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1994 - PMQT Written Answers 25th March 1994

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 25th March 1994.


PRIME MINISTER:

Public Appointments

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Prime Minister what percentage of public appointments made by his Department in 1993 were of (a) Asians and (b) black people; and if he will list their names.

The Prime Minister : Sixty-nine appointments were made to bodies under Cabinet Office auspices. One was Asian (1.4 per cent). None was black. Information on the ethnic origin of individuals is provided on a confidential basis. Names cannot therefore be given.


D-day Celebrations

Mr. Mandelson : To ask the Prime Minister what public relations advisers have been retained formally or informally by the Government to assist in the promotion of the D-day celebrations.

The Prime Minister : Lowe Bell Communications has been appointed by the Department of National Heritage to help organise its programme of civilian events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of D-day landings.


European Union (Voting)

Mr. Jim Marshall : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral answer of 22 March, to the hon. Member for Durham, North (Mr. Radice), Official Report, column 134, which two European Union member states are being particularly difficult in opposing the United Kingdom's position on qualified majority voting in the Council of Ministers after enlargement of the Union.

The Prime Minister : Belgium and the Netherlands have been particularly insistent that the United Kingdom must give way on the issue of qualified majority voting.


Nursery Education

Dame Peggy Fenner : To ask the Prime Minister what his aims are for nursery education in the United Kingdom and the role he sees for the various organisations and agencies concerned.

The Prime Minister : More than 90 per cent. of three and four-year- olds already receive nursery education or other pre-school provision in the public or private sector.

The Government's policy is to promote diversity, choice, quality and cost-effectiveness. Our long-term ambition is availability for all those who want it, and we are exploring possible ways of extending opportunities for the under-fives as resources allow. I regret that in my oral answer to the right hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Ashdown) in the House on Tuesday 22 March, Official Report, column 132, I inadvertently referred to universal nursery education provided in Westminster, when I had instead intended to refer to Wandsworth and its policy of offering nursery class places to all pupils during the year before they reach compulsory school age. This contrasts with the Isle of Wight which provides a negligible number of maintained nursery school and class places.