Mr William Shepherd: I rise to oppose the Motion. Whilst I congratulate the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) on the manner in which he moved the Motion, I cannot congratulate him on the choice of subject. The hon. Member seems fated in his Bills. The last Bill that he sought to introduce under the Ten-Minute Rule was a Bill to complain about the high price of sparking plugs, and the sparking plug was...
Mr William Shepherd: asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether, in view of the problems which arise when children are transferred from one education authority to another, he will seek to enforce standard intelligence tests.
Mr William Shepherd: Does not the hon. Gentleman realise that they are not readily accepted and that the different bases on which these tests are made make it very difficult to accept them? Will the hon. Gentleman go further into this matter?
Mr William Shepherd: asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether, in view of the unsatisfactory nature of the aldermanic system, he will introduce legislation to bring it to an end.
Mr William Shepherd: Must this not be the most indecisive Government in human history? Is not every issue, however trivial, shifted off to somebody else's responsibility?
Mr William Shepherd: asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps were taken by Her Majesty's Government following the arrest of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Evans, who are British subjects, by the Spanish police in Barcelona on 4th August, 1965, on false allegations of taking photographs for hostile purposes.
Mr William Shepherd: I thank the hon. Gentleman for that reply and the consul for his activity. Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that this experience was extremely frightening to Mr. and Mrs. Evans and would he not advise those going to Spain for their holidays, if they must, to leave their cameras behind?
Mr William Shepherd: asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs which countries have yet to ratify The Hague Convention of 1961 abolishing the requirement of legalisation of foreign public documents; and what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government in the absence of comprehensive ratification.
Mr William Shepherd: asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he is aware that no instruction in contraceptive methods is given to students at medical schools and that students are, in the main, left to pick up what information they can in order to meet the needs of their patients; and whether he will take steps to ensure that medical schools give students specific instruction in this matter.
Mr William Shepherd: In view of the importance of this subject, why is it that the hon. Gentleman refuses to take any action? Is he telling the House that he is going to pay out these very large sums of money yet have no control whatever over the efficiency of the instruction?
Mr William Shepherd: asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to regulate gaming establishments through the medium of a tax upon the units of play, such as roulette tables and chemin de fer tables, of between £5,000 and £10,000 per annum, and a tax of £2,000 per annum per betting shop.
Mr William Shepherd: asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware of the need to retrain semi-skilled labour in skilled trades; what steps are being taken to this end; and whether he is obtaining the co-operation of the craft unions.
Mr William Shepherd: Will the hon. Gentleman say how many persons during the course of this year will be so retrained and accepted into semi-skilled and skilled employment?
Mr William Shepherd: asked the Minister of Labour if he will introduce a Bill designed to contain the restrictive practices of labour along the lines of the Restrictive Practices Act and to extend the power of the existing court to deal with the restrictive practices of labour.
Mr William Shepherd: Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that there is no labour shortage in the country except the labour shortage that we ourselves are making? It is perfectly useless to go on hoping that pious exhortation is going to have any result. If the right hon. Gentleman cannot put pressure on employers and unions together by means of legislation, we will lose out in the industrial battle.
Mr William Shepherd: asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is satisfied that the monopoly position at present obtaining in the British shoe distribution industry is consistent with the public interest; and whether he will refer this industry to the Monopolies Commission.
Mr William Shepherd: Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that this monopoly buying position works very hardly against the manufacturing end of the industry and that this organisation indulges in very heavy mark up and, on the whole, is deteriorating standards in the trade? Should not something be done about this?
Mr William Shepherd: asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that solicitors, estate agents, building societies, and others, many of whom have no substantial interest to protect, place in leases, etc., clauses requiring insurances to be effected with companies from whom they draw commission, and that a departmental committee has already condemned this practice; and if he will take steps to end...
Mr William Shepherd: This, too, is putting off action. When are we to get tough about monopolies and make their lives uncomfortable? Unless we do, there will be no real vitality and dynamism in British industry.
Mr William Shepherd: asked the Minister of Aviation what were the average monthly hours flown by pilots of British European Airways and the British Over seas Airways Corporation, respectively, in respect of scheduled routes; and what are the permitted monthly flying hours.