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Royal Commission On Environmental Pollution (Recommendations)

Volume 76: debated on Wednesday 3 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what recommendations of the Royal Commission on environmental pollution have been acted upon by the Government.

Since 1979 the Government have published positive responses to the recommendations contained in five Royal Commission reports, and set in hand follow-up action as appropriate.

Why do the Government not stop equivocating and sign the Ottawa declaration on acid rain?

In the answer to the tenth Royal Commission report, the Government have taken the trouble to set out the reasons why they did not want to do that, and I know that the hon. Gentleman is very familiar with the arguments in that response.

Will my hon. Friend confirm his opinion of the commission's findings on the efficacy of long sea outfall?

As my hon. Friend is aware, the Government have also responded to that matter in their answer to the tenth Royal Commission report. I refer him to that response, over which a great deal of trouble was taken.

As the Minister said in a television interview about Britain joining the 30 per cent. club:

"If you want my opinion, I would have taken the risk of joining the 30 per cent. club",
may I ask what is stopping him?

The hon. Gentleman did not quote me fully. I said that that would have been an easy thing to do as a number of other countries have done it knowing perfectly well that they would do nothing about it. That is not how Britain approaches these matters, and I am proud of that.

On a point of order arising out of Question Time, Mr. Speaker. Do you accept that the people of Manchester will be very disappointed at the limited number of supplementary questions taken on a very important series of questions when compared with—

Order. The problem with Question Time is that although I do try to call as many hon. Members as possible, when an area has a number of Members representing it it is impossible to call all of them. Every time that Front Bench speakers rise—and they rose eight times today—it makes it more difficult for me to call Back Benchers.