Articles in the Work Category
Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury) (Con): I hope that every Member will read the all-party report entitled “Feeding Britain”, which has 77 recommendations, all of which seem eminently practical. I think everyone would agree that we should collectively seek to ensure that benefits can be paid as quickly as possible. I was not sure whether the hon. Member for Garston and Halewood (Maria Eagle) was giving an undertaking that, if a Labour Government were elected next spring, benefits could be paid within five days. We would all want to ensure that benefits are paid as quickly as possible.
That this House congratulates the Reverend Libby Lane, currently Vicar of St Peter’s Hale and St Elizabeth’s Ashley, on her appointment as Bishop of Stockport; and believes that her outstanding record of service to the community since her ordination in 1994 will stand her in good stead as the first woman bishop in the Church of England.
Q9.  Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury) (Con): May I commend to my right hon. Friend some advice from Karl Marx, who, as European correspondent of the New-York Tribune, observed that there were “vital interests which should render Great Britain the earnest and unyielding opponent of the Russian projects of annexation and aggrandisement.”
Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury) (Con): Will my right hon. Friend suggest to the Lord Chancellor that, when the SRA concludes its investigation, the Lord Chancellor comes to the House to make a statement, so that the SRA knows that the eyes of Parliament are going to be on its conduct of this investigation, and not least the question of how the firms of solicitors got their clients? There are suggestions that they were paying agents to go around Iraq to drum up business, often not knowing who their clients were. This seems to me to be yet another issue that needs to be properly investigated by the SRA.
Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury) (Con): There are three reasons why I want to contribute to the debate. First, I was the last Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food—the Labour Government abolished it when they came into office in 1997. At the time, MAFF had responsibility for Kew gardens. For a while, therefore, I had ministerial responsibility for them, and they were an oasis of calm, especially when one was having to deal with things such as BSE and slaughtering millions of cattle. However, the case of Kew makes the machinery of governance point that non-departmental public bodies ricochet from one Department of State to another, depending on how the architecture of Whitehall responsibilities is made up. I will come back to that in a second.
Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury) (Con): In every one of the four years in which I was a Minister at the Department for the Environment, we were told by the Opposition that our local government spending settlement would lead to the end of civilisation as we know it. Somehow local government continued and civilisation continued. Does my hon. Friend think that if local government manages better and cuts waste, it should be able to deal with an average 2.9% reduction in spending in 2014-15 without any serious hit on services?
Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury) (Con): We are all proud of the work done by the combined school for explosives and bomb disposal now based at Bicester. Do I understand it from my right hon. Friend’s statement that either Royal Engineer and/or Royal Logistics corps limited bomb disposal capacity will be deployed to help train Iraqi service personnel in dealing with bomb disposal and improvised explosive devices?
Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury) (Con): May I commend to my hon. Friend the “Feeding Britain” report, which was funded with support from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s charitable trust? The report makes recommendations to a number of different organisations, including directly to the food industry, such as encouraging the redistribution of fresh surplus food to food assistance providers and voluntary organisations. Will Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Ministers meet the food industry and the supermarkets to go through the report’s recommendations for the food industry, and see what action the food industry and supermarkets can take?