HC Deb 10 July 1979 vol 970 cc261-2

Q6. Mr. Ancram asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 10 July.

The Prime Minister

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave earlier.

Mr. Ancram

In view of the reaction of Opposition Members to the proposed trade union reforms published yesterday, will my right hon. Friend consider widening the basis of the consultation to include ordinary trade union members who, by and large, support these proposals?

The Prime Minister

I agree with my hon. Friend that these proposals have widespread support both outside and inside the trade union movement. I hope that the final consultation agreed with the leaders will recognise that fact.

Mr. James Callaghan

As the Prime Minister depends so much on her mandate in these matters, does she say that she has a mandate for the closure of old people's homes, for the reduction of train ing for nurses, for a reduction in our educational standards and for the nonexistent butter subsidy?

The Prime Minister

I wish that this country created enough wealth to enable us to do more than we do at present, but, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, if we are to create more wealth people must have incentives. The legacy of his Government was to have the biggest borrowing on the next generation that has ever been known.

Mr. Callaghan

Is the Prime Minister aware that we are concerned not only about the production of wealth, with which we certainly agree, but about the distribution of that wealth? Does the right hon. Lady not appreciate that she gave no indication of, and was not elected on, any mandate to reduce public services?

The Prime Minister

We were elected on a mandate to try to reduce direct taxation and to increase the wealth of this nation. In that, the right hon. Gentleman had a singularly poor record.