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1992 - PMQT Written Answers 14th May 1992

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 14th May 1992.


PRIME MINISTER:

Whaling Ban

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to support a ban on whaling for commercial purposes on a permanent basis at the forthcoming Earth summit.

The Prime Minister : The Earth summit has a full agenda on a range of environmental issues; it will not be the place for detailed consideration of whaling. The United Kingdom has taken a lead in protecting whales and strongly supports the moratorium on commercial whaling, agreed by the International Whaling Commission, which has operated since 1985. The IWC is the proper place to consider the future of the moratorium; it will be discussing the matter at its next meeting in June.


Environmental Impact Assessments

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list those Ministers in each Department responsible for considering the environmental implications of his or her Department's policies and spending programmes; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : An updated list is currently being prepared and will be published as soon as possible.


Iraq

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister what correspondence he has received from Mr. Frank Machon regarding the alleged breach of export control restrictions over the sale of military sensitive materials to Iraq by British companies; and what response he has made.

The Prime Minister : As far as I am aware, the last correspondence from Mr. Machon was received on 21 February 1991 and a reply was made on 26 February.


Cabinet Committees

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will now give the names and composition of all Cabinet committees and sub-committees.

The Prime Minister : A full list of ministerial Cabinet committees, with their terms of reference and membership, will be published shortly.


Interception of Communications Act 1985

Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Prime Minister when the annual report of the commissioner appointed under the Interception of Communications Act 1985 will be laid before the House ; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : A copy of Lord Justice Lloyd's sixth and final report, covering 1991, has been laid before the House today in accordance with section 8(7) of the Interception of Communications Act 1985. The confidential appendix to the report has been excluded from that copy in accordance with section 8(8) of the 1985 Act. I am grateful to the commissioner for his work since 1986 in reviewing the issue of warrants. I note in particular his observations that the Secretaries of State take great care to satisfy themselves that the warrants are necessary for the purposes stated in the Act, and that the system for the issue of warrants is working as intended by Parliament.

Careful consideration is being given to both parts of the commissioner's report.


Engagements

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 14 May.

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 the House, I shall be having further meetings later today.