HC Deb 23 June 1981 vol 7 cc131-2
Q 1. Mr. Freud

Prime Minister if she will list the voluntary organisations of which she is patron or holds office in her official capacity.

The Prime Minister (Mrs. Margaret Thatcher)

I hold no such positions in my official capacity, although in my personal capacity I have links with a number of voluntary organisations.

Mr. Freud

That is a position from which one can only advance. Does the Prime Minister accept that, with a little help, a substantial number of handicapped people in institutions could play their full part in the community? Is she aware that what is needed is not so much finance as a redeployment of funds?

The Prime Minister

The Government have given assistance to voluntary organisations of about £4 million in 1980–siderable amount of which goes to voluntary organisations that help such people as the disabled. We are great believers in voluntary organisations. They provide a unique service, and we do everything that we can to help them to carry on their excellent work.

Sir Anthony Kershaw

Will my right hon. Friend have time today to devote her attention to the worrying problem of crime in South London—

Mr. Speaker

Order. I do not know whether that is voluntary. The question relates to voluntary organisations. It is not an open question.

Mr. Adley

As one of the voluntary organisations with which my right hon. Friend is, happily, closely associated is the Conservative Party, is she aware that the current paid-up membership of the Christchurch and Lymington Conservative Association stands at 11,700, which is more than last year, and that those 11,700 people are very satisfied with her relationship with the Conservative Party?

The Prime Minister

I congratulate my hon. Friend and hope that others will emulate his example.

Mr. Christopher Price

Is the Prime Minister aware that the law relating to voluntary organisations and charities in this country is in a complete mess, as instanced by the recent legal case in which the Moonies were involved? Is she aware that a Select Committee of the House produced an all-party agreed report on this issue as long ago as 1975, only to receive a perfunctory reply from the Government? Will the Government carry out a full review, followed by legislation, to sort out the position of charities in this country?

The Prime Minister

As I said in reply to another question, a certain amount of action is being taken over the registration as charities in Britain of the organisations that are connected with the Moonies. The report did not meet with unanimity, and we have no plans to introduce legislation at present.

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