§ Mr. Dalyell
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. By opting to go to Sandringham this afternoon rather than being in his place for Agriculture Question Time in the House of Commons, has not the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food got his priorities wrong? I admire much of the work of Prince Charles, and I have been a staunch supporter in difficult times of the European Community, but does the House agree that it is deeply unhelpful that the heir to the throne and a European Commissioner should consider that their business, however interesting and praiseworthy, should take precedence over a Minister's duty to be in the House of Commons for his own Question Time?
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. David Curry)
Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I was going to explain in answer to the first question the reasons for my right hon. Friend's absence. As the House will recall, this Question Time was originally fixed for 5 April and my right hon. Friend, with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment and two European Commissioners— for agriculture and for environmental affairs—had a long-standing engagement today. My right hon. Friend hopes that the House will understand the importance of his keeping that engagement to deal with extremely important matters.