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1991 - PMQT Written Answers 17th October 1991

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 17th October 1991.


PRIME MINISTER:

Abu Dhabi

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Prime Minister when he next plans to seek to visit Abu Dhabi.

Mr. MacGregor : I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has at present no plans to do so.


Engagements

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 17 October.

Mr. MacGregor : I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Harare.


Nuclear Disarmament

Mr. Cryer : To ask the Prime Minister what response he made to the proposal by President Mitterrand of France that the four permanent members of the United Nations Security Council that deploy nuclear weapons in Europe hold an urgent summit meeting to discuss future multilateral nuclear arms cuts.

Mr. MacGregor : I have been asked to reply.

We welcome President Mitterrand's proposal for a meeting with the Soviet Union to discuss the future security of its nuclear weapons. We believe that this is a matter to be taken forward in consultation with all our NATO allies.


Mr. Li Ka Shing

Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Prime Minister what was the purpose of his meeting in Hong Kong with Mr. Li Ka Shing, chairman of Cheung Kong ; what topics were discussed ; what United Kingdom Government officials were present ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. MacGregor : I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's normal practice is and will continue to be neither to confirm nor deny whether meetings with private individuals have taken place, even in those cases where no such meeting has occurred.


Correspondence

Mr. Winnick : To ask the Prime Minister when the hon. Member for Walsall, North will be receiving a reply to the letter he wrote on 23 September.

Mr. MacGregor : I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister will reply to the hon. Member's correspondence shortly.


NUM (Sequestration)

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 3 June, Official Report, column 35, if he will place in the public domain the information requested and obtained from the Government, by the sequestrators of the National Union of Mineworkers funds, relevant to the discharge of their duties to the court.

Mr. MacGregor : No. I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's answer of 10 June to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Hillhead (Mr. Galloway) at column 425.


Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty

Mr. Cryer : To ask the Prime Minister if, during his meeting with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing in September, he discussed the implications of the Chinese Government announcement that they intend to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

Mr. MacGregor : I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister discussed China's decision to accede to the NPT with Mr. Li Peng. China's action is an important step in the field of non-proliferation.


Party Funds (Donations)

Mr. Winnick : To ask the Prime Minister what guidelines are issued to Cabinet members and other members of the Government about the granting of access where there has been payment to party funds.

Mr. MacGregor : I have been asked to reply.

None.


Senior Civil Servants (Guidelines)

Mr. Winnick : To ask the Prime Minister what guidelines exist for senior civil servants about discussing political matters; and whether these guidelines apply also to the chief executive of the national health service.

Mr. MacGregor : I have been asked to reply.

General guidance for civil servants on discussing political matters in public is contained in the civil service pay and conditions of service code and in the note on the duties and responsibilities of civil servants in relation to Ministers issued by the former head of the home civil service in December 1987. This guidance does not preclude individual civil servants, including the chief executive of the national health service, from explaining Government policy when appropriate.