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Prime Minister (Engagements)

Volume 984: debated on Tuesday 6 May 1980

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asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 6 May.

Will the right hon. Lady have an opportunity today to take some action on behalf of the beleaguered and depressed fishing industry? Is she aware how deeply is felt a situation in which the industry sees its markets destroyed by imported, dumped, fish and conservation regulations flouted by just about every other country that fishes in its territories?

As the hon. Gentleman, I believe, is aware, we made a grant of about £3 million to the fishing industry recently. Its distribution is a matter for the fishing industry. The hon. Gentleman will also be aware, from the communiqué issued after the EEC meeting in Luxembourg, that I was not prepared to accept anything for the fishing industry that I believed to be detrimental to our own fishermen. I shall persist with that view.

Will my right hon. Friend take time today to advise the National Union of Teachers to follow the example set by other teachers' unions and put the welfare of the children and the wishes of parents before political considerations next Wednesday?

I am happy to do so. I believe that example is the most important thing in teaching.

Will the right hon. Lady take time to reflect on the fact that, contrary to what she keeps saying, a comparison between the growth of the money supply and the rate of inflation shows no relationship at all in Britain over the last five years? Equally, there is no association visible between the two in France, Germany, the United States or Japan over the same period. If she still stubbornly clings to this idea, will she provide the evidence to enable hon. Members to see whether the foundations of her economic policy are built on wishful thinking?

No. I cannot accept the hon. Gentleman's contention. The factor he has left out of account regarding money supply in those countries is that those countries have grown considerably year after year. When that is taken into account, with the money supply, the hon. Gentleman will find that the figures bear a relationship one to another.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that several holidaymakers last weekend had their weekends ruined by mobs of skinheads and so-called yobs in seaside resorts? Will she urge her right hon. Friend the Home Secretary to increase the number of police and urge on magistrates the need to impose stronger sentences upon these people?

My right hon. Friend will take every possible step to increase the strength of the police and to see that the law is upheld in this country.

Will the right hon. Lady take action to remove the threat to residents in this country who hail from Libya? Will she give instructions for the closing down of the Libyan embassy which is harbouring, it seems, a gang of thugs, bent on shooting and killing people in this country?

There have been two cases of murder of Libyan citizens in this country. People are held and being charged with murder at the moment. No one, of course, is guilty of murder until proved guilty. As the matter is sub judice, I think it best to go no further.

While everyone in the House will welcome the fact that the Leader of the Opposition has joined my right hon. Friend in commenting upon recent events at the Iranian embassy, will not my right hon. Friend agree that it would be extremely helpful if the House knew precisely where the Leader of the Opposition and his party stand on the question of the 14 May strike? Will she agree that leadership is demanded not only from our Prime Minister but also, occasionally, from the Leader of the Opposition?

I trust that the Opposition Front Bench, as well as the Government, are against strikes for political purposes. Such strikes are wholly contrary to the law in this country.