Mr chairman, ladies and gentlemen, conference.
As a representative of the party of natural party of conservation I wish to talk to you briefly about acid rain, a phenomenon which gravely threates our beautiful forests and lakes.
I suspect there are some here who believe that only long-haired, sandal-wearing Liberals concer themselves with problems such as acid rain, but here I stand in my grey pinstripe suit ad declare that I too am concerned about acid rain.
I believe that as a party we must develop our policies and aspirations in the envorinmenatl field in order to ecompass all the challenges whch are directed at us.
The elimination of acid rain is one of those challenges.
I recently spent ten months living on the edge of the Black Forest in West Germany and what I saw happening to that forest shocked me. When I first went there in Spetember 1983 all the trees appeared perfectly healthy but oly ten months later many were dead or showed signs of dieing - as a result of acid rain.
But, I hear you say, it isn't happening here, it's a central European problem. Wrong.
Due to acid rain, 60 lakes have died and many historic buildings, icludig York Minster, are crumbling.
However, because of wind streams our country has not been hit as hard so far. Instead, we export our acid rain in the form of sulphur dioxide emissions. These emissions form water vapour which falls on the territory of Scandinavia and elsewhere as acid rain. This throws the whole photosynthesis process off balance.
Much like an Aids victim whose immune system has broken down, the ailing tree is left defenceless against the ravages of nature.
So what do we do about it?
Well, our socialist comrades don't even recognise that the problem exists. At their 1983 conference, Joan Maynard MP, who is nicknamed 'StaliN's Granny' said that acid rain was a capitalist plot. Quite the reverse. The eastern bloc emits far more pollution than anywhere else.
I believe we must take a leaf out of the West German government's book - a Conservative government. They are taking real action to alleviate and eventually eliminate the problem.
They have joined the 30% club , which promises to reduce sulphur emissios by 30% by 1993. Our government is, I believe, the oly west european government not to join. Why? Because, we are told, a lot more research needs to be done.
But it is the view of the governments of West Germany, France, Sweden, Norway, Canada and other countries that enough evidence already exists.
Even the House of Commons Environment Committee believes there is enough evidence. We must act on it.
But vested interests are wishing to keep things are they are. The CEGB refuses to accept its responsibility for acid rain, but it must be made to. It will cost moey to do this - hundreds of millions of pounds, but it will be worth it because the alternative is so terrible.
If people are educated to be environmentally aware, they will be willing to pay a little more for their electricity.
They will welcome the advent of lead free petrol. I urge the minister to impress on British industry to reduce industrial pollution to that we can keep this country the beautiful place it currently is.
May I urge everyone here to go bac to their constituencies and help William Waldegrave in his task of promoting Conservative environmental policy. It is a policy well worth promoting and will help our party win a third consecutive general election.
I support the motion.