HC Deb 15 July 1993 vol 228 cc1109-10
Q2. Mr. David Martin

To ask the Prime Minister whether he has plans to pay an official visit to Portsmouth.

The Prime Minister

I have no immediate plans to do so.

Mr. Martin

Does my right hon. Friend recall that he has not visited Portsmouth since the general election, at a time when the so-called poll experts were predicting not only a Government defeat in general but, even more shamefully, the loss of my seat in particular? Will my right hon. Friend visit us again soon, preferably in the 50th anniversary year of D-day? Such a visit would not only mark the premier naval port of Portsmouth's vital contribution to our defence needs in the past, but mark its present contribution and the efforts it will make for many years in the future.

The Prime Minister

My hon. Friend is an extremely forceful advocate for Portsmouth, and I am grateful for his invitation. I understand how important the defence industry is to his constituents, and I hope that he will take every opportunity to remind them of two facts: that the Labour party would cut defence spending by a quarter, and that the Liberal Democrats would cut it by half. We hear a lot from the leader of the Liberal Democrats about taking military action in Bosnia; we hear rather less from him about how we would be able to take that action after his policy had dismantled the Army, the Navy and the Royal Air Force.

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