Engagements

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st December 1992.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Ernie Ross Mr Ernie Ross , Dundee West 12:00 am, 1st December 1992

To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 1 December.

Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave some moments ago.

Photo of Mr Ernie Ross Mr Ernie Ross , Dundee West

Can the hon. Member tell the House whether or not the substantial privatisation contract awarded to Tarmac was in any way a pay-off for the substantial sums donated by that company to the Conservative party last year.

Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree

Yes I can, and it is not.

Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant , Staffordshire Mid

To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 1 December.

Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree

I have been asked to reply. I refer the hon. Lady to the answer I gave some moments ago. [Laughter].

Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant , Staffordshire Mid

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the MO figure for money supply, the amount of cash flowing around in the economy, has increased by 3 per cent. this month over the same figure last year and, while not trying to allude to any botanic connection, would he agree that this is at least an encouraging sign for the economy?

Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree

May I first apologise to my hon. Friend. It was not actually, despite the evidence, a deficiency of my eyesight, but the fact that the first person in my sight line was the hon. Lady opposite, the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, North (Ms. Walley).

On my hon. Friend's question, it is the case that the MO figures, mainly notes and coins in circulation, do reflect the growth taking place in retail sales and they add, I think, to the improvement that can be seen, in the fact that, after allowing for falls in interest rates, real disposable income of a typical family with a £30,000 mortgage went up by 20 per cent. in the two years to October 1992.

Photo of Mr Seamus Mallon Mr Seamus Mallon , Newry and Armagh

I know that the right hon. Gentleman will share my view that the violence we saw in my constituency at the weekend and that ripped Belfast apart today is vile and reprehensible and cannot be allowed to exist In any civilised society.

Does the Leader of the House agree that what the terrorist groupings fear most is not more resources for security or more troops, but the creation of a new agreement among the people of Ireland which will strip the terrorist groups of any shred of legitimacy and confine them to the dustbin of history? Will he ask his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to ensure that when there is a new Taoiseach in the Republic of Ireland, they will jointly lead a drive for peace and a peaceful settlement within Ireland in 1993?

Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree

The hon. Gentleman has spoken with warmth for virtually everybody‚ÄĒprobably for everybody in the United Kingdom, certainly for the overwhelming majority. I shall take pleasure in drawing his remarks to the attention both of the Prime Minister and of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whose hard work to this same objective has been manifest over the past few months.

Photo of Mr Patrick Nicholls Mr Patrick Nicholls , Teignbridge

To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 1 December.

Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree

: I have been asked to reply. I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave some moments ago.

Photo of Mr Patrick Nicholls Mr Patrick Nicholls , Teignbridge

Has my right hon. Friend had the opportunity of considering the findings of Professor Rheinhardt Schmidt of Kiel university that of the top major companies in Europe, six are United Kingdom companies and that if facts like that are as obvious as far away as Germany, it is about time they were as obvious to the Opposition Front Bench here?

Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree

I have indeed seen that report, showing that the three top firms in what is, I believe, German-based research, are British and that six of the top 10 are British, including a significant number of our pharmaceutical companies. They deserve to be congratulated on their achievement. I should like to hear a bit more of that type of compliment coming from the occupants of the Opposition Front Bench, instead of their trying to run down our firms and industry.

Photo of Joan Walley Joan Walley Shadow Spokesperson (Transport)

While the Prime Minister is spending time in Portugal and Spain, may I ask the Lord President to urge him on his return, prior to his visit to the north of England, to call in at Stoke-on-Trent, my constituency, where he will see for himself the lack of Government support for manufacturing industry, particularly in relation to the pottery, ceramics and allied industries? May we have a Government commitment to examine the way in which investment can be made to that industry? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is no good talking all the time about what can be done to get people retrained; we should be preventing them from becoming unemployed in the first place?

Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree

I shall draw the attention of my right hon. Friend to the hon. Lady's request. I must, at the same time, draw her attention to the fact that the autumn statement included a substantial range of measures designed to encourage manufacturing industry, and that one of our key manufacturing industries, motor cars, is showing great signs of being far more successful than it has been for decades past.