Mr Derek Page: I shall be grateful if the hon. Member will give the figures in terms of percentage of g.n.p. invested during the 13 years of Conservative Government, as compared with the last five years.
Mr Derek Page: Yes, on the same basis as the hon. Member quoted earlier, just a few sentences ago. He gave a comparison between this country and other countries. I believe that he said that it was 18·2 per cent. for Britain. What was it during those 13 glorious years?
Mr Derek Page: That does not answer my question.
Mr Derek Page: If my hon. Friend agrees that the few continuing evictions are too many, will he undertake to keep a continuing check on the evictions that continue under the new legislation and give an undertaking that if the position does not improve he will review and strengthen the legislation at a later date?
Mr Derek Page: ; Nonsense.
Mr Derek Page: I have already welcomed in Committee the improvements which the present Bill proposes in security for tenants of agricultural tied cottages, and I welcome the Amendments. I assure the hon. Member for Norfolk, South-West (Mr. Hawkins) that when I groaned while he was speaking I was not implying that he did not get among farm workers as much as any of us. I was groaning to hear his opinion...
Mr Derek Page: I am grateful for the opportunity of intervening briefly to pay a tribute, which I believe to be extremely well-deserved, to the Royal Engineers. I must sharpen the focus a little, from the grand sweep of world affairs to a local battle which took place recently, a battle fought not against humans but against time, tide and weather in the most trying circumstances. The emergency arose a few...
Mr Derek Page: I was interested in the constructive speech made by my right hon. Friend the Paymaster-General, but disappointed in the speech of the hon. Member for Bournemouth, West (Sir J. Eden), the delivery of which took 40 minutes out of this short debate but said very little. The possibilities of North Sea gas are enormous. It is pertinent to ask what part the Bill will play in producing the future...
Mr Derek Page: Does my hon. Friend accept that another criterion should be the low earnings for the same job in some parts of the country compared with other parts?
Mr Derek Page: Our attitude to the Bill should be determined by two considerations; how it fits into the general pattern of regional policy, whether it advances it or retards it, and how it will be administered. The Bill looks innocuous, but it empowers the Minister to decide which areas shall and which areas shall not get help, and that decision will be the subject of bitter debate for some time to come....
Mr Derek Page: I wish to refer to a decision which faces my right hon. Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary in the very near future. It is a difficult and painful decision which cannot be dodged. My right hon. Friend will have to decide soon how we are to vote on the expulsion of Greece from the Council of Europe. I will not go into a long catalogue of the brutalities and tortures which have...
Mr Derek Page: Would not my hon. Friend agree that there has been a singular lack of attention given to the possibilities of total energy generation from gas, not least in view of the discoveries made off-shore?
Mr Derek Page: Since my hon. Friend says that the Wash Barrage could not be considered pending the result of the feasibility study, is he right in assuming a time scale which could only be justified by such a study?
Mr Derek Page: What method are the Government using to separate the water costs of any Wash scheme from the multiple benefits which would accrue?
Mr Derek Page: asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will make a statement regarding progress on the reorganisation of secondary education in Norfolk.
Mr Derek Page: Is my right hon. Friend aware of the great concern among teachers and parents at the terrible delay and the consequent delays in the rebuilding of urgently needed schools? Will she use her good offices to expedite this reorganisation as quickly as possible?
Mr Derek Page: asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to provide for consultation of teachers' organisations during the preparation of schemes for the reorganisation of secondary education.
Mr Derek Page: Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the King's Lynn division, where plans for reorganisation are now in the final stages, teachers' organisations as such have not yet been consulted and that there is very considerable feeling on the matter among the teachers?
Mr Derek Page: asked the Prime Minister whether he will propose to other Commonwealth leaders the setting-up of an Assembly of Commonwealth Parliamentarians to constitute a Common wealth Council for the discussion of matters of mutual interest.
Mr Derek Page: In view of the success of the Conference of Commonwealth Prime Ministers and the lack of enthusiasm in some parts of Europe, is it not the time to explore this idea more thoroughly?