Mr Robert Atkins: In rising to address the House for the first time, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I congratulate the hon. Member for Glasgow, Shettleston (Mr. Marshall) on his maiden speech. I hope that in due course we shall cross swords in as polite and articulate a fashion as that in which he has made his speech this evening. I should like to add to the thanks which have already been given by hon. Members on each...
Mr Robert Atkins: In the course of consideration of matters affecting expenditure, will my right hon. Friend give favourable attention to the report of the Turner Society, published in The Daily Telegraph today, requesting the urgent implementation of the Turner bequest?
Mr Robert Atkins: When my right hon. Friend advises representatives of the local authorities, will he bear in mind authorities such as mine in Preston which, in three years of Conservative control, has reduced the rates from over 30p in the pound to 8p in the pound? The view that these authorities hold is that their good housekeeping should not be penalised by any major cutback in local government expenditure.
Mr Robert Atkins: Is the Minister aware of the increasing number of Christmas cards, subsidised by the Russian Government in order to gain precious foreign exchange, that are being exported to—nay, dumped in—this country to the substantial detriment of British manufacturers and those whom they employ? Does he intend to investigate this state of affairs?
Mr Robert Atkins: Does my hon. Friend recognise the the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Kilroy-Silk) does not represent the North-West as much as he believes? Many hon. Members who represent North-West constituencies recall that under the Labour Government unemployment rose and every constituency in the area was affected.
Mr Robert Atkins: In the light of his comments about enforcement, will the hon. Gentleman explain what he would do about members of the Armed Forces, for example? Are they to be exempted or covered by the legislation, and if they are to be included, how is one to enforce it in their case?
Mr Robert Atkins: Does my right hon. Friend recognise that many of my constituents who work for the military aircraft division of British Aerospace will welcome his decision? Despite what Opposition Members say, will he remember that over 2,000 of the shop floor workers at the Preston factory signed a petition opposed to nationalisation when the nationalisation measure was being pushed through the House by the...
Mr Robert Atkins: Do not questions such as that asked by the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher) smack of dubious intent since he and some of his colleagues were educated at public schools? Is this not yet another example of "Do as I say, not as I do"?
Mr Robert Atkins: Will my right hon. Friend assure the House that when he meets his NATO colleagues he will, with them, insist that when SALT II has been ratified we shall be closely involved with our NATO colleagues in the SALT III discussions so that our interests are protected? Secondly, does he not think that the interest shown in these NATO matters deserves an urgent and early debate in the House?
Mr Robert Atkins: asked the Prime Minister if she will list her engagements for Thursday 1 November.
Mr Robert Atkins: In the course of the Prime Minister's busy day, will she take time to read early-day motion 149 in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Huntingdonshire (Mr. Major)? Does my right hon. Friend recognise that the 160 of her right hon. and hon. Friends who signed that motion express a strong sentiment in support of her strong and constructive stand during the negotiations in Bonn with her...
Mr Robert Atkins: In view of the continuing interest of the hon. Gentleman and of many of his hon. Friends in the register of Members' interests, would he be prepared to accept further matters worthy of public scrutiny being added to it—for example, where Members educate their children, or whether they purchase a council house, or even perhaps the extent of the financial support that they get from trade...
Mr Robert Atkins: asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 8 November.
Mr Robert Atkins: Will my right hon. Friend find time in the course of a busy day to telephone her European NATO colleagues and urge them to resist the blandishments of President Brezhnev in his attempts to make unilateral reductions in nuclear arms? Does she agree that the West must stand united in the face of the deliberate and continuing military buildup on the part of the Warsaw Pact countries?
Mr Robert Atkins: I should like to add my felicitations to my hon. Friend the Member for Bedford (Mr. Skeet), who is bringing the Bill before the House for the fourth time. I remember that when the Bill was in the hands of my hon. Friend the Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. Haselhurst), he was the Member for Middleton and Prestwich. As a Young Conservative officer, I was running round various parts of London...
Mr Robert Atkins: Like last winter, is it?
Mr Robert Atkins: What cuts?
Mr Robert Atkins: How does my right hon. Friend view the closure announced on Friday of Courtaulds Redscar mill in Preston, with the loss of 2,600 jobs? Does he recognise that that is an indictment of Government policy, both Labour and Conservative, on the import of cheap textile goods?
Mr Robert Atkins: Will my right hon. Friend find time during her busy day to cast her eye over the district auditor's report on the London borough of Lambeth and to consider the Socialist record of the London borough of Haringey, represented, so regrettably, by the hon. Member for Wood Green (Mr. Race)? Will she compare the records of those profligate Socialist authorities with the likes of the borough of...
Mr Robert Atkins: What is the difference between the convoluted logic argued by Opposition spokesmen, namely, the control that shareholders exercise over a company, as opposed to the control that the Government, by owning it through nationalisation, exercise through their directors?