HC Deb 22 July 1971 vol 821 cc1677-8
Q8. Mr. Meacher

asked the Prime Minister whether he will place a copy of his public speech at Bexley on 3rd July on investment in the Library.

Q14. Mr. Sheldon

asked the Prime Minister if he will place a copy of his public speech at Bexley on 3rd July on the economy in the Library.

Q7. Mr. Ashton

asked the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library a copy of his public speech at Bexley on 3rd July on prices.

The Prime Minister

As I told the House on Tuesday, I did so on 7th July.

Mr. Meacher

In that speech the Prime Minister stated complacently that the family income supplement would come into operation in a fortnight's time, with benefits to low-paid workers of up to £4 a week. Will he now confirm that less than half of 1 per cent. of those eligible have been awarded benefits under this scheme of £4 a week? Since the right hon. Gentleman's commitment to selectivity has been exposed for the shabby fiasco that it is, would he now return, duly chastened, to his clear, personal electoral pledge to raise family allowances?

The Prime Minister

If the hon. Gentleman wants detailed figures, either of the take-up of the family income supplement or of the amounts awarded, he should put down a Question to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services.

Mr. Lipton

Has the right hon. Gentleman taken note of the fact that it took four days for that speech to reach the Library of the House? Can he in future arrange for his speeches to reach the Library at a stroke?

The Prime Minister

It was delivered at the weekend and it was put in the Library directly afterwards. As far as a stroke is concerned, the hon. Gentleman looks as though he might have suffered that fate recently.

Hon. Members



Mr. Callaghan

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I think that it is within the knowledge of the House that my hon. Friend the Member for Brixton (Mr. Lipton) recently suffered a fall, from which we are happy to see that he has recovered. As I hope and believe that it was not the Prime Minister's intention to be personally offensive to my hon. Friend, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman to make amends to him?

The Prime Minister

So far as I could see, the hon. Member for Brixton (Mr. Lipton) took what I said in very good fun, and he certainly was not requiring any amends. I realise full well that the hon. Gentleman sustained a fall, about which I was very sorry to hear, and I was glad to note that this afternoon he was showing no signs of it. If the hon. Gentleman is in any way offended, of course I withdraw, but he showed no signs of offence. In fact, he enjoyed the crack.