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European Community (Leisure Activities)

Volume 984: debated on Tuesday 6 May 1980

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asked the Prime Minister if she will seek to place on the agenda at the next European Council meeting the question of leisure activities in the Community.

Does not the right hon. Lady agree that there is a need for the Community to look at leisure activities, in view of the fact that enforced leisure is the fastest growing sector in the Community? Does she not feel that Britain should give a lead in view of the fact that we face not only technological unemployment but the unemployment created by the policies of her Government?

With due respect, I think that at the moment the Community has even more important questions to examine and resolve, and that will be so for some time.

In view of my right hon. Friend's strong reiteration last week of the importance of our membership of the Community—in spite of the EEC budget problems—does she agree that the House should dismiss the rather destructive comments of the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) in the Sunday Express and, therefore, invite him to take extra leisure?

I am firmly behind our membership of the European Economic Community. We are trying to turn it into the kind of Community which does not devote such a large proportion of its budget to agriculture. However, we must accept and admit that the work of the Community, particularly in co-operation over foreign affairs, has been excellent and is not hindered in any way by a number of disagreements about internal matters.