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1994 - PMQT Written Answers 14th January 1994

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 14th January 1994.


PRIME MINISTER:

Data Protection

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Prime Minister whether he will make arrangements for the Data Protection Registrar to inspect relevant contracts with suppliers of IT services that involve the use of personal data held by his Department in order to check whether all appropriate arrangements in relation to the Data Protection Act 1984 have been made, and whether such contracts make provisions for the registrar to make random inspections in order to check the suppliers' compliance in with the eighth data protection principle.

The Prime Minister : My office has not placed any contracts with suppliers of IT services that involve the use of personal data held by my office.


Civil List

Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Prime Minister what is the annual financial value of the inflation-proofing built into the civil list; and by what amounts that has exceeded the sum required for annual indexation based on the actual cost of living in each year since the new civil list was introduced.

The Prime Minister : There is no inflation-proofing built into the civil list. While the £7.9 million fixed annual payment took account of the average rate of inflation for the years 1979-1989, if actual inflation falls below this level the household is not in a position to spend the surplus but is expected to carry it forward to the end of the 10- year period. This was made quite clear in paragraph 12 of the 1990 report of the Royal Trustees--HC 629--which reads : "If cost inflation is lower in overall terms than the rate assumed in paragraph 11, the Royal Trustees would expect the Royal Household to carry forward a surplus at the end of the decade, for use in the next period."

Civil list expenditure to date under the new arrangements has fallen well below the actual rate of inflation.

Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Prime Minister what account is taken of the inflation-proofing element in the annual refund of civil list money relating to those who have been removed from the civil list.

The Prime Minister : As set out in the report of the Royal Trustees- -paragraphs 21 to 23 of HC464, 11 February 1993--Her Majesty the Queen now reimburses the Consolidated Fund for the full cost of all the parliamentary annuities paid to members of the royal family except the Queen Mother and the Duke of Edinburgh. The reimbursement for 1993 has already been received. The annuities are fixed sums and the question of inflation does not arise.


Scott Inquiry

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister (1) whether he has provided Lord Justice Scott with all documents requested for use by the inquiry;

(2) what documents he has submitted to Lord Justice Scott in advance of his appearance before the inquiry.

The Prime Minister : The only request I have received is for a written statement, which I submitted on 12 January.

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister what guidelines he has issued to Ministers in regard to which questions on the involvement of the United Kingdom in arms and military equipment exports to Iraq since 1985 may be substantively answered while the Scott inquiry is still sitting.

The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Warley, West (Mr. Spellar) on 7 June 1993, Official Report, column 14.


Mr. Frank Machon

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister what record he has of telephone calls made by Mr. Frank Machon of Glasgow to officials at 10 Downing Street between September and the end of December 1993.

The Prime Minister : None.


Radio Broadcast

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library a transcript of his interview with "The World this Weekend" broadcast on Radio 4 on 2 January.

The Prime Minister : No, it is not my policy to do so.


The Union

Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Prime Minister whether he intends to make it his policy that the county of Cambridgeshire, or any other similar area in England, Scotland or Wales, will be permitted to secede from the Union should the majority of the residents of that county agree freely and concurrently with a majority of the residents of any other foreign country that they wish to do so; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 12 January 1993] : For my own part, I whole-heartedly support the continuation of the Union in its present form. The question of secession arises only in the context of nations rather than areas within the different jurisdictions. The majority of people in each of the constituent parts of the United Kingdom wish to maintain the Union.