Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The Analects ...

By Glyn Hughes

Wars are begun all for the same one reason only; for the self-aggrandisement of Princes.

The best way to get rich, is to make all the people around you rich.

Nobody ever got rich by working hard. You get rich by persuading other people to work hard, and you keep their money.

All far-right parties are a homage to one person and hate for one other. When either is gone, they're gone.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Nuts and Bolts of Europe...

Why European Rules are fluffy clouds of joy which make your life safer, simpler and better. 

Me in front of a Punch-Press machine made in Finland by a Swedish company and operated by a Lithuanian technician, pressing-out parts to be assembled by a Polish team for low-emissions incinerators developed in the UK and the Netherlands for sale in France and Germany in a factory in Lancashire owned by an Irish family. (OK, the picture is dummied, but every detail of the scenario, including me being in it, is factual.)

Down the lane by our house is Whitworth Park and the Whitworth Memorial, next to the Whitworth Centre the Whitworth tea-rooms and just over the road from the Whitworth Hospital. Mr Whitworth, clearly, was not a nobody. Indeed, because Mr Whitworth was the bloke who invented European Standards.

Joseph Whitworth (1803-1887) was an engineer, a 'nuts and bolts man'. In his day, every workshop made their own nuts and their own bolts. If you lost, say, the screw from your Boulton and Watt epicyclic gear, no use going to Stephenson's for a new one, it wouldn't fit.

Joseph Whitworth and a screw-cutting lathe

Whitworth came up with the idea of a simple, printed, set of rules anyone could follow so that their screws fitted to the other bloke's cart. Now, you could have the oh-so-clever Fischer Bearings on your steam engine, and Ransome's blades on your lawnmower. Engineers could pick the best of the best and put them together, not have to make their own. So stuff all got better. And cheaper. Whitworth Screws became B.S.W – British Standard Whitworth, the nuts and bolts on which the sun never set. And Mr. Whitworth became, they say, the richest industrialist, not just in Darley Dale, or even in Matlock, but in the world.

Wonderful idea! So other countries did the same. Which was fine until people from the other countries started getting together. Like around 1940 when the Polish Air Force had to make that quick exit to Britain, and it became distressingly apparent that British Standard screws couldn't be used to repair Polish Standard aeroplanes. Or American Standard Jeeps either.

You see, Standards only work if everyone does it together. You can't do 'your own Standards'. Now we've got the EU, and the European 'M' series screws. The nut you buy in Bolton will now fit the washing machine, not just in Krakow, but in Rio or Beijing too. Standardization isn't about making everybody the same. It's about making everybody's stuff work with everyone else's stuff.

Couldn't we just go back to writing our own rules? Really? So you've forgotten all those toys with spikes in their eyes, the poisoned paint, the electrocuting toasters the watery beer and the Austin Allegro? They've all gone. They've gone because we've got European Standards.

The Allegro had a magnetic effect on women, especially the bonnet, but real men drove Saabs.
When nations try to set their own Standards, makers want an easy ride and competitive advantage. Our test labs want the most complicated procedures and the highest possible fees. And joy of joys, paying for 'approval' or 'certification' from the lawmaker's and their (ahem) 'consultants', means you can effectively 'sell' responsibility for your product to someone else. When the grieving relatives turn up to point out that your product wasn't so great, you can show them a little plaque.

But when 27 countries argue - usually for years - about a common Standard, nobody is willing to drop their quality, and nobody is willing to pay for the other bloke's bureaucrats. And ... (ahem) nobody is willing to explain their clever system of corruption. Then, the public and even those elected twits are allowed to have a say. Everybody has to agree. Yes, everyone, it is not a majority-vote thing. So you're forced to devise a way of guaranteeing the best of stuff with the least of trouble. When everyone has to implement better quality, nobody is at a disadvantage. Seems to work every time.

British BSI Standards were never much, nor for that matter were Norme Francaise or the Russian GOST. The German DIN Rules, though, were much admired. Indeed one or two of them – for instance for paint – have been kept. But then they had the same problem making them - lots of individual States had to come together, and you'll only get Schleswig-Holstein to agree to the same things as Lower Saxony by being very clever indeed. Same with the old Nordic Standards - you have to get ex-Vikings to play nice.

Remember when we just used to sort-of take it as read that British products were a bit crap? Remember? You might have to put up with an Austin or a Hillman, but really you wanted a Volvo or a Mercedes. And you could possibly play your Tom Petty tapes on a Ferguson, but why would you if could get your hands on a Grundig or a Bang and Olufsen?

