Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: Will my right hon. Friend report to the House when he expects the institutional arrangements envisaged in the agreement between the Government and the trade unions to come into being?
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: Does my right hon. Friend still hold to the view put forward by the Prime Minister at the Labour Party conference, namely, that, if pay settlements cannot be kept within the 5 per cent. norm, the Chancellor will have to take budgetary measures to correct the situation?
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will visit China.
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: Is my hon. Friend aware that when the Foreign Secretary goes to China he will find a country which is eagerly studying the English language and that I hope that we shall increasingly help the Chinese in that task? However, is he also aware that the study of Chinese in England is under grave threat, partly because of Government inaction? Is he aware that the Chinese language training facility...
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: Will my right hon. Friend say what the value of the proposed Harrier contract is likely to be?
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: Will my right hon. Friend, with reference to comparability and relativity, give consideration to the way public sector wages are settled? Will he take up with the Trades Union Congress the inadvisability of continuing a system whereby wages are settled by different bodies at different times when they should be settled altogether in an integrated manner to avoid constant leapfrogging?
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: Is my right hon. Friend saying that the objection by that long list of bodies is to the one word "reasonable", or are there other objections?
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: asked the Prime Minister when he next hopes to discuss the European monetary system with his European Economic Community colleagues.
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: When my right hon. Friend next talks about the system with his colleagues, will he confirm the spirit of his remarks in the House on 6 December that Her Majesty's Government regret and take no pleasure in the fact that a system could not be devised for full British participation? In view of the decisions by the Irish and Italian Governments since then to change their minds on going in, will...
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: I wish to take up the subject of using the Chairman as a filter. My right hon. and learned Friend says that the primary object of setting up the Special Commission is to establish a political responsibility, and I agree with him. Yet the Chairman, who is not a politician in the normal definition of the term, will be asked to decide on the materiality of evidence in a political inquiry. Surely...
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: Is the Attorney-General saying that if an amendment is passed to the resolution put down by the Prime Minister, it will not be accepted by the Goverment and they will ignore that decision of the House?
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: The hon. Gentleman said that the raising of questions regarding the integrity of Ministers and civil servants would do us great damage in the world. Nevertheless, the questions have been raised. Does he agree that, their having been raised, if it were seen that there was no attempt to answer them, it would be far more damaging than to have the inquiry?
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: I agree with the last words of the right hon. Member for Stafford and Stone (Mr. Fraser) that the honour of the House of Commons is at stake, as is the honour of successive British Governments. That is why I still support the setting up of this Special Commission. It has been said that there is not much interest in this matter. I suspect that is right. We would be wrong to think that the...
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: I have no doubt that my right hon. and learned Friend, whom I regard truly as rightly honourable, would intend that. But we have had cases in the not too distant past where Ministers of the Crown were required to appear before a Select Committee and were prevented from doing so by the Government. However honourable my right hon. and learned Friend may be, I believe it is correct for the House...
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: It may not be threatening the Members of the House of Commons, but surely it shows that Members of both Houses who will be on the Commission are not trusted as much as the Chairman of the Commission, who will be a Law Lord. If we concede confidentiality, surely the Government can concede some right of hon. Members to see copies.
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: Will my hon. Friend make certain that British business is thoroughly informed about this Japanese mission and will take every opportunity to make the most of it? Will he also contact the Japanese side to ensure that this is not just a one-off mission? Will he encourage such missions to come regularly for the next five years so that we can really get the hang of the Japanese market?
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: Since there is a section of the Japanese delegation arriving next month which will be dealing with the foodstuffs area of consumer products, can my hon. Friend take up this matter with the Japanese in an attempt to persuade them that the best way of improving relations with Britain in this field is by importing in bottle rather than in bulk?
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: With reference to my hon. Friend's remark about the Japanese restraint agreement, does not he agree that a far better method of reducing the number of Japanese cars coming into this country would be, through the EEC Commission, to bring pressure upon France and Italy, which seem to have some means of restricting the entry of Japanese cars to their markets and thus increasing pressure upon ours?
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: Is my right hon. Friend aware that Labour Members welcome his exposure of exaggerated predictions by the Opposition? In view of the seriousness of the statement made by the Secretary of State for Industry on Friday, is the Home Secretary able to make a sober prediction of the impact on industry by the end of this week if the dispute continues?
Mr Roderick MacFarquhar: I am sorry to interrupt my right hon. Friend so early in his remarks, but can he say whether the powers that he seeks to introduce will help in the situation currently experienced by many housewives in the country, whereby, as a result of some shortages of foodstuffs, prices have been increased by shopkeepers? Will he be able able to prevent that happening?