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Prime Minister (Engagements)

Volume 986: debated on Thursday 19 June 1980

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Q4.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 19 June.

Does the Prime Minister recollect her exchange with me in the House a fortnight ago about the list of firms paying starvation wages in South Africa? Does she still abide by the opinion that she expressed in the House then, that we know all that we need to know about that list of firms and that the information is publicly available? Does she not feel that the list should be published, particularly in view of the events this week in South Africa?

The accounts of all the firms are in the Library of the House. The hon. Gentleman is perfectly free to go through them.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that one of the principal causes of the economic problems of the world is the energy situation? Will she encourage the United States to take much more vigorous action to reduce its profligate use of oil, which would greatly ease the situation?

I agree that this is one of the main economic problems affecting industrialised countries, and, particularly, developing countries. It was the source of a good deal of discussion at the European summit and will also be discussed at the economic summit this weekend. One has to say, for President Carter, that he did at least attempt to reduce consumption, certainly of petrol, in the United States, but his action did not pass through Congress, which is something with which those of us who are responsible for Parliaments are sometimes familiar.

Will the right hon. Lady take the opportunity of denouncing the appalling brutality with which the South African authorities have suppressed the riots in South Africa, which undoubtedly arise from a misuse of power by a racialist minority Government? Does not she regret that the British Lions should have gone to South Africa to give some sort of respectability to that appalling régime?

We condemn apartheid and we condemn brutality wherever it occurs. We advised the Lions not to go.