Biography Chronology Home Search Speeches/Statements

1991 - PMQT Written Answers 5th November 1991

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 5th November 1991.


PRIME MINISTER:

Terrorist Offences

Mr. Stanbrook : To ask the Prime Minister in how many cases since 1975, excepting those initiated under the Criminal Jurisdiction Act 1975, British courts have exercised extra-territorial jurisdiction conferred upon them by anti-terrorism legislation in compliance with multilateral conventions for the suppression of hijacking, hostage-taking and similar terrorist offences.

The Prime Minister : The information requested is not available.


Separation of Powers

Mr. Allen : To ask the Prime Minister if he will bring forward proposals to ensure a constitutional separation of powers and to enhance the powers of the elected representatives vis-a-vis those of the Government.

The Prime Minister : No.


Political Advisers

Mr. Allen : To ask the Prime Minister how many political advisers are in post in Her Majesty's Government; in which Departments they are in post; what is the salary in each case; and what is the total salary bill of such posts.

The Prime Minister : There are currently 34 political advisers to Ministers employed in the civil service. The number in each Department is as follows :

Department | Number

Cabinet Office (including No. 10) | 8

Defence | 1

Department of the Environment | 3

Foreign and Commonwealth Office | 2

Department of Health | 3

Her Majesty's Treasury | 3

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food | 1

Department of Education and Science | 2

Department of Energy | 1

Department of Employment | 1

Home Office | 2

Lord President of the Council | 1

Lord Privy Seal | 1

Scottish Office | 1

Department of Social Security | 1

Department of Trade and Industry | 2

Department of Transport | 1


It is not our practice to reveal the salary of any advisor as it is negotiated individually in relation to previous earnings and is therefore confidential. They are, however, normally paid on a special advisers' salary spine comprising 30 points, as follows :

Scale Point | Salary (in pounds)

30          |57,706

29          |55,486

28          |53,352

27          |52,104

26          |50,861

25          |49,271

24          |47,681

23          |45,509

22          |43,818

21          |42,135

20          |40,372

19          |38,595

18          |36,818

17          |35,048

16          |32,937

15          |31,595

14          |30,527

13          |29,464

12          |28,347

11          |27,328

10          |26,490

9          |25,316

8          |24,422

7          |23,627

6          |22,843

5          |22,042

4          |20,869

3          |20,155

2          |19,546

1          |18,403

The two most senior special advisers are paid personal salaries above the spine limit of £57,706. The current total salary bill, excluding one adviser who is paid a daily rate, is £1,249,970.


Nuclear Weapons Tests

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister what changes he plans to announce in the programme of testing British nuclear weapons.

The Prime Minister : None.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister what representation he has received from the Government of Australia or the representatives of the Maralinga aboriginal people to fund a clean-up of the British nuclear bomb test site at Maralinga, Australia.

The Prime Minister : I have received a letter from the Australian Prime Minister on the question of a further clean-up at the former nuclear weapon test sites at Maralinga and Emu field, and requesting discussions between Ministers and officials from both countries. We are considering the points raised by Mr. Hawke and have agreed to meet the relevant Australian Minister and officials later this year. In addition, a delegation representing the Maralinga aborigines called on my noble Friend the Earl of Arran, Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces, and senior officials on 30 October to present their views on the same topic.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister what response he has made to representations from the Shoshone nation against the continuation of the British nuclear bomb test site in Nevada.

The Prime Minister : I have asked Her Majesty's ambassador in Washington to reply on my behalf.


Economic and Monetary Union

Mr. Sillars : To ask the Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the compatibility of the Dutch Presidency's proposals for economic and monetary union with his own call for an EC of 30 states; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : The question of enlargement will be high on the European Community's agenda in the coming years; we must ensure that decisions taken in the intergovernmental conferences do not pose a barrier to the accession of applicants who wish to join and meet all the conditions of membership.

The text produced by the Dutch Presidency is a useful basis for further negotiation towards an agreement. But the United Kingdom and other member states are not committed to any particular part of its contents. The Government have plenty to say about it in the intergovernmental conference and we will make our views clear to the other member states. I remain confident that it will be possible to reach an agreement on economic and monetary union. Such an agreement should not hinder the enlargement of the Community.


Pensioners

Mr. Battle : To ask the Prime Minister how many letters he has received from pensioners about the level of their pension increase.

The Prime Minister : I have received many representations on this topic.


Ukraine

Mr. Allen : To ask the Prime Minister what impact the declaration of independence for the Ukraine has had upon Her Majesty's Government's policy.

The Prime Minister : We are naturally paying close attention to developments in the Ukraine and intend to build on the good contacts we have established there. Questions of recognition and our future policy towards the Ukraine will largely depend on the outcome of discussions which are still going on between the Ukraine, the centre and other republics on the form of its future relationships. The Ukrainian people will vote on their Supreme Soviet's declaration of independence on 1 December.


Paid Public Appointments

Mr. Warren : To ask the Prime Minister if he will publish an up-to- date directory of paid public appointments made by Ministers ; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : A list of public bodies by Departments, with the number of paid and unpaid appointments, is now given in "Public Bodies", published annually by the Cabinet Office (OMCS). The 1990 edition is available from the House of Commons Library; the 1991 edition will be published in December.


World Development

Mr. Lester : To ask the Prime Minister what interdepartmental meetings are held to discuss how world development issues can be covered within British schools.

The Prime Minister : As a result of the introduction of the national curriculum world development issues will be firmly established in school timetables. Government Departments worked together on the formulation of the national curriculum.