The reason people complain about the Trans-Atlantic Trade thing (apart from those who just have complaining as a hobby) is largely because they fear having shoddy US Standards forced on us. Go and have a look at American kettles.

Unless you're in the habit of reading the very small print at the end of instruction manuals you won't have heard of me, Glyn Hughes. I design products for you to buy. Which means I work all day every day with manufacturers, importers, exporters, distributors, retailers across Europe and the globe. I'm the man who has to implement Euro rules and Standards. I have never, ever, heard anyone involved, anywhere, ever, complain about them. Ever. They are models of clarity and simplicity which even countries like Canada and China, who get no real say in the making of them, are happy to adopt. They've swept away bureaucracy, simplified manufacture, made better things and us safer. I hear that Mr Johnson, the verpus maximus* of International Wisdom, complain, but he can never seem to quite put his finger on any examples, and has, doubtless reluctantly, had to resort to making-things-up about bananas and vacuum cleaners.

So let me give you a real example. Do you remember how truly awful building Standards were in Britain? Do you remember the collapsing blocks of flats the gas explosions, 'concrete cancer' and Barratt Houses? They've all gone. The European Construction Products Directive swept away something like 1,200 national rules  (No, I haven't actually counted) and buckets of payments and busloads of inspectors and acres of forms and replaced all and everything with one single paragraph of undiluted genius. It says that girders and wotnot have to be strong enough and so on, but it also says that the actual real Big Boss of the firm who supplies them has to sign a public affidavit to tell you how to get in touch with him and that he takes complete personal responsibility for his girders. Complete responsibility. Not only does Mr Girder not have to pay the civil servants' (ahem, again) chums to 'approve' his stuff, he's not allowed to. Down to you, mate.
DID YOU KNOW: You can't buy Chinese manufactured products in Europe. Let me explain... Euro Norms work because the real person who takes responsibility has to be a European, so they're subject to the same law as the customer and you can get at then if you need to. That means that Chinese products which are subject to critical Standards aren't allowed to be sold in Europe - they can be imported, but they have to be sold, and certified, by a European manufacturer. Not just a man at a desk, not just a boxes-in-boxes-out warehouse, but a real someone who really takes real responsibility. Clever eh?

My goodness does it work! I should know. About seventeen thousand things go out each year with MY signature and my home address next to that European 'CE' mark. Do I make sure there's no problems? Too bloody right I do. Does anyone ring up? Yes, occasionally they do. Someone emailed yesterday about paint peeling off a corner of their Tiger™ woodstove. And I jump on the factory and sort it out, so I can go back to doing what engineering designers do best - sitting in the garden with beer and oh, trying to get inspiration from staring at clouds, or something.

Anyway, I know you like graphs, so here's a graph. It is based on data from RoSPA. This one is for death and injuries from domestic electrical equipment, but the graph for toys is much the same...

Spotted that? Since the 1920s there have been ever more and more horrible accidents. So British governments invented ever more rules, more inspectors and more payments and more forms to fill in and it just made things worse. In came Euro Standards - stricter quality, simpler enforcement, and bureaucracy eliminated. See?

There is one teetsy problem here, though. A very British problem. Nice, simple Euro Standards arrive in UK, with an agreement to get rid of the old complexities, and our jolly bureaucrats like to ignore that bit and add the old paid-for (Ahem, again. Sorry, about the cough. Seem to have something stuck in my craw.) 'independent' bureaucracy on top of them. So you've got the likes of British Agrément Board and AEA and HETAS and BSI and The British Electrotechnical Approvals Board, which should long ago have been swept away, still filling forms in and collecting money for absolutely nothing. No other country does this. And if you complain, the Man from the Ministry will tell you that it absolutely isn't their fault. It is Europe. You know, with their complicated European rules. Oh if only we could escape!

But I'd rather you didn't take my word for any of this. I'd like you to go and have a look at some Euro Standards for yourself. But I'm afraid the British Standards Institute would like £112.00 off you to look at, say, all 8 pages of EN1929 on Methods of Testing Child Safety Seats on Shopping Trolleys. I think you should be able to read it for free, and so does the European Parliament and the European Commission. But someone voted against that. Guess who. Go on, guess.

(*Verpus maximus could mean 'Great Vital Force' or it could possibly mean 'Giant Dickhead'. I presume you are fluent, and can decide for yourself.)

