HC Deb 11 January 1977 vol 923 cc1251-2
Q2. Mr. Blaker

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his engagements during the recess.

The Prime Minister

It is not in accordance with previous practice to do so. However, if the hon. Member has a specific point on my official engagements during the recess, I shall be glad to consider it.

Mr. Blaker

Did the Prime Minister, during the recess, pay any attention to the case of Mr. Vladimir Bukovsky? As Mr. Bukovsky is now in England, is the Prime Minister prepared to meet him?

The Prime Minister

I watched Mr. Bukovsky on television and I read some of the Press reports of what he said. I was very glad to see that he regarded this country as a welcome sanctuary. We are very glad that he should feel that we are. As we have repeatedly made clear, we as a Government will be satisfied with the Helsinki agreement only when all its parts are implemented by the individual countries. I do not think that I wish to meet Mr. Bukovsky. I would be ready to do so, but I do not think that there is any particular occasion for me to do so.

Mr. James Lamond

If my right hon. Friend was watching television during the recess, did he see a programme on 1st January called "Jim'll Fix It" when the right hon. Lady the Leader of the Opposition appeared and made the astonishing allegation that she spent her time devising alternative policies? Is there any chance of her revealing, for example, the Opposition's policy on devolution or, perhaps, the exact areas in which they would make the slashing public expenditure cuts that they are always calling for?

The Prime Minister

I managed to watch a certain number of comedy programmes during the recess, but I cannot say that I recall this one. As for devising alternative strategies, I hope that the Tribune Group will not fall into bad company with the Leader of the Opposition, because I cannot think of a more volatile combination than those two.

Mr. Emery

Will the Prime Minister, on behalf of the British people, issue an invitation to President-elect Carter to come to this country in order that a summit meeting may be held as soon as possible?

The Prime Minister

I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman for rising that matter. When I sent a greeting to President-elect Carter on his election I assured him that he would get a warm welcome when he came here. We all know that he has said that he does not wish to travel abroad during his first year of office, for reasons which we can understand. I shall be discussing with Vice-President-elect Mondale proposals for a summit meeting. President-elect Carter has indicated that he intends to telephone some of the leaders of Western Europe this week. Certainly if there is a desire for a summit meeting in London we shall be happy to accommodate it here, or to go elsewhere if there is general agreement.

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