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1995 - PMQT Written Answers 30th January 1995

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 30th January 1995.


PRIME MINISTER:

Lockerbie

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister what assessment he has now made of an unclassified document emanating from the air intelligence agency department of the United States air force, sent to him by the hon. Member for Linlithgow, asserting that Ali Akbar Mohrashemi paid cash and gold to terrorist organisations to carry out terrorist activities, and to destroy Pan Am flight 103 in retaliation for the United States shoot-down of the Iranian airbus.

The Prime Minister: I have nothing further to add to the answer I gave to the hon. Gentleman on 26 January 1994, Official Report, columns 299-300.

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library his correspondence with Mr. English of Chard, Somerset, in relation to Libya and Lockerbie.

The Prime Minister: It is not my normal practice to do so.


Deregulation

Mr. Steen: To ask the Prime Minister which Minister is responsible for deregulation in each Government Department.

The Prime Minister: The deregulation initiative is headed by the right hon. Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade. Ministers are appointed in each of the regulatory Department's to be responsible for deregulation issues. They are:

Department                          |Minister                                                               

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Her Majesty's Treasury (Revenue and Customs)         |Right Hon. Sir George Young MP  Financial Secretary

Department of Transport             |John Watts MP Minister of State

Scottish Office                     |Allan Stewart MP  Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State                                             

Welsh Office                        |Roderick Richards MP  Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State

Home Office                         |Michael Forsyth MP  Minister of State

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food           |Earl Howe  Parliamentary Secretary                                      

Department of Trade and Industry             |Jonathan Evans MP  Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State

Department of Health                |Hon. Tom Sackville MP  Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State

Department of Employment            |Hon. Philip Oppenheim MP  Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State

Department of Social                |James Arbuthnot Parliamentary Security  Under-Secretary of State

Department of Environment           |Right Hon. Viscount Ullswater    Minister of State

Northern Ireland Office             |Baroness Denton of Wakefield       Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State

Ministry of Defence                 |Righ Hon. Roger Freeman  Minister of State

Department for Education            |Eric Forth MP Minister of State                                        

Office of Public Service and Science        |Robert Hughes MP Parliamentary Secretary

Lord Chancellor's Department                   |John Taylor MP Parliamentary Secretary

Department of National Heritage              |Iain Sproat MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State


Correspondence

Ms Gordon: To ask the Prime Minister when he expects to reply to the letters of inquiry sent to him six months ago by Mr. R. Nimmo of 202 Morville Street, London E3.

The Prime Minister: The Department of Employment replied on my behalf on 28 July 1994, a copy of which has recently been sent to Mr. Nimmo.


Common Currency

Sir Thomas Arnold: To ask the Prime Minister what is his current attitude towards the introduction of the hard ecu as a common currency within the EU.

The Prime Minister: Although the United Kingdom advocated the hard ecu during the Maastricht treaty negotiations, it was eventually agreed that the route set out in the treaty would avoid the problems of the control of the money supply that a parallel currency would inevitably involve. We therefore agreed to a three-stage process in which responsibility for our monetary policy will remain firmly in national hands unless and until Parliament agrees that we should seek to join a single currency.


World Summit for Social Development

Miss Lestor: To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to attend the world summit for social development in Copenhagen in March; and if he will list those who will be representing Her Majesty's Government.

The Prime Minister: I will make a decision on attendance nearer the date.


EU Fraud

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Prime Minister what proposals he has to persuade the French Government to include the issue of the eradication of fraud in their objectives for their EU presidency.

The Prime Minister: At the Essen European Council, I made a number of proposals on the subject of fraud, waste and mismanagement which were agreed by the Council. I refer the hon. Member to my statement to the House on 12 December, Official Report, columns 613-30. The French presidency has made clear that it intends to pursue these measures vigorously. This was endorsed by the Council of Economic and Finance Ministers at its meeting on 16 January when the presidency work programme was discussed.

The reports from member states, commissioned at Essen, on the measures member states are implementing domestically to combat waste and the misuse of Community resources will be examined under the French presidency.

The French presidency fully shares our views on fraud, as the French Prime Minister made clear to me at our Chartres meeting last December.


Chequers (Entertainment)

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the (a) dates of (b) nature of and (c) individuals present at each occasion at Chequers in the period from 2 December 1994 to 20 January 1995 which has involved the provision of food, drink and other forms of reception or entertainment paid for out of public funds.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 26 January 1995]: There was one such occasion on 13 January 1995. This was a meeting of Ministers reviewing British foreign policy. It is not my normal practice to provide a list of individuals present on such occasions.