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Friedrich Nietzsche and the Large Hadron Collider

The world's biggest machine

There is, apparently, a large circular tube underneath the edges of Switzerland and France. This houses the Large Hadron Collider. It cost about three thousand million Euros and is the world's biggest machine, by far. This is astonishing. How it came to be built should not be allowed to pass without comment. So, what is it, and how did it get there?

The LHC does science. But behind science is scientists, and just as there is a Realpolitik of personal and practical hopes and needs behind the Politics shown to the people, so there is a Real Science behind the outward show of papers and experiments.

Enter Friedrich Nietzsche, the odd-ball German Philosopher of the 1880s, who reminded us, in the endlessly entertaining Beyond Good and Evil;
"To be sure, among scientific men, you may find something like a drive for knowledge, a clockwork that, once wound, works without any participation from the other drives of the scholar. But the real "interests" of the scholar lie usually somewhere else, say, in his family, in making money, or in politics. 
There is a point in every philosophy when the philosopher's "conviction" appears on the stage."
So what's the Real "interests" behind the Hadron Collider? Seems to me it came about for three main reasons, in descending order of importance ...

1. It proves Europeans are Best....
...especially, that they're better than Americans. The USA was very busy building the Texas high-energy accelerator, but Europe got there first, and the Texas one lies in ruins. So hurrah for the Old Countries and Yah! Boo! to the uppity colonials. You don't get politicians organizing payments for stuff unless it's going to make them look good. And the LHC provides physical proof positive of European superiority, and a clear demonstration that European politicians are very clever and know about complicated physics and stuff.

2. It makes money. Lots of Money!
Surely you don't make money out of pure research? Oh yes you do. The LHC cost zillions, which goes into the pockets of building contractors, and surveyors and, of course, a certain amount drips off to politicians and civil servants. Without pressure from moneyed would-be builders, stuff like this doesn't get started.
If anyone had really wanted to just do science, it would have been drastically cheaper to simply finish off the Soviet accelerator near Moscow. It was headed to be a tad more capable than the Euro one, and would have come with ready-trained technicians. But the fall of the USSR stopped it, so to speak, in its tracks and, anyway, using it would have made Russia look Best, negating aim No 1.

The rusting tunnels of the abandoned Soviet particle accelerator
3. It does discovery.
Possibly so. But a poor, and relatively unimportant, third. All the same, 1 and 2 are what you have to do to get No 3. As Herr Nietzsche also said;
"The term "good" has no necessary connection with useful and unselfish actions,"

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Why Americans can't make tea ...

... and why Brits can't make coffee

You can play this. It is perfectly safe.

You don't need me to tell you this. Tea in North America is pretty universally appalling. Weak, flimsy slop. And anyone from across the Atlantic who has been offered a cup of coffee by a well-meaning English or Irish or Welsh* host will, equally, have had to smile gracefully while wondering how on earth it can be possible to get so trivially, microscopically, laughably simple a task as just putting hot water on coffee so gigantically wrong.

The problem is not a new one. As early as 1822 the, otherwise generally splendid Mary Eaton in her The Cook and Housekeeper's Dictionary, suggests making coffee in England...
"To an ounce of coffee, add a tea-spoonful of the best flour of mustard, to correct its acidity, and improve its fragrance; and in order to render it truly fine and wholesome, it should be made the evening before it is wanted ... Next morning pour off the clear liquor, add to it a pint of new milk, warm it over the fire, and sweeten it to taste. Coffee made in this way, will be found particularly suitable to persons of a weak and delicate habit" 
What? Mustard? Made the evening before? What the ...? Though she does add; "If for foreigners ... make only eight dishes from three ounces." Phew! That sounds all right. But wait, Mrs Eaton isn't going to let even foreigners get away that easily; 
"If not fresh roasted, lay it before the fire until perfectly hot and dry; or put the smallest bit of fresh butter into a preserving pan, and when hot, throw the coffee into it, and toss it about until it be freshened, but let it be quite cold before it is ground."
Yep, we've been having problems with coffee for a long time. Not surprising an exasperated Alexis Soyer, the Victorian cuisinier célèbre, wrote in 1850;
It is a very remarkable fact that but few persons in England know how to make good coffee, although so well supplied with the first quality of that delicious berry; but, by way of contrast, I must say that the middle classes of France are quite as ignorant of the method of making tea.
So what's the problem, and what the solution? It is easy. It is basically TEMPERATURE.

