HC Deb 12 November 1970 vol 806 cc594-6
Q3. Mr. McNamara

asked the Prime Minister if he will now pay an official visit to Humberside.

Mr. Maudling

I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to do so.

Mr. McNamara

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we very much regret that the Prime Minister will not be coming to Hull because we had hoped to get from him a firm statement of principle as to his Administration's attitude to the building of the Humber bridge? Is he aware that we were hoping that he would say that the present Government intend to keep to the timetable of the previous Government in this matter? Does he appreciate that these assurances are necessary, as is a statement about the cut in subsidies to fishing vessels because of the effect that this may have on safety at sea?

Mr. Maudling

The future of the Humber bridge is being discussed with the Humber Bridge Board and local authorities. When the time is appropriate a statement will be made.

Mr. James Johnson

I thank the Prime Minister in absentia for his polite note about this matter. Can the Deputy Prime Minister say when his right hon. Friend last visited Hull? On that occasion did he come to see us as a Conservative Head Office propaganda exercise or did he visit the fish docks and building sites to discover what is happening in our city and how we need Government help?

Mr. Maudling

The Government are well aware of the situation in Hull. I am afraid that the hon. Gentleman will have to table a Question on the subject of when my right hon. Friend last visited that city.

Mr. Ben Ford

Would the right hon. Gentleman urge his right hon. Friend to visit Bradford and listen to the complaints of the many organisations and people of every political complexion there who have reason to believe that there is a governmental conspiracy against the city?

Mr. Maudling

Many cities in this country are anxious to receive a visit from my right hon. Friend. He cannot visit them all.

Mr. Adley

Is my right hon. Friend in a position to indicate what happened to the proposed Humber bridge which was promised by the right hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) just before the North Hull by-election in 1966?

Mr. Maudling

I said that the question was under discussion with the local authorities and the Humber Bridge Board.