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Government Legislation

Volume 945: debated on Thursday 2 March 1978

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Q3

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement on the progress in implementing the proposals in the Gracious Speech.

Good progress has been made in implementing the main proposals in the Gracious Speech.

Is the Prime Minister satisfied with the less-than-dramatic progress that is being made on the invisible Electricity Bill? Will he find out from the Liberal Party why its Members blacklisted it?

If it comes forward, the Electricity Bill will be concerned with compensation for Drax B and with reorganisation of the Industry I should be very happy indeed to see both these matters go through If the hon. Member for Melton (Mr. Latham) can give any undertaking to me about his vote, that might influence our attitude.

When considering these proposals, did the Prime Minister notice that the Leader of the Opposition seems to be obsessed with the need to find scapegoats, whether they are unemployed people about whom she talks and then calls scroungers or black people whom she calls coloured immigrants? Does my right hon. Friend accept that after the next Election, if the Tories are defeated, the Leader of the Opposition will be called a scapegoat by the very people who are now supporting her?

My hon. Friends should not become obsessed with the Leader of the Conservative Party. The electorate will judge for themselves at the General Election. [HON. MEMBERS: "When?"] The electorate will judge outside of the scaremongering that is going on at present. Every one of my hon. Friends will be able to be proud of the record that we shall have had over the last four or five years.

Since the speediest return to full employment and a sustained growth in output was described in the Gracious Speech as the Government's main objectives, and since neither of them is being fulfilled by the Government, what is the Prime Minister going to do about it?

The right hon. and learned Member for Huntingdonshire (Sir D. Renton) knows perfectly well of the measures that have been brought forward by the Secretary of State for Employment as recently as the beginning of this week. He knows that we have made arrangements to ensure that every young person between the ages of 16 and 19 shall receive further training or education. We have done more about this world problem than has been done by any other single Government in the whole of Western Europe.