Listen carefully... Tea needs boiling water, coffee just needs very hot water.

So those who are good at tea (which needs boiling water) use it too hot for coffee (which needs just very hot water) and so make bad coffee. Those who are good at coffee (which needs very hot water) use it too cool for tea (which needs boiling water)

Got it? Pour boiling water on ground coffee and all its volatile flavoring oils will evaporate. Dip a tea-bag in just hot water and you won't extract the flavours.

Tea = boiling water, Coffee = very hot water.

Oh for goodness sake.

*The Scots, for reasons unknown, seem to be capable of making perfectly good coffee.  No, I've no idea why either. True though, isn't it?

Monday, 2 May 2016

In Praise of Bad Repairs

Ancient buildings. To repair or restore? Tricky. I'd like to suggest an alternative - go back to the original way of doing things, which is to say, do it really badly.

They don't build houses like they used to. Well no, they're not allowed to, because they used to be crap. And most of them have fallen down. So only the good stuff from the past is left, which gives us a false impression of cosy solidity.

Houses for common people used to be really rubbish. Flick through the ever-fascinating London Labour and the London Poor or just look at the early photographs of lower-class people's homes. They could be comfortable, but they don't ever seem to have been neatly built.

Yep, crap.
Consider, for a start, re-plastering an ancient property. Doing it 'correctly' means, say, getting a skilled master plasterer to do the walls using original materials, the best tools and the finest traditional lime plaster. You'll be amazed by the beautiful, smooth finish, the neat corners and that ingenious little fillet over the door. Just like it was done in 1850. Except that's not how it was done in 1850, because most houses were originally plastered by the incompetent and the ham-fisted, using the wrong tools and poor-quality materials. The modern expert will do it 'right', which will be wrong.

That was never straight, was it?

Here, by happy fortune, I have a double advantage. First, by curious circumstance, we've come to own a little house untouched since about 1900. Second, I have the remarkable skill of being able to very accurately imitate centuries old craft incompetence. A skill which is completely self-taught. In fact, I can say with some pride, that the new window frames in our house are, after my attempts at puttying, pointing and painting, now absolutely indistinguishable from the 1700s version.

The ceiling had been repaired with bits of old packing cases. A lead miner lived there. Look what he used.

So the 'Back House' at Winster is going to be have its rotten woodwork replaced (just as non-straight as the original) get re-plastered (a bit wobbly) and painted (original colours - green and cream - and original-style blodges and streaks). It is going to have the gloomy gaslights and the sloppy slopstone and leaky windows all repaired. I think you can still buy Reckitts Blue to make your own bedroom distemper. I might just draw the line at retaining the authentic damp, but I have persuaded the carpenter that, no, we don't want draughtproofing in the window frames. No, not even hidden draughtproofing. No! Not even if it looks just like the original.

When it's finished, you can come round and have a cup of tea. You'll have to light the range first, you'll find the coal in the shed, next to the privvy.

No, Richard Grafton Interiors Ltd, this is not a restored Victorian kitchen. No. Not.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

9/11 - It wasn't Muslims...

No. Don't go away. I haven't got some new weird conspiracy theory - just a rather interesting little note on how we use language.

After the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, somebody had to decide who was responsible. Well, we know who was responsible, it was the group of people who hijacked the 'planes. But we're still pack animals and we need to know who is in what gang, so what gang were the 9/11 attackers? How do we identify them? Which Not-Us group do we say they belong to?

The current answer seems to be that they were Muslims. The USA was attacked by Muslims. But it didn't have to be that way.

Men in white shirts? Nah.
It could have been said that the attackers were MEN. Which they were. But that doesn't define them as an out-group, as roughly half of Our Gang are men too. We could even have gone for MEN IN WHITE SHIRTS, or YOUNG MEN but we've got those too.

A more sensible delimiter might have been to call them SAUDIS. "The USA was attacked today by a group of Saudi fanatics". Which would make sense, as they were all Saudis, or had strong connections with Saudi Arabia. What's more - to the extent that it is possible to identify the supposed reason for the attacks - it was in protest at the USA's involvement and infidel presence in the blessed land of Saudi Arabia. The trouble with that designation is that Saudi Arabia is our Friend, on account of spending lots of money with us, being very nice to our politicians and more-or-less controlling our energy supply.

