HC Deb 18 May 1976 vol 911 cc1211-3
Q5. Mr. Lawrence

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 18th May.

The Prime Minister

There was a meeting of the Cabinet this morning and I shall be holding further meetings with my ministerial colleagues and others during the course of the day, including a meeting with Mr. Joshua Nkomo. This evening I shall be speaking at the annual dinner of the CBI.

Mr. Lawrence

When the Prime Minister can find a moment between his arduous list of activities, will he telephone Dr. Hastings Banda and remind him of the hospitality that he enjoyed in Britain at a time when we were better able to offer it? Will the right hon. Gentleman ask Dr. Banda to reconsider the position of the Asians in Malawi and allow them to continue to enjoy the same facilities and to offer the same valuable services to his community as Dr. Banda was able to enjoy when he was in this country?

The Prime Minister

I have nothing to add to what I have already said.

Mr. Whitelaw

I appreciate that the Prime Minister's other important engagements may prevent his attendance in the Chamber during the debate this afternoon, but will he clarify his own attitude about the sale of council houses? Is it true that he intends to change the Government's policy and bring it into line with what we believe on the Opposition side of the House?

The Prime Minister

If the acting Leader of the Opposition will look at the Order Paper he will find in it an interesting amendment in my name. When he has heard the debate this afternoon I hope that he will join me in the Lobby at 7 o'clock, so that we can both vote on the same side.

Mr. Mike Thomas

In the course of his current official engagement of answering Questions in the House, will my right hon. Friend say what the issues were regarding the price of fuel, especially electricity and gas, that were raised with him and his colleagues by the trade union movement in the course of the latest negotiations about pay policy?

The Prime Minister

That does not arise out of my engagements for today. We had, of course, a very important series of discussions with the TUC, which involved the question of prices. The future level of prices will be discussed with the CBI and the Retail Price Consortium during the next few days. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection intends to do that. It is our view that these commodities should, as far as possible, be priced at a proper level that will give an adequate return, especially in the case of the nationalised industries, although there is still some room for subsidies in particular cases.

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