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1993 - PMQT Written Answers 19th April 1993

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 19th April 1993.


PRIME MINISTER:

Honours System

Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Prime Minister how many individuals have written to him since his statement of 8 March proposing themselves as recipients of honours.

The Prime Minister : Over 1,600 names have been put forward to the honours nominations unit since I made my statement to the House on changes to the honours system. Based on a check of a sample of the nominations, it is likely that about a dozen are self-nominations.

Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Prime Minister how many staff were employed at No. 10 Downing Street to administer the honours system in 1992 : and what increase in their number is planned.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 15 April 1993] : The honours section in 10 Downing Street consisted of six staff in 1992. Numbers will be kept under review in the normal way to reflect changes in the work load.


Sir John Cuckney

Mr. Rogers : To ask the Prime Minister what Government tasks are currently carried out by Sir John Cuckney.

The Prime Minister : Sir John Cuckney is currently chairman of the Maxwell Pensioners Trust and adviser to the Department of Social Security's Maxwell pensions unit. Both appointments were made by the Secretary of State for Social Security. In addition, Sir John serves as a trustee of the Royal Air Force museum, an appointment made by the Secretary of State for Defence.


Pakistan

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Prime Minister when he next plans to visit Pakistan.

The Prime Minister : I am keen to take up an invitation from the Pakistan Prime Minister to visit Pakistan, and will do so when time permits.


Political Parties (Donations)

Mr. Rogers : To ask the Prime Minister if he will introduce legislation to prevent the use of bank loans from offshore tax havens to political parties in the United Kingdom.

The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to him on 18 March, at column 357.


BCCI

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Prime Minister how many letters he has received concerning compensation for the victims of BCCI.

The Prime Minister : I have received numerous representations.


Royal Bank of Scotland

Mr. Rogers : To ask the Prime Minister what Government Departments hold bank accounts with the Royal Bank of Scotland; and which of those accounts are at Drummonds branch.

The Prime Minister : No central records are maintained showing which Departments use which banks. Government Departments may use the services of clearing banks without reference to the Treasury when the arrangements offer good value for money.


India

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he has had with the Indian High Commissioner following the bomb blasts in Bombay in March.

The Prime Minister : I expressed my personal sympathy to the Indian high commissioner as soon as I heard of the explosions and loss of life in Bombay, and also sent messages to the Indian Prime Minister and the Governor of Bombay conveying condolences and offering practical help.


Local Authorities (Private Capital)

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to lift restrictions governing the use of private capital by local authorities, laid down in the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.

The Prime Minister : We have no such plans. However, it is already open to local authorities to enter into partnerships with the private sector and draw upon private finance.


Mr. Salman Rushdie

Mr. Winnick : To ask the Prime Minister when he now expects to meet Mr. Salman Rushdie.

The Prime Minister : I expect to meet Mr. Rushdie shortly.