Mr George Park: asked the Minister for Trade if he will assess the impact on the different elements in the balance of United Kingdom visible and invisible trade in 1982 of the common agricultural policy of the European Community.
Mr George Park: Is the Minister aware that the common agricultural policy now costs Britain over £2 billion annually, this sum coming from United Kingdom taxes and going straight into the EC budget? To rub salt into the wound, British consumers have to pay considerably more for their food than current world prices would justify.
Mr George Park: I do not want any more misinterpretations. The letter that I received from the Secretary of State for Industry states clearly that, currently, only those in assisted areas are eligible. There cannot be any misinterpretation about that.
Mr George Park: I beg to move, That this House condemns the policies of the present Government which have led to the near collapse of the West Midlands economy, have brought about the fastest growing unemployment in mainland Britain, have led to a continuing shrinkage in the foundry, manufacturing, machine tools, engineering and car components industries; deplores the transformation of the Region from a...
Mr George Park: Yes, my attention was drawn to that press report. It demonstrates the serious endeavours of people in the west midlands to find work, no matter how remote the possibility. In all the redundancies that have been declared, no sector of the population has escaped. Professional, managerial, clerical, skilled, and semi-skilled people have all been affected by the redundancies. Only a minute...
Mr George Park: The announcement of programme authority status for Coventry will be warmly welcomed. The city has been seeking such status since 1978 and today's announcement is a recognition of the tremendous difficulties that we face. Will the Minister confirm that in giving this recognition the proposals will provide an opportunity for access to European Community funds?
Mr George Park: Does the Minister agree that one of the problems is a lack of knowledge of Government schemes within industry? Why, when the Government hit on a scheme which apparently rings bells and is immediately taken up, do they not allocate a further tranche of money to it?
Mr George Park: Today's debate is an "inaction replay" of the debate which took place on 4 December 1981 when my hon. Friend the Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick) won a place in the ballot and chose the same subject. It is a sad commentary that we have to rely on the result of a raffle to highlight again the extent of the disaster that has fallen on the west midlands and have to try again to spur the...
Mr George Park: Will my hon. Friend give way?
Mr George Park: If design factors are not related to traffic flows, is that why we have at the beginning of the M1, which caters for the Midlands, a motorway network that is continually in a state of repair, with one-lane traffic causing tremendous confusion and accidents?
Mr George Park: The hon. Member for Southampton, Test (Mr. Hill) said that he did not know how far this fair wages resolution went, but that it was a good idea to abolish it. That about summed up the opening speech by the Secretary of State. The right hon. Gentleman pushed to one side the long history of the fair wages resolution, the fact that it was adopted unanimously in the House and that it was...
Mr George Park: Does the Minister agree that the covert barriers to trade between this country and Japan are the cause of greatest worry? Does he appreciate that the standards for cars exported to Japan are considerably higher than those required by the strictest state in the United States of America?
Mr George Park: asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he monitors the circumstances in which, under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act, local authorities withdraw or reduce services to registered disabled people without diminution of need; and if he will make a statement.
Mr George Park: If, as the Minister said, to monitor is impracticable, he can only deal, for example, with individual named cases, which imposes a tremendous burden on hon. Members wishing to raise the question as a general matter. Nor has the Minister touched on the fact that some authorities have used up their budgets.
Mr George Park: When I asked the hon. and learned Gentleman about tariff disparities on the import-export of vehicles on a previous occasion, I was told that he would deal with the issue at the GATT meeting. Following the debacle at Geneva, what does he propose to do?
Mr George Park: Will the Minister reconsider his arm's length relationship with the further shrinkage of the machine tool industry in Coventry? I notice that the hon. Gentleman is frowning. He duck-shoved it when I wrote to him about it. In view of all the wonderful achievements of the Government, about which the Minister has told us, how does he explain the loss of 4,000 jobs in Coventry in the past month?
Mr George Park: Notices were at one time frequently displayed in the corner shop, saying "Don't ask for credit because a refusal will give offence." Tonight, the Government are asking hon. Members to give credit to a vague promise that something will be done about restoring the 5 per cent. unemployment benefit at some vague time in the future. That is not good enough. It causes offence not only on the Labour...
Mr George Park: Does the Minister acknowledge that Coventry, with its crumbling industrial situation, is worried, not about the availability, but about the cost of premises? The Minister is responsible for the small business area. When businesses are to be relocated and they are offered new units, generally speaking such premises are beyond the prices that small businesses can afford. The Minister should pay...
Mr George Park: When my hon. Friend worked in industry, was he ever given a voluntary wage increase without asking and pressurising his employer for it?
Mr George Park: Will my hon. Friend consider for a moment the problem of trainees? How can they convince potential employers that they have reached a certain competence and skill that can be built on?