HC Deb 16 January 1979 vol 960 cc1494-5
Q5. Mr. Ridley

asked the Prime Minister if he plans to make an official visit to Barking.

The Prime Minister

I have at present no plans to visit Barking.

Mr. Ridley

If the Prime Minister were to visit Barking or many of the places where secondary picketing has taken place, would he not feel that he would have been wiser to support the Bill which he and I designed last year to make it necessary for official pickets to be licensed, in accordance with his suggestion at the time of the Grunwick dispute? If he had helped in that proposed legislation last year, we would not be in the trouble that we are in now.

The Prime Minister

I am not very much in favour of secondary picketing, as I shall explain later, but neither do I like being a secondary accomplice to the hon. Gentleman in a Bill that he drew up and in whose preparation I had no part.

Miss Richardson

May I assure the Prime Minister that if he cares to come to Barking he will be very welcome, as a number of my constituents would like to discuss pay policy with him? If he accepts an invitation, I ask him not to bring with him the hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley).

The Prime Minister

I really must take exception to this constant coupling of myself with the hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley). I am sure that he has a very interesting and felicitous domestic life, on which I congratulate him, but I have no wish to be associated with it in any way at all.