HC Deb 13 March 1980 vol 980 c1550
Q2. Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Prime Minister if she plans to visit North Norfolk.

The Prime Minister

I have at present no plans to do so.

Mr. Howell

May I assure my right hon. Friend that she will receive a very enthusiastic welcome when she visits Norfolk. While we, and practically the whole country, support her determination that the Government should not become involved in industrial disputes, will she give an assurance that she will stop the payment of any benefits to strikers? If the latest proposals, that there should be a deemed amount paid to strikers by the unions, were put into operation, will she confirm that instead of paying £6 million to strikers—

Mr. Speaker

Order. I remind the hon. Gentleman that I treat constituency questions as such. That was an open question, not a constituency question. May we move on?

The Prime Minister

As my hon. Friend knows, we made it clear in our manifesto that we believe that those who are prepared to infict hardship upon the community by going on strike should not expect automatically to be fully supported by that community. Work is under way to alter the supplementary benefits paid to strikers. It is proceeding well. It will mean fresh legislation, and I hope that we shall be in a position to make an announcement within the next few weeks.