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1992 - PMQT Written Answers 3rd June 1992

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 3rd June 1992.


PRIME MINISTER:

Equal Opportunities

Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to ensure that all lists of candidates for public appointments contain equal numbers of men and women.

The Prime Minister : All appointments to public bodies are made on the basis of aptitude and merit. It is Government policy for all shortlists prepared for Ministers' consideration to include the names of women or for good reasons to be given for the absence of such names.


Commercial Whaling

Mr. McGrady : To ask the Prime Minister what steps he will take to ensure that there is a permanent ban on all commercial whaling in United Kingdom and EC waters.

The Prime Minister : Whaling within United Kingdom fishery limits is already banned and the sale and purchase of whale products by EC member states are prohibited through the Community implementation of the convention on international trade in endangered species.


Ministerial Committee on the Environment

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Prime Minister how often the ministerial committee on the environment has met since 10 April; when the next meeting is planned; what will be on the agenda of the next meeting; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Woolwich (Mr. Austin-Walker) on 2 June, at column 394.


Security Files

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Prime Minister if he will now make it his policy to disclose how many files on (a) individuals and (b) organisations are kept by (i) the Security Service and (ii) the Secret Intelligence Service; what is his policy on the destruction of files held by these services; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the conclusions of the Security Service Commissioner who said in his report for 1991 that he found the Security Service's general policy on retention of records acceptable.


Nuclear Safeguards

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister which Government Department will be responsible for overseeing the application of nuclear safeguards and the transmission of safeguards data to the Euratom and International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards directorates on United Kingdom facilities following the closure of the Department of Energy.

The Prime Minister : The Department of Trade and Industry.


Nuclear Testing

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to raise the issue of nuclear warhead testing and the prospects for a global halt during his next meeting with President Bush.

The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn) on 12 May, at column 90.


Bohemian Wood Carvings

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his discussions in Prague with President Havel, in relation to the theft of Bohemian ecclesiastical wood carvings, and their subsequent sale in the West.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 2 June 1992] : I raised this issue with a senior colleague of President Havel. I have instructed our ambassador to follow up that discussion in greater detail.