asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will pay an official visit to the Christchurch and Lymington constituency to address a meeting of leading business men and industrialists on Her Majesty's Government's trade policies.
I cannot promise to make such a visit at the present time.
Is the Secretary of State aware that I have reserved 21st March for him should he decide to come? If he does come, will he please tell my constituents whether he fully supports the views expressed in the last few days by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer about the need for a slightly more realistic look at the state of the economy in 1975?
I am entirely at one with my colleagues, and, indeed, with a very large body of opinion in the country, in thinking that in this most difficult year on which we are now embarking we need to have the utmost realism in all our economic policies, and that we must face, above all, the very serious problems which we know about and which we have not yet done enough to solve. I am thinking particularly of the continuing balance of payments deficit, on which this country must make greater progress, as well as the general success of our policy to maintain employment and curtail inflation.
Is it not clear from the wording of the original Question that the leading business men and industrialists in Christchurch and Lymington have no confidence in the ability of their own Member to explain the Government's trade policies or anything else?