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Volume 164: debated on Friday 12 January 1990

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Student Loans

9.34 am

I beg to present a petition signed by Mr. David Bond, deputy president of Bradford college student union, and by 1,000 students and other citizens, which calls for rejection of the government's proposed student loans scheme.

The petitioners submit that any proposal to introduce the payment by students of tuition fees, either partially or in full, with student loans will further limit access to higher education and increase student poverty. The petitioners include students who, because of accommodation shortages, are forced to take lectures in corridors and to sit on the floor. They hoped that, following the boycott by the big banks of the student loans scheme, it would be scrapped. They still hope that the Government will decide to abandon it, and call upon the House to reject any proposal to introduce the payment by students of tuition fees and of student loans.

To lie upon the Table.

Broadcasting (Deaf People)

9.36 am

I beg to present my first petition since being elected a Member of this House, on behalf of Mr. Hampton, of Freshwater, who is the Isle of Wight's project director for the deaf. The petition is signed by 186 of my constituents.

There is no fate worse than death for a politician other than that of knowing that he cannot be heard. The petition asks the Government to include in the Broadcasting Bill proper provision for the deaf in television broadcasts. It must be possible with today's technology to make available a special channel carrying teletext subtitles, to help increase the viewing pleasure of the deaf. The petition reads:
"Wherefore your petitioners pray that your House will ensure that legislation be passed placing an obligation on television channel operators to make their programmes more accessible to deaf people by using teletext subtitles, sign language or other means, and to reach complete coverage by a fixed date."
To lie upon the Table.

Nhs Reform

9.37 am

I beg to present a petition signed by many of my constituents, relating to the Government's proposals for the future of the National Health Service. A number of the signatures were collected at meetings at which considerable concern was expressed about those proposals, not least in respect of the future of the Health Service—which should be free to all, irrespective of income.

The petition urges the Secretary of State for Health to drop the proposals contained in the White Paper and in the National Health Service and Community Care Bill, which it is feared will do nothing to improve the provision of health and care services at the level that we have come to enjoy and value.

To lie upon the Table.

Multi-Fibre Arrangement

In view of the large number of hon. Members who have indicated that they wish to participate in the debate, I propose placing a 10-minute limit on speeches made between 11.30 am and 1 pm. I hope that al l hon. Members who are called between those times will bear that limit in mind in the interest of other hon. Members.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—[Mr. Dorrell.]