HC Deb 28 April 1981 vol 3 cc649-50
Q3. Mr. Neubert

asked the Prime Minister whether she will list her official engagements for 28 April.

The Prime Minister

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply that I gave some moments ago.

Mr. Neubert

Will my right hon. Friend find time today to visit the London borough of Tower Hamlets in view of the serious rioting that broke out there last night between the hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Bow (Mr. Mikardo) and the right hon. Member for Stepney and Poplar (Mr. Shore)? Will not she bring peace and reconciliation to that troubled community?

The Prime Minister

I am not the referee for the Opposition, although there are times when I feel like blowing the whistle.

Mr. Marks

In view of the Prime Minister's expressed desire to keep the Polaris fleet afloat, will she investigate, and also ask her Ministers to investigate, the case of Laurence Scott and Electromotors of Manchester which has been taken over and is being closed-at short notice? This firm supplies the flame-proof motors, and maintains them, for Polaris submarines and for most of the coal mines in this country.

The Prime Minister

I shall bring the hon. Gentleman's question to the attention of my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Defence and for Industry and ask them to look into the point that he raises.

Sir Graham Page

Will my right hon. Friend confirm that during her recent Middle East tour the view was expressed that a strongly armed Britain is the best safeguard for world peace?

The Prime Minister

Yes, very much so. Most nations are beginning to realise that weakness does not give security. We must rely on our own defence for the security and freedom of our people.

Mr. Freeson

I imagine that people think of anything but that in the Middle East slums—as is the case in areas of this country where there is much unemployment. As London has been mentioned, may I draw the Prime Minister's attention to the figure of nearly ¼ million unemployed in Greater London? Would it not be far better to do something for those people and bring peace and prosperity to the deprived areas of inner London?

The Prime Minister

Yes. I am well aware of the difficulties of finding jobs. If there were no difficulties, industry and commerce would thrive and be competitive with other countries that have not had our problems of overmanning and inflation, and that have not suffered from some of the financial policies carried out by the Labour Party when in Government.