Biography Chronology Home Search Speeches/Statements

1993 - PMQT Written Answers 5th November 1993

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 5th November 1993.


PRIME MINISTER:

UNESCO

Dr. Spink : To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has received in the past three months regarding United Kingdom membership of UNESCO; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : Since the beginning of August, I have received representations from a member of the House of Lords, four Members of Parliament, the Honourable Hector Wynter of the Caribbean Democratic Union, plus a petition with 99 signatures from the Deal branch of the United Nations Association. All have called for the United Kingdom to resume membership of UNESCO.


European Council

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral statement on the special meeting of the European Council, Official Report, 1 November, Official Report, column 20, whether the new transparency measures for operation of the Council will include agreement to make public petitions submitted by European citizens to the Council.

The Prime Minister : There are no formal procedures for petitioning the Council. Letters addressed to the Council by members of the public are passed to the presidency by the Council Secretariat for appropriate action. Article 138d of the Maastricht treaty establishes a right of petition to the European Parliament. It is for the Parliament to decide whether such petitions should be made public.


Cyprus

Mr. Cox : To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he is to have with the Turkish Government on the question of illegal settlers entering northern Cyprus from mainland Turkey following the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government communique on this issue; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : The Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting communique covered a number of aspects of the Cyprus dispute, including the question of settlers from Turkey, and called for the implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. We take every suitable opportunity to reiterate to the Turkish Government the need for all parties involved to adopt a constructive attitude.


Professor R. V. Jones

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has had from General Doyle Larson of the Central Intelligence Agency in relation to Professor R. V. Jones.

The Prime Minister : I have received no such representations regarding Professor R. V. Jones, though I welcome the decision by the Central Intelligence Agency to recognise his outstanding achievement in the field of scientific intelligence.


Joint Intelligence Committee

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the dates on which the Joint Intelligence Committee met (a) between 31 May 1989 and 1 August 1990 and (b) between 1 November 1991 and 1 April 1992.

The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Member to the booklet on the "Central Intelligence Machinery" published by HMSO on 1 October, which states that the Joint Intelligence Committee is responsible for producing a weekly survey on intelligence. The committee meets each week for this purpose. It did so throughout the periods cited except for two weeks during each of the Christmas-new year breaks at the end of 1990 and 1991. I do not propose to list all these meetings individually.


Mr. Mohammed Hashemi

Mr. Byers : To asks the Prime Minister on how many occasions since December 1990 Mr. Mohammed Hashemi has attended functions or meetings at 10 Downing Street.

The Prime Minister : As far as I am aware, Mr. Mohammed Hashemi has not attended any functions or meetings at 10 Downing Street since December 1990.


Conservative Party Conference

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Attercliffe, (Mr. Betts) of 18 November, Official Report, column 57, what factual briefing was provided by civil servants for his speech to the Conservative and Unionist party conference in Blackpool.

The Prime Minister : In preparing for this speech, I drew on factual information already available in my office, and on other sources.


House of Lords

Mr. Allen : To ask the Prime Minister if he will now bring forward proposals to reform the Second Chamber.

The Prime Minister : No.


Official Secrets Act

Mr. Allason : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 2 November, Official Report, columns 90-91, what permission is required under section 1(1) of the Official Secrets Act 1989 for former officials to publish memoirs; on what dates that permission was applied for by (a) Mr. Desmond Bristow and (b) Mr. Brian Crozier; and what rights have been reserved by the Crown with regard to legal action in each case.

The Prime Minister : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs will shortly be writing in response to the hon. Member's letter of 26 October to the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs about Mr. Bristow and Mr. Crozier. That reply will take into account the points now raised.


Telephone Sex Lines

Dr. Spink : To ask the Prime Minister what action he is taking to discipline those who use Whitehall telephones to make 0898 sex line calls at public expense; and what action has been taken to stop these calls.

The Prime Minister : Unauthorised use of official telephones is a disciplinary matter which is dealt with under normal departmental disciplinary arrangements. These disciplinary arrangements are set out in the "Civil Service Management Code--Rules of Code and Practice."

Central guidance recommends that Departments take action to bar outgoing calls to certain destinations, including recorded information line numbers. Call barring and call logging have already been implemented on many Government exchanges. Central guidance on these matters will be strongly reinforced in the light of the recent National Audit Office report on the management of telephone services.


Prime Minister's Office

Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Prime Minister how many staff were employed in his Prime Ministerial offices, and in what categories of work, in 1989-90 and at the latest available date.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 1 November 1993] : The information is as follows :

                                                                            |1989   |1993           

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Private Secretaries, Appointments and Honours                               |19     |21             

Policy Unit                                                                 |10     |13             

Press Office                                                                |8      |10             

Filing, Records, Correspondence and support staff not included in the above |31     |37             

Messengerial support grades                                                 |N/a    |<1>26          

                                                                            |-------|-------        

Total                                                                       |68     |<1>107         

N/a Not available.                                                                                  

<1> As a result of delegated budgetary arrangements, 26 support grade staff who were on the Cabinet

Office central budget in 1989 have been transferred to the No. 10 budget and manpower count.        


Press Office

Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Prime Minister how many people were employed in the No. 10 press office in 1979, 1989 and the latest available date.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 1 November 1993] : Including secretarial/typing support, the figures are :

        |Numbers        

------------------------

1979    |8              

1989    |8              

1993    |10             


Government Car Service

Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Prime Minister what changes took place in the allocation of charges to his office by the Government car service in 1984-85; and what is the latest annual cost.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 1 November 1993] : In 1984 -85 arrangements were introduced for charging my office direct, in common with all other users, for the use of the Government car service. Previous to this, the cost of this service was met from central funds. The charge to my office for the use of the Government car service in 1992-93 was £469,747.