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1994 - PMQT Written Answers 28th February 1994

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 28th February 1994.


PRIME MINISTER:

Official Gifts

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Banks) of 21 February, Official Report, column 32, if he will give his reason for declining to provide the information on official gifts requested.

The Prime Minister : I have received a large number of such gifts, most of minor value. The cost of providing a list would be disproportionate. All the gifts have been handled in accordance with the provisions set out in "Questions of Procedure for Ministers".

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 22 February, Official Report, column 162, if he will list those official gifts purchased by Baroness Thatcher on leaving the office of Prime Minister; and how their value is established.

The Prime Minister : No. I have nothing further to add to the reply I gave the hon. Member on 22 February, Official Report, column 162.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister what is his policy in respect of official gifts received by his office.

The Prime Minister : The arrangements set out in "Questions of Procedure for Ministers" are followed.

Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the items of jewellery given to the state which are at present housed at No. 10 Downing Street.


Public Appointments

Dr. Wright : To ask the Prime Minister if he will give details of the public appointments he is responsible for making in addition to those identified in "Public Bodies 1993" including non-executive agency and other departmental management boards.

The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 17 January, Official Report, columns 367-68. The public bodies referred to in that answer, which are not listed in "Public Bodies 1993", are the Kennedy Memorial Trust together with the Chequers Trust, the Chevening Trust and the Dorneywood Trust.

I make no appointments to non-executive agencies and other departmental management boards.

Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Prime Minister what percentage of public appointments was taken by women in 1993; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : On 1 September 1993, 28 per cent. of appointments to public bodies were held by women, compared with 26 per cent. in 1992 and 23 per cent. in 1991.

All Departments have drawn up objectives and goals to achieve further progress in this area over the years to 1996 and beyond. A summary of the departmental plans was published on 16 November 1992, and a copy is available in the Library of the House.


Council of Europe

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 21 February, Official Report, columns 32-33, if he will list those conventions of the Council of Europe to which the Government have refused to accede from 1964.

The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to the hon. Member for Bournemouth, East (Mr. Atkinson) on 17 January, Official Report, columns 354-55.


Lady Thatcher (Foreign Visits)

Sir David Steel : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list all visits made by Lady Thatcher, when Prime Minister, to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, with a list in each case of all the business people who accompanied her on those visits.

The Prime Minister : My right hon. and noble Friend, when Prime Minister, made the following visits to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. My right hon. and noble Friend was not accompanied by business people on any of these visits.

Indonesia

9-11 April 1985

Malaysia

5-8 April 1985

6 August 1988

18-24 October 1989

Thailand

6-9 August 1988


Malaysia

Sir David Steel : To ask the Prime Minister what discussions were held with Malaysians concerning the construction of military bases in Malaysia by British companies during his visit in September 1993.

The Prime Minister : Commercial discussions were held by British companies on a number of issues during the course of the visit.

Sir David Steel : To ask the Prime Minister what offers of ECGD credits were made during his visit to Malaysia in September 1933 ; and for which purposes.

The Prime Minister : No offers of ECGD credits were made during my visit to Malaysia in September 1993.

Sir David Steel : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list all those who accompanied him on his visit to Malaysia in September 1993.

The Prime Minister : I was accompanied by my hon. Friend the Minister for Trade and a party of senior business men representing BICC, Biwater, British Aerospace, British Gas, Cable and Wireless, GEC, John Laing, Johnson Matthey, the National Grid, North West Water, PowerGen, Rolls-Royce and Trinity Holdings, together with my wife, officials, support staff and members of the press.


Thailand

Sir David Steel : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list all visits of Government Ministers and officials to Thailand since 1979 with dates and their purpose of each visit.

The Prime Minister : The information requested is not held centrally and could be made available only at disproportionate cost.


Jewellery

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister if he will give details of all items of jewellery available for wearing by the Prime Minister and his family; and to whom such jewellery belongs.

Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the items of jewellery in the ownership of the state but kept at No. 10 Downing Street.

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Prime Minister if he will publish the inventory of Downing Street jewellery, its source, a statement of ownership and who has the rights to wear such jewellery.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 22 February 1994] : Nearly all the jewellery available for wearing by my family belongs to my wife personally. I have no intention of providing the hon. Member with the details he seeks. There are, in addition, a number of items given to previous Prime Ministers and kept at No. 10 on the official inventory.


Pergau Dam

Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 21 February, Official Report, column 33, on what date in February 1991 he was first informed that the Foreign Secretary intended to issue a direction to the accounting officer in respect of the Pergau project.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 24 February 1994] : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs drew my attention to the concerns of the Overseas Development Administration accounting officer when he minuted me on 16 February 1991 recommending aid and trade provision support for this project on the basis of commitments previously given. The need for a direction to the accounting officer was reported in the subsequent ministerial correspondence.