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Engagements

Volume 122: debated on Tuesday 10 November 1987

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Q4.

To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 10 November.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply that I gave some moments ago.

In the discussions between the British and Irish Governments, will the Prime Minister look carefully at the establishment of a joint security commission and the need for a unitary judicial system and joint anti-terrorist legislation, passed both by the Dail and Westminster? Does she agree about the paramount importance of the Dail enacting the new extradiction agreement on 1 December?

I see no reason at all to have a joint security commission. The Anglo-Irish Agreement enables us to consider security matters—the Republic of Ireland to raise them with us, and we to raise them with Ministers from the Republic of Ireland—so that, by co-operation, we may achieve better security. We must operate that agreement, trying all the time to enhance security.

I agree with the hon. Gentleman that every nation should fight terrorism — every single one. I hope that people will consider, among other things, where the arms are coming from and what action they can take through their ordinary policies about that. We must all fight terrorism, but between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom we must fight it through the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

Is my right hon. Friend aware of an initiative by the Liverpool Society of Chartered Accountants and the Merseyside task force that is called "Business Opportunities on Merseyside"? Is she also aware that that initiative was launched at a well-attended conference this morning at the Barbican? Will my right hon. Friend congratulate those bodies on showing the real face of Merseyside, and reaffirm her view that a partnership between the public and private sectors is the best way to regenerate our inner cities?

Yes, I agree with my hon. Friend, particlarly about the need for more businesses — especially small businesses—to start up. It is vital that the local authority welcomes private enterprise and the operations of the private sector.

Q5.

To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 10 November.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply that I gave some moments ago.

Is the Prime Minister aware of the anxiety expressed by Scottish parents, teachers and churches about the Government's school management proposals, which are designed more for England than for Scotland? Does she agree that, after a period of prolonged industrial dispute and massive curriculum changes, we require stability rather than divisive, alien ideas, which have been forced upon an unwilling population and on what is still arguably the best education system in Europe?

I believe that the Bill coming before the House concerning education in Scotland is designed to give parents more power and influence over their schools. That is a good thing to do and will be welcomed by many Scottish parents.

Q6.

To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 10 November.

Will my right hon. Friend confirm that, in terms of sustained growth and profitability, British industry is stronger now than it has been for 20 years? Will she further confirm that, in addition to making representations to the United States Government about reducing their budget, and, therefore, their trade deficit, representations should also be made to countries such as West Germany and Japan — which have practised unduly restrictive trade and monetary policies over the past few years—to avoid an unnecessary fall in world trade?

I agree with my hon. Friend that British industry is healthy, fit and flourishing, that its profitability is higher than it has been for many years and that it is exporting well, particularly manufactured products. With regard to the wider economic scene, it is absolutely vital that we first have decisions upon the deficit in the United States and how the President and Congress together propose to deal with it. I agree with my hon. Friend that as soon as we have that it is vital for there to be a meeting of the G7 countries and to get co-operation, especially from Japan and Germany, about what they and we can do to help implement the decision from the United States to restore confidence in the world economic community.

Q7.

To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 10 November.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave some moments ago.

Is the Prime Minister aware of the growing concern that NIREX, having failed to dump nuclear waste in East Anglia, is turning its attention to Scotland? However poorly the Prime Minister may think of us, does she accept that the people of Scotland will not tolerate the country being used as a dumping ground for Europe's nuclear waste?

As the hon. Member is aware, the question of how nuclear waste will be disposed of is still under consideration. He will also be aware that we all, including Scotland, have nuclear power stations. I am sure that he supports those nuclear power stations and also supports the interesting experiments at Dounreay into a different method of nuclear generation.