions to ask the Minister. I understand that since 1979 1 billion gallons of formulated pesticides have been used per annum. It is a serious matter that the number of health and safety...
Mr Geraint Howells: After listening to the Minister's reply, is it right for me to assume that his friends in Europe are unwilling to give money to the public sector—the Forestry Commission—in this country?
Mr Geraint Howells: What about the blue vote?
Mr Geraint Howells: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has to establish a new negotiating body for teachers' pay.
Mr Geraint Howells: The Secretary of State will be aware that there is an acute shortage of Welsh language teachers. What advice will he be giving the Secretary of State for Wales on pay, status and the low morale within the profession?
Mr Geraint Howells: Over the years there have been many outbreaks of anthrax in Wales, and my experience is that the Department's officials have always done an excellent job to help all concerned. I am sure that the Minister will give the people of Wales, and of Clwyd in particular, his assurance that his officials will do their utmost to safeguard everyone's interests.
Mr Geraint Howells: On this occasion the Minister has failed to convince the public and hon. Members that there is a need to have irradiated foodstuffs on the shelves in our shops. It is well known to us all that the proposal is opposed by just about everyone apart from food manufacturers. That does not speak highly of the directive. There is no detection test to establish whether foods have been irradiated....
Mr Geraint Howells: The Minister will be aware that there are two major railway stations in my constituency—Aberystwyth in Cardiganshire and Fishguard in north Pembrokeshire with its vital Irish connection. The next time the Minister meets the chairman of the board will he press him to spend more on those two stations to make sure that they can play a major part in the economy of Wales? Will the Minister write...
Mr Geraint Howells: We are united in our deliberations tonight on safeguarding the interests of the public and looking after the interests of our animals. I congratulate the Minister on being frank with us on his stand in Brussels on this important issue. Hon. Members may not know this, but I am aware that the Minister is well used to animals and knows about their best interests and the health risks facing...
Mr Geraint Howells: Having listened to the comments of hon. Members on both sides of the House, does the right hon. Gentleman think that the Government made the wrong decision to impose the poll tax on the people of Wales?
Mr Geraint Howells: Is the Minister aware that there are two important lines going through mid-Wales, one from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth and one from Shrewsbury through Llandrindod Wells to Swansea. Will the Minister have a word with the chairman of British Rail and try to persuade him to spend more money on those important routes?
Mr Geraint Howells: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on discussions held with the European Community concerning hill compensatory allowances.
Mr Geraint Howells: Can the Minister give an assurance that any withdrawal of FEOGA funds will be made up by the Government? Can he give a further assurance that the hill compensatory allowance for this year will be increased?
Mr Geraint Howells: My hon. Friend is a good Welshman and I am sure that he is as disappointed as I am that Wales was not mentioned once in the Queen's Speech and, worst of all, that after a decade there is still no sign of a Welsh assembly for the 1990s until the Government are voted out of office.
Mr Geraint Howells: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made as regards the conditions that must be met before the United Kingdom enters the exchange rate mechanism of the European monetary system; and if he will make a statement.
Mr Geraint Howells: Does the Chancellor agree that British farmers have no opportunity to compete on equal terms with their European counterparts because we are not full members of the European monetary system? What plans has he to help small farmers to overcome the problem of the high interest rates that now prevail?
Mr Geraint Howells: I am delighted that the Minister has accepted the views of my colleagues on the Liberal Benches and those of many right hon. and hon. Members on both sides of the House. I congratulate him because on this occasion he has made the right decision. It is long overdue, but all hon. Members should co-operate and work with the Minister. The Minister has given farmers two or three years to put...
Mr Geraint Howells: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what economic aid is currently given to Hungary.
Mr Geraint Howells: I am grateful to the Minister for that comprehensive reply. Does the Minister envisage neighbouring countries within the eastern bloc applying to Britain for further financial aid? What plan does she have in mind if they do?
Mr Geraint Howells: Hon. Members on both sides of the House listened with interest to the Minister, who rightly recounted his own experiences and told us of his visits to south America and elsewhere. The story that he told was sad and sombre and, unfortunately, true. We wonder whether the problem is getting out of hand in many parts of the world, and we realise that many harsh decisions will have to be made to...