So how about saying they were WAHHABIS or SALAFISTS, referring to the unusually strict version of Islam they were connected to? That would have been a pretty fair description, and not really likely to harm any blameless group too much, as there aren't all that many respectable Salafists out in the wider world.


And so on. But it was us who decided that the enemy people were MUSLIMS (or occasionally ISLAMISTS, which amounts to the same thing). It didn't have to be Muslims who perpetrated 9/11. It could have been someone else.

This matters to me, because I was there.

(If you do want the nutcase version, try starting with )

Thursday, 10 March 2016

The Queen on Europe ...

There's lately been a bit of a hoo-ha about the Queen being an avid anti-European. Or at least so claims the 'Sun' newspaper. Which seems rather odd...

The Queen they're referring to is, I presume, Elizabeth. That's Elizabeth of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Who is married to a Greek. And whose family have spent the last 1000 years trying very hard to unify Europe. Not, it is true, necessarily from entirely altruistic motives, but the one defining plan of the Royal Family has, for centuries, been to bring about a unified Europe. For goodness sake, even King Simeon of Bulgaria is her (I think) seventh cousin. So, anti-Europe? I think not. Nor indeed does The Palace, who have taken the quite extraordinary step of lodging a formal complaint against the newspaper.

Of course, we could always try to find out what HM Queen actually thinks. Now, I knew she made a personal speech a few years ago on exactly the Euro subject. Not a " government will..." or " ... my prime minister is ..." speech, but her own. Which speech proved surprisingly difficult to track down on the web, rather suggesting that, despite all the ink spilled on this little argument, no journalist had actually bothered to read the Queen's own opinion. Well, not quite her opinion, because the queen doesn't express her opinions you know - instead, watch out for who she chooses to quote from. Here you go....

At a formal sitting of the European Parliament, a personal address by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
(12.30 p.m. 12th May 1992)

PRESIDENT. — Your Majesty, your Royal Highness, it is a great honour and pleasure for me to welcome you on behalf of all the Members of the European Parliament. (Applause) Your Majesty's visit to this House comes at a time when the European Community is facing major challenges and having to take decisions on important aspects of its future development.

In September this year the European Parliament will celebrate the fortieth anniversary of its foundation. However, compared with the Mother of Parliaments, the British Parliament, it is still in its infancy.

On 1 July it will be the turn of the United Kingdom to assume the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the European Community for a period of six months. Its partners and countries outside the Community are looking forward to the British Presidency with wide-ranging expectations.

Your Majesty, with great esteem for your country and for the British people, may I invite you to address the Members of this House.


HER MAJESTY, QUEEN ELIZABETH II. — Mr President, in a celebrated speech at Zurich in 1946, Winston Churchill described 'the tragedy of Europe'. He compared the richness and vitality of European achievement, in culture, arts and science, with the succession of self-destructive conflicts which has beset our Continent. Instead of being a force for civilisation and tolerance in the world, Europe and its rivalries have been too often the cause of war, and war on a world scale.

Churchill drew a deceptively simple lesson. He sought 'to recreate the European family and provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety and in freedom'. As I look around me in this ever more important Parliament of Europe, I believe that Members of Parliament, and all Europeans, can be proud of what has been achieved.

I am grateful to you, Mr President, for your warm welcome. I thank your predecessors, Mr Enrique Baron and Lord Plumb, for asking me to make this visit. I would like today to consider how the European family is growing, and to look ahead to the challenges which face us.
I welcome the opportunity to visit Strasbourg. This great city has long been a centre of learning and culture, drawing its personality from two of our great European nations, while also suffering from the rivalries between them. After years of conflict, Strasbourg emerged as a triumphant symbol of the reconciliation between France and Germany which the founding fathers of the Community saw as the precondition for a wider European peace.

The European family contains diverse personalities. In this, and in its need for tolerance and mutual support, it is like any family. The founders of the European Community wanted to draw strength from that diversity.. They sought to manage and, channel differences, to bind nations and peoples together in a common endeavour, as free partners.

