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1995 - PMQT Written Answers 26th June 1995

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 26th June 1995.


PRIME MINISTER:

Downing Street Gates

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what consideration has been given to strengthening the ornamental gates to Downing Street;

(2) what assessment he has made of the advantages and disadvantages of retaining the gates in Downing Street.

The Prime Minister: Security at Downing Street is kept under constant review.


Island Games, Gibraltar

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 20 June, if the Government raised any objection to the Princess Royal attending the Island games in Gibraltar in July.

The Prime Minister: No.

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 20 June, what is the Government's policy on other members of the royal family attending the Island games in Gibraltar in July 1995.

The Prime Minister: No member of the royal family other than the Princess Royal has received an official invitation to attend the Island games in Gibraltar.


Ministerial Speeches

Mr. Barnes: To ask the Prime Minister on what recent occasions Ministers' speeches have been published by their Departments at public expense; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 22 June 1995]: It is usual practice for ministerial speeches made on official occasions to be published and distributed to the press by their departmental press office. This does not apply to speeches made in a party political context which are distributed through the party machinery.


Crown Immunity

Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list all areas within (a) his Department, (b) agencies under his Department's control and (c) organisations for which he has ministerial responsibility to which Crown immunity applies; what consideration he has given to removing this, and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 15 June 1995]: The reference to the Crown immunity in the question is taken to refer to legislation which does not bind the Crown. Certain legislation is expressly applied to the Crown. In most legislation, however, particularly older legislation, there is no such express provision. In those circumstances whether legislation applies to the Crown will depend upon the implications to be drawn from the drafting and context of the legislation.


French Nuclear Tests

Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Prime Minister what backing Her Majesty's Government are giving to the Government of Australia, New Zealand and others in the Asia/Pacific region in their protests against the French Government's intention to resume nuclear testing in the Mururoa atoll; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 22 June 1995]: In our view the international community's main priority is the early conclusion of a comprehensive test ban treaty. While we recognise the concern of some countries, particularly those in the south Pacific, over the French decision to suspend their moratorium on nuclear testing, we do not believe that a strictly limited programme of tests should affect the prospects for this.

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Prime Minister on what date his French counterpart informed him that the French Government would recommence the testing of nuclear weapons.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 22 June 1995]: We have very close contacts with the French Government on a wide range of defence questions, including defence procurement, issues of mutual interest and nuclear matters, including testing. I discussed both subjects when I saw President Chirac on 10 June. The details of these discussions remain confidential.


Home Truths Campaign

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Prime Minister how many letters he has received on the home truths campaign by young people; and how he is replying.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 22 June 1995]: My office has no record of this campaign. However, any representations will receive replies as appropriate.


Attack Helicopters

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Prime Minister what recent discussions he has had with his French counterpart concerning the purchase of attack helicopters by the Ministry of Defence.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 22 June 1995]: We have very close contacts with the French Government on a wide range of defence questions, including defence procurement, issues of mutual interest and nuclear matters, including testing. I discussed both subjects when I saw President Chirac on 10 June. The details of these discussions remain confidential.