Mr Antony Buck: Naivety.
Mr Antony Buck: Or in the world as a whole.
Mr Antony Buck: Does my right hon. Friend agree that the reasons why we are updating Trident are basically the same reasons as caused the Labour Government to update our nuclear deterrent by bringing in Chevaline, the difference being that we are doing it openly and they did it under wraps?
Mr Antony Buck: I am grateful for my right hon. Friend's kind comments. Is he aware that he has not answered any of the cogent points that I like to think I made in a letter to our right hon. Friend the Secretary of State a little while ago? The Secretary of State made encouraging noises and, for the reasons that I set out in the letter dated 16 July, it is a big mistake for Colchester to lose the area...
Mr Antony Buck: Will my right hon. Friend take note that there will be considerable relief that he has gone through this exercise? Will he confirm that his announcement will enable the Royal Navy to remain the third most powerful navy in the world, and far and away the world's best? Will he continue to point out the gross hypocrisy of the Opposition, who demand defence cuts in general but always seem to...
Mr Antony Buck: Among others.
Mr Antony Buck: Will the hon. Gentleman spell out Labour party policy on that issue? Would Labour maintain our independent nuclear deterrent? Labour policy should be clearly on the record, remembering that when Labour was last in office, it updated our nuclear deterrent by bringing in Chevaline, although the House was not told that that was being done.
Mr Antony Buck: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend the Member for Castle Point (Sir B. Braine) for raising this topic. I was a schoolboy aged 11 when war broke out. My mother was chairwoman of the Prisoners of War Relatives' Association. As the House knows, a substantial part of the Cambridgeshire regiment went straight to Singapore and was immediately captured, having hardly any opportunity to fight....
Mr Antony Buck: Is my hon. Friend aware that my grandfather built the last working windmill in this country? Would my hon. Friend like to say a word or two about the potential for wind, which is perhaps not an inappropriate matter for us to discuss in the House?
Mr Antony Buck: Forceful.
Mr Antony Buck: The hon. Gentleman's impact on the Committee is considerable, as is his impact on the senior civil servants who come before us. The Committee values the wonderful work that he does with us. I should, however, correct one thing that he said. Lord Hailsham was keen to come before the Committee—it did not take any dragging from the Woolsack to get him to the witness stand. In fact, Lord...
Mr Antony Buck: I thank my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House for the fact that we are having this debate. I hope that it will become a regular feature of each Parliament. We are debating the work of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration. It is appropriate, therefore, that Parliament should scrutinise fairly regularly both his work and that of the Health Service Commissioners. Moreover,...
Mr Antony Buck: Does my hon. Friend agree that the security of civilians in Northern Ireland is remarkably good in the circumstances? Will he pay tribute, in that context, to the work of the RUC, the UDR and our armed forces who have operated under great burdens for many years?
Mr Antony Buck: I am listening carefully to the right hon. Gentleman. What information does he think it is expedient to provide to enable those purposes to be fulfilled? I do not know what he wants published. I can think only of publication of information that would exacerbate racial prejudice, rather than the reverse.
Mr Antony Buck: Will my right hon. Friend confirm that his announcement constitutes a reorientation of American efforts in Europe, but that it in no way decouples their commitment to Europe and to the United Kingdom?
Mr Antony Buck: Does my right hon. Friend agree that the simple message is that it does not pay to give in to blackmail of whatever type—and that we are here confronted with ecological blackmail? Can our armed forces assist in cleaning up that awful catastrophe?
Mr Antony Buck: Is my hon. Friend aware that my grandfather built the last operative windmill in this country? Will he say a few words about the prospects of wind power? That is perhaps not an inappropriate question for me to ask in this Chamber.
Mr Antony Buck: Does my right hon. Friend agree that it is gratifying that his announcement has all-party support? As the build-up of the forces progresses, what air support will the additional forces have, whether on an international or Royal Air Force basis?
Mr Antony Buck: While congratulating my right hon. and learned Friend on his new appointment, will he grasp an early opportunity to get around the provinces and visit some of the regional theatres where he will see the excellence of the works that are produced, particularly in the Mercury theatre in Colchester, and hear of their funding problems?
Mr Antony Buck: Does my right hon. Friend agree that his statement today illustrates the fact that a multi-balanced force reduction approach is more appropriate than a unilateralist approach? He would not have been able to make reductions without reductions on the other side of the iron curtain. Will he say a little more about the future of amphibious capability, as many of us take the view that the Royal...