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1994 - PMQT Written Answers 29th April 1994

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 29th April 1994.


PRIME MINISTER:

D-day Commemoration

Mr. Mandelson : To ask the Prime Minister what was the involvement of the Cabinet Office in the appointment of Lowe Bell Communications as consultants to the D-day Commemoration.

The Prime Minister : None.


Drugs

Mr. Spearing : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral answer to the hon. Member for Heywood and Middleton (Mr. Callaghan) of 26 April, at column 101, concerning the actions and plans of Her Majesty's Government to fight drug addiction and related crime, what powers the Government possess to stop and search all cargo or persons wishing to enter the United Kingdom.

The Prime Minister : Her Majesty's Customs and Excise has powers to stop and search persons, vessels, aircraft, vehicles and their cargo, wishing to enter the United Kingdom, in respect of prohibited goods, including drugs and firearms. As a contribution to the fight against drug addiction and related crime, Customs uses these powers to combat the smuggling of prohibited goods.


War Widows

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Prime Minister what representations were made to him by the Royal British Legion to receive a deputation of war widows to discuss the Government's decision to reverse a decision of the High Court by amending the Service Pensions Order to restrict the pension entitlement of widows or ex-service men; what reply he made; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 28 April 1994] : As far as I am aware, none.

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Prime Minister what direct consultations Ministers had with (a) the Royal British Legion and (b) the Normandy Veterans Association about the Government's decision to reverse a decision of the High Court by amending the Service Pensions Order to restrict the pension entitlement of ex- service personnel and war widows; and if he will now himself directly consult the two organisations on the Government's decision.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 28 April 1994] : The customary mechanism for consultation on proposed changes to war pensions legislation is through the statutory Central Advisory Committee on War Pensions. The committee includes representatives of several ex-service organisations, including two members each from the Royal British Legion and the Royal British Legion (Scotland).

The Minister with special responsibility for war pensions at the Department of Social Security, my noble Friend, Lord Astor, consulted the committee on the recent proposals to amend legislation following a decision of the High Court which suggested that the law did not clearly reflect long-standing policy. We always consider, as we did on this occasion, any other points made by any individual or organisation.