HC Deb 06 July 1982 vol 27 cc145-6
Q2. Mr. Allan Roberts

asked the Prime Minister when she intends the inquiry relating to the Falkland Islands to report.

The Prime Minister

The inquiry must be given whatever time it needs to complete its review, but I hope that it will be able to report within six months, and sooner if possible.

Mr. Roberts

Will the Prime Minister therefore confirm that she has categorically ruled out an October general election, because she realises that before any electoral contest the House and the country should be given the full facts about the causes of the Falklands crisis and about the Government's responsibility for it?

The Prime Minister

I should be utterly amazed if there were an October election.

Mr. Hill

Is my right hon. Friend aware that an extremely happy event will take place at 11 am this Sunday when "Canberra" returns home with 3,000 of our fighting men on board? If possible, will she send a message to the ship's captain and perhaps accompany me to the quay at Southampton to welcome the ship back?

The Prime Minister

I am sure that everyone is extremely grateful for the excellent services provided by the whole of the Merchant Marine during the Falkland Islands crisis. We should like especially to congratulate the captain and crew of "Canberra" on having performed such a wonderful service on behalf of our country.

Mr. Christopher Price

Might I welcome the Prime Minister—[Interruption.]—to the ranks of those who wish to get rid of the 30-year rule of secrecy for Cabinet documents?

Is she aware that compared with her attitude to the Bingham report—which would have exposed some of capitalism's shortcomings—her change of heart is very welcome? Will she extend her strictures on the 30-year rule.

The Prime Minister

I happen to be very much in favour of the 30-year rule against the publication of Cabinet documents. That is quite a different matter from revealing Cabinet documents, and Cabinet Committee documents, to Privy Councillors for an inquiry that wishes to draw its own conclusions. However, that does not mean that the documents can be published.

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