§ 10. Mr. Foulkes
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on Lord Glenarthur's recent official visit to the Channel Islands.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
My noble Friend visited the islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark during the period 13 to 16 November. The main purpose of his visit was to acquaint himself with the islands and to meet informally the lieutenant governors and representatives of the island authorities for general discussions on a range of matters of mutual interest and concern. He found the visit to be most useful and informative.
§ Mr. Foulkes
Is the Minister not aware, from the petitions and many letters that he has received, of the great concern on the islands about tax evasion by companies such as Gomba and the repressive housing laws? The noble Lord was quoted in an interview in the Jersey Evening Post as saying that everything in the garden was lovely. Is the noble Lord unbelievably naive, or is he covering up for the unpatriotic British, including some Tory Members, who are using the tax havens to make money?
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. Before the Minister answers, I say to the hon. Gentleman that it is unworthy to talk about unpatriotic Members.
§ Mr. Speaker
I think that it upset the House. "Unpatriotic" is not a word that we use of each other here.
§ Mr. Shaw
As the hon. Gentleman knows, the islands are responsible for their own financial affairs and for the supervision provided for by their own legislation. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer is satisfied that he has adequate powers to protect the interests of Her Majesty's Government.