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1990 - PMQT Written Answers 20th December 1990

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 20th December 1990.


PRIME MINISTER:

Minister for Industry

Sir John Farr : To ask the Prime Minister if he will dismiss the Minister for Industry, and appoint a Minister designated with the specific task of recovering the disappearing presence of home industry on the world stage.

The Prime Minister : No. The Government are pursuing policies to promote an environment in which business can flourish. The United Kingdom's share of world trade in manufactures has stabilised after decades of decline, and is set to rise in 1990 for the second year running.


Nuclear Weapons Treaties

Mr. Cryer : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the policies to be advanced by the United Kingdom delegation to the non-proliferation and nuclear test ban negotiations starting on 7 January.

The Prime Minister : The United Kingdom delegation to the partial test ban treaty amendment conference will make clear our view that war is best prevented by keeping a sensible mix of conventional and nuclear weapons which would present any possible aggressor with risks out of proportion to any possible gain. If United Kingdom nuclear forces are to be a sure deterrent they must be kept effective and up to date : that requires nuclear testing.


D Notices

Mr. Fraser : To ask the Prime Minister how many D notices have been issued since August and how many involved (a) terrorism and (b) the Gulf.

The Prime Minister : None.


Health Service Pay Report

Mr. Hayes : To ask the Prime Minister when the second supplement to the seventh report of the review body for nursing staff, midwives, health visitors and the professions applied to medicine will be published.

The Prime Minister : The review body's second supplement, which deals with the pay of senior nurses and midwives after the introduction of a new pay structure on 1 January 1991, is being published today. The Government are most grateful to the review body for the additional work they have undertaken to prepare this report. The report recommends that the pay spine and pay ranges under the new structure should be as proposed in joint evidence by the staff and management sides of the nursing and midwifery staffs negotiating council, and that the rates of London weighting payable should be the same as those which senior managers currently receive. The Government have decided to accept the review body's recommendations.


Government Functions

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen), Official Report, 30 November, column 504, if he will now answer questions concerning (a) the membership of Cabinet sub-committees, (b) the internal workings of Government and (c) advice given to Ministers.

The Prime Minister : I have nothing further to add to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen) on 30 November at column 504.


Press Briefings

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen), Official Report, 3 December, column 44, whether he will set out the reasons for continuing the confidential daily briefings for journalists by his press secretary.

The Prime Minister : I have nothing further to add to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen) on 3 December at column 44.


Minister for Science

Dr. Bray : To ask the Prime Minister if he will appoint a Minister for Science, Technology and Research with responsibility for the co-ordination of government science and technology policy, the science budget, the research councils, common service research organisations including the Meteorological Office, and for the representation of Britain in European Community and other international science councils.

The Prime Minister : No. I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave him on 11 December at column 330.


Opinion Surveys

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list any opinion surveys conducted by, for or on behalf of the Cabinet Office.

The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that he received from my right hon. Friend the Minister of State, Privy Council Office, earlier today.


The Gulf

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will visit Jordan to discuss ecological problems of a Gulf war;

(2) if he will visit Iran to discuss ecological problems of a Gulf war;

(3) if he will visit Yemen to discuss ecological problems of a Gulf war;

(4) if he will discuss with EEC leaders the possibility of a group of Prime Ministers going to Baghdad to discuss the human and ecological effects of a Gulf war and Iraq's view of middle eastern boundaries and ethnic questions.

The Prime Minister : I have at present no plans to do so.