Mr. Donald Anderson:
There is no opportunity to refer to colleagues' specific speeches, but I am confident that the debate has fully justified the Select Committee's decision to embark on our project and update the work of our predecessors in 1995. The quality of debate has been high. Our job was to provide an informed basis for the debate, and I pay tribute to all who have participated. I shall enjoy reading many of the contributions.
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There has been consensus, with perhaps two exceptions. The problem was clearly stated. The certainties of the cold war period have ended, and we face new, more complex threats. We must decide how best to respond to the gamut of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.
National missile defence understandably dominated the debate. Its deployment is not imminent; the new proposals that are under review by the United States Administration will take considerable time. Indeed, deployment is not inevitable, although there is considerable steam behind the project in the US.
Such deployment would have substantial implications. With the end of mutually assured destruction, there is a danger that the US might consider itself invulnerable. It was pointed out in the debate that the US proposals do not cover a series of vulnerabilities. The Government can buy time because the US has not concluded its review or made a request to use RAF Fylingdales and upgrade its radar capacity.
There is hope of some convergence and movement, for example in the case of China and Russia. The Russian proposals that were made to the Secretary General of NATO a few weeks ago suggest that Russia is at least prepared to enter into debate.
Our final hope is that the Government have understood the anxieties. There is danger of general misunderstanding. Our report's conclusion on NMD states:
"We recommend that the Government articulate the very strong concerns that have been expressed about NMD within the UK . . . We recommend that the Government encourage the USA to seek other ways of reducing the threats it perceives."
The debate shows that that is relevant, and I hope that--
It being Seven o'clock, Mr. Deputy Speaker proceeded to put forthwith the Questions relating to Estimates which he was directed to put at that hour, pursuant to Standing Order No. 54(4) and (5).
Question put and agreed to.
That resources, not exceeding £410,620,000, be authorised, on account, for use during the year ending on 31st March 2002, and that a sum, not exceeding £508,690,000 be granted to Her Majesty out of the Consolidated Fund, on account, for the year ending on 31st March 2002 for expenditure by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
It being after Seven o' clock,
Mr. Deputy Speaker proceeded to put forthwith the Questions relating to Estimates which he was directed to put at that hour, pursuant to Standing Order No. 55(1) and (3) (Questions on voting of estimates, &c.) and Order [27 February]
ESTIMATES, 2001-02 (NAVY) VOTE A
That during the year ending on 31st March 2002 a number not exceeding 46,025 all ranks be maintained for Naval Service, a number not exceeding 17,340 for service in the Reserve Naval and Marine Forces, and a number not exceeding 250 for service as Special Members of the Reserve Naval Forces under Part V of the Reserve Forces Act 1996.
ESTIMATES, 2001-02 (ARMY) VOTE A
That during the year ending on 31st March 2002 a number not exceeding 128,195 all ranks be maintained for Army Service, a number not exceeding 84,000 for service in the Reserve Land
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Forces, and a number not exceeding 6,000 for service as Special Members of the Reserve Land Forces under Part V of the Reserve Forces Act 1996.
ESTIMATES, 2001-02 (AIR) VOTE A
That during the year ending on 31st March 2002 a number not exceeding 57,485 all ranks be maintained for the Air Force Service, a number not exceeding 23,750 for service in the Reserve Air Forces, and a number not exceeding 430 for service as Special Members of the Reserve Air Forces under Part V of the Reserve Forces Act 1996.
ESTIMATES, EXCESSES, 1999-2000
That a sum not exceeding £447,616.60 be granted to Her Majesty out of the Consolidated Fund to make good excesses of certain grants for Civil Services for the year ended on 31st March 2000, as set out in HC 323.
SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES, 2000-01
That a further supplementary sum not exceeding £2,327,637,000, be granted to Her Majesty out of the Consolidated Fund to complete or defray the charges for Defence and Civil Services for the year ending on 31st March 2001, as set out in HC 255 and 256.
ESTIMATES, 2001-02 (VOTE ON ACCOUNT)
That further resources, not exceeding £120,516,064,000 be authorised on account, for use for Defence and Civil Services for the year ending 31st March 2002, and that a sum, not exceeding £120,348,528,000, be granted to Her Majesty out of the Consolidated Fund, on account, to meet the costs of Defence and Civil Services for the year ending on 31st March 2002, as set out in HC 251, 252, 253 and 254.
That a Bill be brought in on the foregoing resolutions: And that the Chairman of Ways and Means, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Andrew Smith, Dawn Primarolo, Mr. Stephen Timms and Miss Melanie Johnson do prepare and bring it in.
Consolidated Fund (No. 2) Bill
Mr. Stephen Timms accordingly presented a Bill to apply certain sums out of the Consolidated Fund to the service of the years ending on 31 March 2000, 2001 and 2002: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time tomorrow, and to be printed [Bill 65].
Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order 119(9) (European Standing Committees)
EUROPEAN COMMUNITY DOCUMENTS
Motor Vehicle Distribution and Servicing
That this House takes note of European Document No. 13889/00, a Commission report on the evaluation of Regulation (EC) No. 1475/95 on the application of Article 85(3) of the Treaty to certain categories of motor vehicle distribution and servicing agreements; notes its conclusion that the 'natural link' between sales and after-sales service seems no longer to exist; notes further its conclusions that the objective of increasing the commercial independence of dealers has been achieved 'to only a limited extent', that independent repairers are being denied access to technical information, and that they offer services at least as good and generally cheaper than dealers; notes further that car buyers still face
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difficulties when they try to purchase new vehicles in another member state; and, in view of the Commission's clear finding that the justifications advanced in 1995 for the block exemption are no longer valid, calls on the European Commission, in line with the views of the UK Competition Commission, to allow the block exemption to expire in September 2002.--[Mr. Clelland.]
Question agreed to.
LIAISON COMMITTEE (SUB-COMMITTEE)
That Standing Order No. 145 (Liaison Committee) be amended as follows:
Line 31, at end add--
'( ) The committee shall have power to appoint a sub-committee, which shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, and to report to the committee from time to time.
( ) The committee shall have power to report from time to time the minutes of evidence taken before the sub-committee.
( ) The quorum of the sub-committee shall be three.'.-- [Mr. Clelland.]
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE
Order read for resuming adjourned debate on Question [31 January],
That the Select Committee on Science and Technology shall have leave to meet concurrently with any committee of the Lords on science and technology or any sub-committee thereof, for the purpose of deliberating or taking evidence, and to communicate to any such committee its evidence or any other documents relating to matters of common interest--[Mr. Clelland.]
SELECT COMMITTEES (JOINT MEETINGS)
That Standing Order No. 152 (Select committees related to government departments) be amended as follows:
Line 40, before the word 'European' insert the words 'Environmental Audit Committee or with the'.
Line 50, before the word 'European' insert the words 'Environmental Audit Committee or with the'.
Line 52, at the end insert the words:--
'(4A) notwithstanding paragraphs (2) and (4) above, where more than two committees or sub-committees appointed under this order meet concurrently in accordance with paragraph (4)(e) above, the quorum of each such committee or sub-committee shall be two.'--[Mr. Clelland.]
Footwear Industry (Norwich)
Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.--[Mr. Clelland.]