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Wednesday 24 AprilMy right hon. Friend the Prime Minister will propose an Humble Address to celebrate the golden jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen, followed by Second Reading of a Bill, the nature of which I will confirm next week.
I am aware that many hon. Members are interested in the future of the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Bill, which had to be dropped earlier this week. I assure the House that we shall bring that Bill back at an early opportunity, and we are confident that we can take it through in this Session.
European Standing Committee ARelevant European Union documents: 14130/01, draft Council regulation fixing for 2002 the fishing opportunities and associated conditions for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks, applicable in Community waters and for Community vessels in waters where limitations in catch are required; 15238/01, draft Council regulation fixing for 2002 the
European Standing Committee CRelevant European Union documents: 10427/00, draft Council regulation on the hygiene of foodstuffs; draft Council regulation laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin; draft Council regulation laying down detailed rules for the organisation of official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption; draft Council regulation laying down the animal health rules governing the production, placing on the market and importation of products of animal origin intended for human consumption; draft Council directive repealing certain directives on the hygiene of foodstuffs and the health conditions for the production and placing on the market of certain products of animal origin intended for human consumption and amending directives 89/662/EEC and 91/67/EEC; 15475/01, Commission communication on the withdrawal of the proposal for a regulation laying down detailed rules for the organisation of official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption; relevant European Scrutiny Committee reports: HC 28-iii (2000-01), and HC 152-xxxx (2001-02).]
Yesterday, at column 42 of Hansard, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Yorkshire (Mr. Knight) raised the issue of the traffic chaos surrounding the Palace of Westminster. Indeed, I believe that, as a result of that chaos, the Leader of the House was delayed in getting to the House yesterday to chair a Committee. We have chaos on the roads and chaotic railways, and, just recently, we had completely chaotic airlines. Who is the guilty man behind all of this? Can the House guess what is the common thread between chaotic roads, chaotic railways and chaotic airlines? I suggest to the Leader of the House that he try to identify that guilty man, bring him to the House and have him answer all these questions.
Talking of airlines and airways, did not we all tell the Government that what they were doing to air traffic control would be a disaster? Even many Labour Members said that it would be a disaster. The fact is that air traffic control has run out of money. Apparently, it is running out of runways and, now, it is running out of aeroplanes as well. We were told before 1997 that the air was not for sale. It now appears that the air is not for flying either.
I was talking of guilty men. The Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions appears to have sneaked out yet another announcement, this timedisgracefullyunder cover of the funeral of Her Majesty the Queen Mother. The odd thing about this one is that it appeared on something called a website but apparently without an accompanying press release. Uniquely, we seem now to have the Jo Moore memorial non-press release. However, we no longer have Jo Moore or that nice Mr. Sixsmith to blame, so who does the Leader of the House imagine is to blame for all this
Mr. Cook: I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his helpful questions. If I were to attempt to parade before the House the guilty people responsible for the difficulty of air traffic chaos, I should have to produce many members of the previous Administration. I do not know which planet the right hon. Gentleman inhabits when he is not here in the Chamber, but I routinely and regularly fly between Edinburgh and Heathrow and I can tell him that difficulties with air traffic control computers did not begin in June 1997.
As for the eccentric idea that this Government should have adopted the Conservative Government's plans for involving the private sector in air traffic control, I remind the right hon. Gentleman that those plans amounted to complete privatisation, in which all responsibility would have been handed over to the private sector. That would have left us in a worse position than at present. We are involved in seeking a way forward so that we can find a solution.
The right hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst accused the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions of having sneaked out a report on its website yesterday. That report was a private paper from private sector consultants to an official seminar at which there was no ministerial attendance. The Department was under no obligation whatsoever to publish the report at all. Indeed, if the Department had wanted to suppress the report, it would have been simplest not to publish it, as there is no requirement to do so. It is to the Department's credit that it pursues a policy of transparency. Every month, 200 documents are placed on its website many more than was the case under the previous Administration.