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1995 - PMQT Written Answers 1st May 1995

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 1st May 1995.


PRIME MINISTER:

Business Consultants

Miss Emma Nicholson: To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will make a statement on the relationship between the Department and Mr. Edmund Sykes;

(2) if he will make a statement on the relationship between the Department and Mr. Stephen Crouch.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 28 April 1995]: I am unaware of any such relationships.


Civil Servants

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Prime Minister how many civil service appointments were made to the administrative assistant and administrative officer posts in his Department and the agencies for which he is accountable in each quarter from September 1993 until April 1995.

The Prime Minister: For these purposes, my office is part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the reply given today by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service and Science.


Local Education Authorities

Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Prime Minister (1) pursuant to his oral answer of 25 April, Official Report, column 675, concerning the ratio of administrators to teachers, if he will give the relevant reference in Social Trends;

(2), pursuant to his oral answer of 21 March, Official Report, column 140, if he will publish evidence showing that there are two administrators for every three teachers across the country.

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Mr. Fisher) on 27 April, Official Report, column 613 .


Mr. Fouad Makhzoumi

Mr. Byers : To ask the Prime Minister if the right hon. Member for Thanet, South (Mr. Aitken) when Minister for Defence Procurement under the "Question of Procedure for Ministers" referred to the Prime Minister for his advice on the approach he had received for Mr. Fouad Makhzoumi concerning the sale of arms to Lebanon.

The Prime Minister: Discussions between myself and Ministers are private.


Lockerbie

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will discuss with Chancellor Kohl the reasons for which the Rhein-Main routine airport film of the loading of luggage on to the Boeing 727 feeder aircraft for Pan Am flight 103 on 21 December 1988 was confiscated; and whether this information was conveyed to the Dumfries and Galloway police investigating the Lockerbie crime.

The Prime Minister: I have no plans to discuss the Lockerbie case with Chancellor Kohl. It would not be appropriate to disclose what communications have passed between foreign authorities and the investigating authorities in this country while criminal proceedings are pending.

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his reply of 10 January, Official Report, column 20, if he will list all the investigations carried out in relation to Lockerbie, referred to in Government document JRE 10119.045 attached to the letter of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West (Lord James Douglas-Hamilton) of 21 April to the hon. Member for Linlithgow; and what evidence he has for the belief adduced in that document that no further inquiry is warranted.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 28 April 1995]: I understand that my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland did not write to the hon. Member on 21 April referring to investigations carried out in relation to Lockerbie or in respect of the document referred to. The document to which the hon. Member appears to be referring was produced for internal use and I am not therefore prepared to comment further on it.

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 28 March, Official Report, columns 545-46, and to his letter to the hon. Member for Linlithgow of 10 April, what response he has had from the United States authorities as to the authenticity of a signal, a copy of which was sent to him and to the US embassy in London, by the hon. Member for Linlithgow, purporting to be a threat to the life of Major Charles McKee, who died over Lockerbie, by the agencies of the US Government.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 28 April 1995]: As the hon. Member has been advised by my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and by the US authorities, the investigation has concluded that the document is a fabrication.


Security Services

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Prime Minister what arrangements exist for hon. Members to visit the headquarters of the security services.

The Prime Minister: It is not normal practice for the security and intelligence agencies to host visits to their headquarters by hon. Members.


Acceptance of Gifts

Mr. Alton: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 24 April, Official Report, column 344, if he will give the reasons for his policy of regarding the number of occasions on which the Government has been approached for advice on the suitability of accepting a financial gift, payment or commission by a Government Minister or an hon. Member or their relatives as confidential.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 28 April 1995]: As I said in my previous answer, advice on specific cases is private. No central record is kept of the occasions on which such advice is sought.


Nursery Education

Ms Hodge: To ask the Prime Minister (1) how many hours per child per week of nursery education he intends in his commitment to nursery education for all four-year-olds;

(2) whether his commitment to nursery education for all four-year-olds is a commitment to education with qualified teachers for all children from the day of their fourth birthday.

The Prime Minister: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education is looking at a range of options for implementing my commitment to provide, over time, a pre-school place for every four-year-old whose parents wish them to take it up. How many hours per week each place should provide, when the provision should start for each child, and appropriate staff qualifications and adult to child ratios are among the issues under consideration.


Ministers (Car Hire)

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the answer of 5 April, Official Report, column 1131, if he will place in the Library a list of the Ministers' hired cars, giving the purpose of the hire, on how many occasions cars have been hired, the cost of private care hire facilities through the Government car service and the purposes for which cars were supplied (a) to members of the Government, (b) to civil servants and (c) to others for each year since 1987;

(2) if he will publish information on (a) the cost and (b) the numbers of cars hired from the private sector for the transport of members of the Government for each year since 1987 where it is available.

The Prime Minister: The information as requested is not available.

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 5 April, Official Report, column 1131, in what circumstances private hire facilities for members of the Government may be provided for non-government business; and if he will publish the relevant guidance issued.

The Prime Minister: I have nothing further to add to the replies given to the hon. Member of 5 April, Official Report, column 1131 and 24 April, Official Report, column 344.