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1993 - PMQT Written Answers 1st February 1993

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 1st February 1993.


PRIME MINISTER:

Maastricht (Social Chapter)

Sir Russell Johnston : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the amendments and additions to the social chapter of the treaty of Rome proposed by the social chapter of the treaty of Maastricht to which Her Majesty's Government do not assent.

The Prime Minister : The social chapter of the treaty of Rome will remain entirely unchanged after ratification of the treaty on European union. At Maastricht I made it clear to our Community partners that I was not prepared to accept treaty changes to the social chapter which would have increased industry's costs and jeopardised the jobs of British employees.

On this basis the United Kingdom will continue to play a full part in sensible Community action on social affairs and to resist measures which would prove damaging to British industry.


India

Mr. Fraser : To ask the Prime Minister what representations were made to him during his visit to India about the proposals of his Government to remove the right of appeal from visitors refused leave to visit the United Kingdom from India.

The Prime Minister : The Indian Prime Minister and I discussed our proposals and I was able to explain to him the reasons for our proposals.

Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Prime Minister if he will name the industrialists who accompanied him on his visit to India and the companies they represent.

The Prime Minister : The names are as follows :

Sir Brian Shaw, ANZ Grindlays Bank plc.

Mr. Roger Mabey, Bovis International Ltd.

Mr. Richard Evans, British Aerospace plc.

Mr. Norman Davis, British American Tobacco Co. Ltd.

Mr. Robert Evans, British Gas plc.

Mr. Norman Hawkins, Cadbury Schweppes plc.

Mr. Patrick MacDougall, Chartered West LB Ltd.

Mr. G. Douglas Gadd, GEC Alsthom Ltd.

Mr. Richard Reynolds, GPT Ltd.

Mr. Brian Baldock, Guinness plc.

Mr. Philip Daubeny, ICI plc.

Mr. Andrew Cummins, Inchcape plc.

Mr. Graham Hadley, National Power plc.

Dr. Terry Harrison, Rolls Royce plc.

Mr. Philip Hills, Samual Montagu and Co. Ltd.

Mr. Peter Grant, Sun Life Assurance Society plc.

Mr. Howard Davies, Confederation of British Industry

Mr. Rooker : To ask the Prime Minister what steps he took to raise concerns expressed by British citizens at the destruction of the Babri mosque during his recent visit to India; and what was the response.

The Prime Minister : During my recent visit to India, I had a long discussion with the Indian Prime Minister about the situation in India following the destruction of the Babri mosque. I also restated our support for the principles of India's secular democracy, rule of law, tolerance and protection of minorities.


Terrorist Attacks

Rev. Martin Smyth : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the effectiveness of co-operation between the British Army and the authorities of the Republic of Ireland in dealing with terrorist attacks launched from within the Republic of Ireland.

The Prime Minister : There is very effective co-operation between the security forces in Northern Ireland and those in the Republic of Ireland. Both Governments recognise the importance of keeping existing measures under review, and that further improvements can be made wherever practicable.


European Year of Older People

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister what benefits he expects to accrue to pensioners in the United Kingdom from the European Year of Older People launched on 25 January.

The Prime Minister : The Year will bring lasting benefits for older people in the United Kingdom, and I was particularly pleased to welcome the initiative during our presidency of the European Council. In collaboration with many organisations we are managing a substantial programme of initiatives, connected with the initiative, focusing on four main themes : combating ageism, volunteering, health promotion and active leisure, and social and environmental integration. The programme is designed to secure the involvement of older people themselves, professionals who work with them, and the general public. I hope that many people will play a part. The outcome will be improved understanding between the generations and an increasing recognition of the vital part older people have to play in our society.


Cabinet Committees

Mr. Trend : To ask the Prime Minister if he will publish an updated list of ministerial standing and ad hoc committees of the Cabinet.

The Prime Minister : All the ministerial Cabinet Committees I listed in my response to my hon. Friend the Member for Harlow (Mr. Hayes) on 19 May 1992 at column 110 are still in existence. In addition one Standing Committee and one ad hoc group have been established, and their membership and terms of reference are given below. Copies of the revised list, which includes minor revisions to the membership of existing Committees, are available in the Library of the House.

Ministerial Committee on Public Expenditure (EDX)– Composition

Chancellor of the Exchequer (chairman)

Secretary of State for the Home Department

President of the Board of Trade

Lord Privy Seal

Lord President of the Council

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

Chief Secretary, Treasury

Terms of Reference

"To consider the allocation of the public expenditure control totals and make recommendations to the Cabinet".

Ministerial Group on Refugees from Former Yugoslavia (GEN-- 24) Composition

Secretary of State for the Home Department (chairman)

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The Lord President of the Council

Secretary of State for the Environment

Secretary of State for Wales

Secretary of State for Social Security

Secretary of State for Scotland

Secretary of State for Education

Secretary of State for Health

Secretary of State for Employment

Chief Secretary, Treasury

Attorney General

Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Minister for Overseas Development)

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office

The Secretary of State for Transport and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland will also receive papers and be invited to attend as necessary.

Terms of Reference

"To consider whether a visa regime should be instituted for citizens of former Yugoslavia in the context of the Government's overall policy towards that region and to review the practical arrangements for the reception and subsequent support of those arriving in the United Kingdom from this area taking account of the implications for the treatment of refugees from other parts of the world, and to report to Cabinet."


Queen (Tax)

Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Prime Minister if he will report on the up to date position regarding the tax arrangements for the Queen.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 29 January 1993] : Discussions are continuing between the Treasury, the Inland Revenue and the royal household. I will make a statement shortly about the arrangements for the tax year commencing 6 April 1993.