Publicity

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Prime Minister what was the total expenditure by the Cabinet Office on press and public relations in 1979-80 and in each following year; and what is his estimate for 1991-92 and budget for 1992-93.

The Prime Minister : Expenditure on press and public relations by the Cabinet Office was :

Year | Total in pounds

1984-85 |247,495       

1985-86 |232,980       

1986-87 |224,813       

1987-88 |215,925       

1988-89 |201,837       

1989-90 |205,650       

1990-91 |165,601       

The latest estimate for 1991-92 is £1,005,000 and the provisional budget for 1992-93 is £508,000. Similar information is not available for the years prior to 1984-85.

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Prime Minister if he will give separate figures for spending by his office on (a) television advertising, (b) radio advertising, (c) newspaper advertising and (d) other promotional material in 1979-80 and in each following year; and what are his latest estimates for 1991-92 and budgets for 1992-93.

The Prime Minister : My office has incurred no expenditure on advertising or promotional material and there are no plans for any such expenditure in 1991-92.

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Prime Minister whether (a) the Prime Minister's office or (b) the Cabinet Office have sent unsolicited direct mail as part of the distribution of publicity material.

The Prime Minister : My office has not sent any unsolicited direct mail. The Cabinet Office, as part of its central civil service function, has sent the following publicity material :

 - An approach has been made to heads of universities and local authority chief executives advising them of European Community recruitment competitions as part of the ongoing initiative to improve United Kingdom representation in EC institutions.

 - Each year we inform certain private sector companies of the date by which the Cabinet Office needs to receive applications for the top management programme in the forthcoming cycle.

 - The public appointments unit approaches individuals, in respect of whom they have received a recommendation, seeking their willingness to be considered for senior appointments.

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Prime Minister what was the total expenditure by his office on press and public relations in 1979-80 and in each following year ; and what is his estimate for 1991-92 and budget for 1992-93.

The Prime Minister : Expenditure by my office on press and public relations was not recorded separately before 1987-88. The total expenditure for each year since then is as follows; the budget for 1992-93 has not yet been finalised.

Year | Total in pounds

1987-88    |377,987             

1988-89    |419,326             

1989-90    |427,802             

1990-91    |553,068             

1991-92    |560,750 (estimate)

Note: The figures for 1990-91 and 1991-92 include notional superannuation costs which are excluded from the figures for earlier years.

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Prime Minister if he will provide an up-to- date list of each television advertising campaign carried out, or to be carried out, by (a) the Prime Minister's Office and (b) the Cabinet Office during 1991-92, and of each other publicity campaign costing more than £100,000, giving for each (i) the topic, (ii) the commencement date, (iii) the duration and (iv) the advertising, promotional and public relations companies involved.

The Prime Minister : My office has not undertaken any advertising campaigns in 1991-92 ; nor has the Cabinet Office undertaken any television advertising during 1991-92.

Details of the only advertising campaign costing over £100,000 carried out by the Cabinet Office in this period are as follows :

(i) Citizen's Charter White Paper

(ii) 22 July 1991

(iii) 7 weeks

(iv) the campaign was managed by the Central Office of Information Mr. Dobson : To ask the Prime Minister if he will give separate figures for spending by the Cabinet Office on (a) television advertising, (b) radio advertising, (c) newspaper advertising and (d) other promotional material in 1979-80 and in each following year; and what are his latest estimates for 1991-92 and budgets for 1992-93.

The Prime Minister : The Cabinet Office has not incurred and does not expect to incur any expenditure on promotional advertising on television or radio in the years 1979 to 1993. Expenditure in this period on promotional advertising in newspapers is estimated at £585, 000 in 1991-92 and £300,000 in 1992-93.

Information on other promotional material is not available for the years 1979 to 1987. Expenditure on such material from 1987-88 was :

Year | Total in pounds

1987-88 |19,306      

1988-89 |9,500       

1989-90 |14,833      

1990-91 |876         

The Cabinet Office does not expect to incur any expenditure on other promotional material in 1991-92 or 1992-93.


Sunday Trading

Mr. David Porter : To ask the Prime Minister if he will issue guidance to local authorities on the kind of shops and markets and the goods which may legally be offered for sale to the public on the Sundays between 10 November and Christmas in England.

The Prime Minister : No.


Private Health Insurance

Mr. Allen : To ask the Prime Minister what is Her Majesty's Government's policy on tax relief on private health insurance for the elderly.

The Prime Minister : The Government intend neither to abolish the existing relief nor to extend it to the under-60s.


Press and Publicity Staff

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Prime Minister whether any member of (a) the Prime Minister's Office's or (b) the Cabinet Office's press and publicity staff accompanied him in Blackpool during the Conservative party conference.

The Prime Minister : One private secretary and one secretary were available to assist me in my official duties. Three members of my policy unit were also in attendance.


Interned Soldiers

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Prime Minister what representations he or his predecessors have made and what efforts he is currently making on behalf of civilians of Dutch, British and Commonwealth citizenship interned by invading and occupying forces in Indonesia and other Asian countries in the years 1942 to 1945 to secure adequate and meaningful compensation.

The Prime Minister : Successive Governments have taken the view that the question of compensation for former prisoners of war and civilian internees of the Japanese was settled in the 1951 treaty of peace with Japan.


Cabinet Committees

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will now give details of the name, composition and remit of each Cabinet committee and sub-committee.

The Prime Minister : No. I refer the hon. Member to my reply to him of 6 June 1991 at column 280.


Engagements

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 5 November.

The Prime Minister : This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House I shall be having further meetings later today.