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1992 - PMQT Written Answers 29th June 1992

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 29th June 1992.


PRIME MINISTER:

Disabled People

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Prime Minister if he will set out the occasions in the last Session of Parliament on which Ministers have stated the Government's policy on whether a legislative approach is the right way to deal with discrimination against people with disabilities; which Minister has the principal responsibility in this matter; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : The Government's view was stated principally on 31 January during Second Reading of the Civil Rights (Disabled Persons) Bill by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Social Security and Disabled People at column 1251.


Security Services

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's policy towards the monitoring of hon. Members by the security services.

The Prime Minister : The policy remains as stated in 1966 by the then Prime Minister, the Lord Wilson of Rievaulx, and as applied by successive Governments since. In answers to questions on 17 November 1966, Lord Wilson said that he had given instructions that there was to be no tapping of the telephones of Members of Parliament, that remained the policy of the Government and that, if there was a development which required a change in the general policy, he would, at such moment as seemed compatible with the security of the country, on his own initiative make a statement in the House about it. The Government regard this undertaking as still applying to both postal and telephone interception.


Earth Summit

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister what attempts will be made by Her Majesty's Government to encourage sufficient states to sign the Rio treaties on climate change and biodiversity respectively to permit the consequent entering into force of the treaties.

The Prime Minister : By the end of the Earth summit, 153 states and the EC had signed the conventions on climate change and biodiversity. For the conventions to enter into force, 50 states, in the case of climate change, and 30 states, in the case of biodiversity, must ratify them.

I have written to the leaders of all EC and Group of Seven countries about the need to maintain the momentum generated by the summit and I have proposed that they draw up a plan of action to include the prompt implementation of both conventions.


War Crimes

Mr. Janner : To ask the Prime Minister whether, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick) of 13 May, Official Report, column 106, concerning documents relating to the wartime Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands, he has completed his inquiries; and whether he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : The current review of the documents to which the hon. and learned Member refers is proceeding. Considerable work is involved. I will write to him as soon as inquiries have been completed.


China

Mr. David Atkinson : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the proposed human rights fact-finding visit to the People's Republic of China.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 26 June 1992] : I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 13 March 1992 at column 687. We are in contact with Sir Geoffrey Howe and the Chinese authorities over detailed arrangements, including timing, composition and itinerary.


Youth Training

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the extent to which the difficulties experienced by young people in obtaining suitable training, to which he referred in his letter of 4 June to the general secretary of the TUC, have now been removed, and of the adequacy of the measures taken to prevent hardship to young people experiencing such difficulties now or in the future.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 25 June 1992] : The Government are using the contractual relationship with training and enterprise councils to ensure that the difficulties experienced by a minority of young people are addressed urgently. Every TEC is contractually obliged to meet the forecast covered by the Government's youth training guarantee. The Government are committed to seeing that the guarantee is met.

The severe hardship provision of income support provides a safety net of benefit for those young people seeking work or a YT place who are at risk of hardship.

The Government continue to monitor the position closely and seek to improve and streamline the administration of benefit wherever possible.