HC Deb 24 March 1983 vol 39 cc1012-3
Q2. Mr. Stanbrook

asked the Prime Minister if she will pay an official visit to Pratt's Bottom.

The Prime Minister

I have at present no plans to do so, although I know Pratts Bottom well because I used to live within walking distance. Will my hon. Friend please give my warm regards to the people there?

Mr. Stanbrook

Is my right hon. Friend aware that her reply, notwithstanding her good wishes, will be deeply disappointing to the villagers of Pratt's Bottom? Is she aware that they seek an early opportunity to express to her their appreciation of the benefits of the Budget—[Interruption.]—in which they are keenly interested, especially the raising of the tax threshold and the further relief given to mortgagees?

The Prime Minister

I am grateful for my hon. Friend's warm and fully justified praise for my right hon. and learned Friend's Budget. I am especially grateful for his praise of the extra relief on mortgages. In the Greater London area, about 23 per cent. of first-time house purchasers, and about 30 per cent. of those not buying for the first time, have mortgage loans above the former tax relief limit. The extra relief is well deserved.

Mr. Christopher Price

Is the Prime Minister aware that, were she to visit Pratt's Bottom, she would be in P district of the Metropolitan police area and that, to get there, she would have to drive through my constituency down the Bromley road? Is she aware that if she happened to stop on Bromley road, get out of her car and talk to my constituents about the Police and Criminal Evidence Bill, she would find them enormously encouraged by the remarks of her right hon. Friend the Home Secretary from the Dispatch Box on Tuesday—when she was, unhappily, away—to the effect that the Government intend to withdraw two clauses from the Bill because they know that it will be rejected by the bishops and judges in the House of Lords? Will she tell us about the Government's exact intentions in respect of that Bill now that it has fallen into such contempt on both sides of the House?

The Prime Minister

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has audibly dissented from the hon. Gentleman's interpretation of his remarks when I was away on Tuesday. The hon. Gentleman will accept that the Bill was based on the findings of a Royal Commission. He will also accept that we wish to fight crime with every possible legitimate weapon, and it is important that we should be denied neither the means of identification nor the means of proof for fighting those crimes.

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