Bob Stewart: After the Good Friday agreement, a political decision was made to give letters of comfort to terrorists. Can we not make a political decision to give letters of comfort to our soldiers?
Bob Stewart: Fly-tipping is no longer a minor nuisance in Beckenham, and it is reaching almost endemic proportions in some places. The cost of dealing with even just one instance of it can run into thousands of pounds, not including checking it for hazardous waste and then trying to get evidence for prosecutions. Can we have a debate on the current level of financial support offered by the Treasury to...
Bob Stewart: If she will make a statement on her departmental responsibilities.
Bob Stewart: As a boy, my ayah came from Somaliland, which was a British protectorate then. Will my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State explain what her Department is doing to help that great country, which has always been a friend of the UK?
Bob Stewart: My right hon. Friend has already stated that the enemy is now in an enclave on the Iraq-Syrian border, presumably penned there by Syrian forces, Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga. What happens to people, enemies, who are either captured whole or wounded? Are we ensuring that they are penned away and cannot hurt our country in future?
Bob Stewart: The Government’s strategy is to combine track and train. How does the Minister think this will improve the lot of passengers?
Bob Stewart: Fly-tipping is now a major nuisance to my constituents. The cost of dealing with even a single instance can run to thousands of pounds, and that does not include the cost of investigating for hazardous waste and trying to get prosecutions. Will the Minister consider the case for additional funding to enable my local council of Bromley, as well as other councils, to pay for the battle against...
Bob Stewart: Will the hon. Lady join me in asking the Minister whether we ought to look again at licensing dogs? That used to happen when I was a boy—when the world was black and white, of course.
Bob Stewart: So far, we have not actually looked at the problem from the point of view of the dogs. Dogs have feelings, too. It must be bloody awful for a dog to go from a really loving home to the barbarous places where they are put.
Bob Stewart: Our financially worthless, indolent dogs are each microchipped. They also have their own passports, with photographs. My wife owns them and controls them, which is more than I can do. Does my hon. Friend agree that the passport system could be used to help to trace dogs when they are stolen?
Bob Stewart: Less.
Bob Stewart: I do not think my dogs would fetch more than 50 quid each. I am worried that we seem to be going backwards. In 1770, the Act preventing the stealing of dogs received Royal Assent. Anyone caught was fined or imprisoned or suffered hard labour—I think it was adjusted in 1846. The Theft Act 1968 seems to have removed the requirement to deal with people who steal dogs, which is a shame.
Bob Stewart: Fifty quid.
Bob Stewart: I am particularly concerned that on the internet, for under a tenner, one can buy a commando knife, which is the ultimate killing knife.
Bob Stewart: I thank my very good and hon. Friend for allowing me to intervene. I do not understand how anyone can be allowed to buy acid except for scientific purposes; I just do not understand how that can happen in our society. What purpose would it serve other than to do bad?
Bob Stewart: I thank both you, Mr Speaker, and my hon. Friend for also allowing me to intervene. Does a business rate raised on a holiday let go to the local council or to central Government? In other words, if it is roughly the same as council tax, does the local council get the same amount?
Bob Stewart: rose—
Bob Stewart: I was going to make exactly the same point, so I shall shut up and sit down.
Bob Stewart: Not just Cornwall—
Bob Stewart: For the vast majority of the year, perhaps six months, holiday lets are empty. Surely, as things stand, council tax can be put on the properties when they are empty.