They fully recognized the scale of the task but their aims were much more ambitious than just a materialistic vision. For example, they fashioned the first Community, the European Coal and Steel Community, because they saw the coal and steel industries as the essential motor of war and peace, of national destruction or common prosperity. To quote from the Memoires of Jean Monnet:

'Le charbon et l'acier étaient a la fois la clé de la puissance économique et celle de l' arsenal on se forgeaient les armes de la guerre. Les fusionner pardessus les frontières serait leur ôter leur prestige magnifique et les tournerait au contraire en gages de paix.'
In binding industry together the founding fathers sought to reconcile the peoples of Europe not just by sentiment but through solid ties of mutual self-interest. A European war was to be made not just unlikely but unthinkable. To quote Monnet again the aim was to 'enraciner des aujourd'hui un intérêt commun.'
You are part of an effort which is unique in the world's history. We are all trying to preserve the rich diversity of European countries because if that diversity is suppressed, we shall weaken Europe not strengthen it. Decisions need to be taken as close to the citizen as is compatible with their success but at the same time we have to strengthen the ability of Europeans to act on a European basis where the nature of a problem requires a European response. That was the necessary balance struck at Maastricht.

Standing here today I am conscious of the differences in national parliamentary traditions across the Community. The British Members will no doubt have brought to the deliberations of this House the vigorous tone of Westminster debate: a style which can be confrontational as some of my ancestors found!

(Laughter and applause)

The differences of style and opinion are insignificant against the background of the proven commitment of Europeans today to reconciliation and democracy. Far better the tough talking and controversy of a genuine debate for which this Parliament is a forum than drab uniformity. By your deliberations and well-contested decisions you reinforce the work of national parliaments. I welcome your contribution to European democracy.


The founders of our Community did not envisage a comfortable club with closed doors but a Community of challenge where Members are exposed to different points of view. We have today a dynamic entity which accepts new members while holding out ties of friendship and cooperation to a wider world. It is crucial that the Community continues to fulfil its international responsibility.

This Parliament is itself outward looking and you underline it by your relationships, official and unofficial, with other countries and regions. The Community has always welcomed European nations which shared its fundamental aims. I am delighted that the Presidency of the Council is held today by Portugal. Further new members are knocking at the door. We should be confident of opening it to them for with each enlargement the Community has become stronger.

Stronger or not, though, we cannot afford to be complacent. War has not been banished from the European continent. I think particularly of the war-torn republics of what used to be Yugoslavia. The healing process, symbolized by Strasbourg, remains badly needed elsewhere. But there is much to encourage us. We have shared the joy of the German people at the unification of their country after nearly forty years of repression in the East. We have witnessed the triumph of democracy, and the demise of dictatorship, in Central Europe. With the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the 'Iron Curtain' has fallen.

Our task now is to tend and nurture the green shoots of a democratic spring. The Community is especially well suited to this task. Its institutions were built for reconciliation and to reflect common interest. This is an enterprise which cannot depend upon Europe's efforts alone; it will need the whole free world. But the Community's experience stands as an example of what can be achieved. The Community is reinforcing political and economic change throughout Europe through direct help and increased trade. I am sure that it must do more: I am confident that it will.

We are building on sound foundations. The Community offers the message of Churchill and of Monnet, that
reconciliation can take the place of conflict. That diversity can be safeguarded within a democratic framework. That cooperation can deepen understanding, and build a real community of interest.

So the message from the history of Strasbourg, of this Parliament, of the Community is surely a simple one, Mr President. We must ensure that the friendship and mutual respect, which we have built among ourselves, should extend more widely throughout our continent, and enrich our relations with the wider world. It is a worthy ambition, true to the conviction and example of the founding fathers of the Community.

Others on our continent, long-established or newly emerged democracies, increasingly look towards the European Community. We must not let them down. I began with a quotation from a speech by Winston Churchill. I shall close by quoting one of Sir Winston's most distinguished predecessors — Lord Salisbury. In 1888, in a speech in Wales, he said: 'We are a part of the Community of Europe, and we must do our duty as such.' One hundred and four years on, I salute the wisdom of those words. May God grant the same wisdom to us as we build, together, our European family.

(Loud and sustained applause)

PRESIDENT. — Your Majesty, may I thank you person-ally and on behalf of the Members of this House for your address. The importance that you attach to European integration is an encouragement and inspiration to us all. The European Parliament will endeavour to work closely with the government and parliament of your country to create the conditions that will enable us to meet the challenges of the future in the period up to the year 2000 and beyond. The European Parliament is determined to fulfil its role as the body exercising genuine democratic scrutiny in the Community.

Your Majesty, Your Royal Highness, you do us a very great honour by your visit. On behalf of this House, may I express my deepfelt thanks.

(Loud and sustained applause)

(The formal sitting closed at 12.45 p.m.)