asked the Prime Minister what further representations she has received from the Manchester chamber of commerce and industry; what action she is taking on its call for reconsideration, first, of the Government's decision to withdraw assisted area status from Manchester with its implication for European Economic Community grants, secondly, of the policy of the Government in respect of the development of a third large airport in the South-East of England to the detriment of further development of Manchester international airport, and, thirdly, of the sharp cut in grant to Salford university; and if she will make a statement.
The president of the Manchester chamber of commerce and industry wrote to me on 24 November referring to the three topics the right hon. Member has raised. With regard to the assisted area status of Manchester I would refer the right hon. Member to my reply to him of 9 December. The provision of additional airports capacity in the South-East of England is the subject of public inquiries, the outcome of which I would not wish to prejudge, but the right hon. Member will know that the Government's expenditure provision on regional airports in the next financial year includes a substantial sum for the continued development of Manchester international airport. The allocation of resources to individual universities is, by long standing and respected convention, decided by the University Grants Committee.