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1994 - PMQT Written Answers 4th July 1994

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 4th July 1994.


PRIME MINISTER:

The Downing Street Years

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister what clearance the Cabinet Secretary gave to Lady Thatcher's book on the Downing street years in respect of (a) relations with Libya and the 1986 raid and (b) the Falklands War.

The Prime Minister : My right hon. and noble Friend, Lady Thatcher, submitted the manuscript of "The Downing Street Years" to the Cabinet Secretary in accordance with the recommendations of the Radcliffe committee on ministerial memoirs. The Cabinet Secretary, acting at my request and on my behalf, examined the manuscript in respect of national security, the preservation of international relations and the treatment of confidential relationships. Exchanges between the Cabinet Secretary and former Ministers in respect of their memoirs are confidential.


EC Rebate Mechanism

Mr. Marlow : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list those statements made by the United Kingdom heads of Government stating that the United Kingdom EC rebate mechanism could not be changed without the consent of the United Kingdom Government.

The Prime Minister : The abatement is an integral part of the own resources decision--ORD. The ORD, including the abatement, continues in force unless or until changed or replaced. Change or replacement requires unanimity in the Council followed by adoption of the new arrangements by member states according to their respective constitutional procedures. In the case of the United Kingdom, this means the passage of an Act of Parliament. This has been made clear on many occasions.


Pensions

Mr. Churchill : To ask the Prime Minister how many representations he has received in the most recent 12 months for which figures are available calling for the unfreezing of the British state pensions of those pensioners living in countries where annual upratings are not made by the Department of Social Security; and what is the explanation for the discrimination against such pensioners.

The Prime Minister : In the last 12 months, I have received representations from the Governments of Australia and Canada. I have also received numerous letters from pensioners overseas.

It would cost an additional £230 million a year to uprate British pensions worldwide. In view of the continued need to contain public expenditure, we have no plans to change this long-standing policy.