First, I shall make a short comment on the Crisis in the Financial Markets, which could weaken Western unity far more deeply than any efforts by the most cunning Communist.
Dr. Moonie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will call for a meeting of the Group of Seven to address the economic consequences for the United Kingdom and other countries of the recent Crisis in the Financial Markets.
The major countries of the world have co-operated in ensuring that the difficult period following the Financial Market Crisis has been coped with.
It has been reported that the tripartite arrangements were subjected to a dummy run for avian flu but not for a full-blown Financial Markets Crisis.
Beyond the Immediate Financial Markets Crisis and the paralysis in our banking system, however, the UK economy faces other, longer-term challenges that leave it less well prepared than many of its competitors to deal with an economic downturn and likely to recover more slowly from that downturn.
Much of the media attention over the past couple of weeks has rightly been on the Crisis in the Financial Markets, which was the subject of the earlier debate this afternoon.
Is it not also puzzling that at this moment, when there is such a Crisis in Financial Markets across the world, it is precisely state intervention that is essential?
However, as the ongoing Crisis in the Financial Markets has demonstrated, it is the job of government to see that the regulators are ahead of the curve, not behind it.
Moreover, when the Crisis in the Financial Markets truly arrived some weeks later, trading on the Russian stock exchange had to be suspended on several occasions, partly because so much foreign capital was being withdrawn from the country.
However, I do not understand and would be interested to know why the Government did not feel able to pursue the bad bank solution in dealing with this week's Crisis in the Financial Markets.
The Crisis in the Financial Markets has shifted from fears about deficits to fears about stagnation.
I hope that, if there is a silver lining to the present black cloud of the Financial Market Crisis, we will see at the autumn meetings of the various institutions much more progress towards the arrangements that I think everyone accepts should be in place.