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1991 - PMQT Written Answers 28th November 1991

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 28th November 1991.


PRIME MINISTER:

Referendums

Mr. Peter Bottomley : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the occasions since 1979 on which Government policy on the desirability of a referendum has been expressed by the Prime Minister in an official capacity ; and on which subjects in each case.

The Prime Minister : In Parliament I have expressed Government policy on a referendum on the subject of European integration. In addition, my right hon. Friend the Member for Finchley (Mrs. Thatcher) has commented in Parliament on a referendum in relation to : closed shop; rate increases; capital punishment; restoring a Parliament and Government at Stormont; all national disputes affecting 1,000-plus workers; the future and land reform for the Falkland islanders; devolution in Scotland; and the community charge.


Data Information Systems

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Prime Minister what data information systems Her Majesty's Government have (a) agreed and (b) been consulted about with a view to taking part in; what are the criteria for inclusion in such systems; whether they will be linked to the police national computer; what data protection provisions apply to them; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : The development and installation of data information systems is the responsibility of Ministers in charge of individual Departments. Any linkage of data between information systems is subject to legislation or specific agreement between the Ministers concerned and to the provisions of the Data Protection Act.


Engagements

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 28 November.

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


Non-ministerial Public Bodies

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Prime Minister what guidelines govern the holding of office as chairman or vice-chairman of a non-ministerial public body and at the same time holding a similar role or office in any political party.

The Prime Minister : Members of public boards, including chairmen and vice-chairmen, should not serve as officers carrying out executive duties in any political party.


Animal Welfare

Mr. Madden : To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has received in favour of an animal protection commission to co-ordinate Government policy in respect of animal welfare and enforcement of laws against cruelty to animals; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : Ministers have received a number of letters proposing the setting up of a small Government Department or commission with responsibility for all aspects of animal welfare. I am satisfied that the Government's responsibilities for matters affecting animals, which involves a number of different Government Departments, is effectively carried out and that the laws relating to the welfare and protection of animals are enforced satisfactorily.