Engagements

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th July 1983.

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Photo of Mr Tim Smith Mr Tim Smith , Beaconsfield 12:00 am, 5th July 1983

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 5 July.

Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

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

Photo of Mr Tim Smith Mr Tim Smith , Beaconsfield

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the latest encouraging figures, both for retail sales and housing starts, provide further evidence that there is plenty of demand in the economy and that the recovery is unmistakably under way?

Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

Both of these figures were good news and the housing starts have provided many extra jobs. My hon. Friend is right, there is a good deal of demand, but we must make certain that our goods are so well designed and efficiently produced that they meet that demand in preference to imported goods.

Photo of Robert Wareing Robert Wareing , Liverpool, West Derby

Will the right hon. Lady take time to have a word with her right hon. Friend the Member for Henley (Mr. Heseltine) and ask him why it was that he took no action on the warnings given by the public examiners over the Merseyside structure plan in July 1980, 12 months before the Toxteth riots? Does she agree that those warnings were known to the Central Policy Review Staff and will she now reconsider her decision not to make public that report, as it is a matter for urgent public inquiry?

Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

No, I shall not reconsider that decision. Few Central Policy Review Staff reports have been published, and that has been so under all Governments. I point out to the hon. Gentleman that the record of this Government in putting extra money into Merseyside is a good one, but equally some of the problems cannot be solved only by extra money. Somehow, the people themselves there have not been involved sufficiently in trying to rejuvenate the centre of their own city.

Photo of Mr Michael Latham Mr Michael Latham , Rutland and Melton

Will my right hon. Friend find time today to meet the chairman of the TUC and other leading trade union figures who yesterday strongly condemned unilateral disarmament?

Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

I noticed that excellent statement, which was both realistic and patriotic, and of the kind that could be expected from that source.

Photo of Mr Dafydd Wigley Mr Dafydd Wigley Leader and Party President, Plaid Cymru

Further to the answer that the Prime Minister gave to the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) a moment ago, will she assure the House that she knew nothing from any source whatever about the Foreign Secretary's discussions of the Peruvian peace plan at the time the Belgrano was sunk?

Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

Yes, and that has already been revealed in many answers given in the House. The rules of engagement were changed and the attack was made, and made successfully—

Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

—before any news of possible peace proposals reached London.

Photo of Mr Bill Walker Mr Bill Walker , North Tayside

Has my right hon. Friend had an opportunity to study the press reports on the unofficial inquiry that is going on in Scotland into the proposed Trident base at Coulport? Is she aware that the inquiry was begun on the basis of misleading and false information? Does she accept that it is a ghastly waste of taxpayers' and ratepayers' money?

Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

If my hon. Friend has any information that is different from our information we shall naturally consider it with the greatest possible interest.