HC Deb 02 December 1980 vol 995 cc125-6
Q5. Mr. Bidwell

asked the Prime Minister if she will pay an official visit to Southall

Mr. Whitelaw

I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to do so.

Mr. Bidwell

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider coming instead of his right hon. Friend to discuss with my constitutents the Yellowlees report on immigration control activities? Does he accept that in the virginity testing case, which has not yet been settled, a much more generous offer is required? Will he also discuss the deportation of people who have been living and working in Britain for as long as 6, 7, 8 and 9 years? Will he use his exceptional powers to mitigate the situation now that primary immigration has been stopped for such a long time?

Mr. Whitelaw

As I made clear in an answer in the House last week, the Yellowlees report will be published and in the hands of hon. Members as soon as possible. I hope that they will then carefully study it. I do not wish hon. Members to jump to conclusions before they have had a chance to look at it.

I know the hon. Gentleman's concern and the difficulties that he faces in Southall. If a suitable moment should arise at which I could come and discuss these problems, I should be very pleased to do so, or, if not, my Minister of State would equally be very pleased to do so.

Mr. Greenway

Has my right hon. Friend had the time to read the recent disturbing report of the Religious Education Council for England and Wales, which pointed out that in the majority of primary schools the status and content of religious education is muddled, and that two-thirds of those teaching it are unqualified to improve this situation? The report also says that in nearly 25 per cent. of comprehensive schools there is no education in religion or morality at all.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The question must be related to Southall or to immigration procedures.

Mr. Greenway

It affects the general attitude of the nation and Southall to morality. [Interruption.] Southall is part of the nation. What is the attitude of the Government to this report?

Mr. Whitelaw

Perhaps it would be appropriate for me to intervene at this stage to say that I shall, of course, call these matters to the attention of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science.