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1993 - PMQT Written Answers 18th February 1993

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 18th February 1993.


PRIME MINISTER:

Engagements

Sir Peter Tapsell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 18 February.

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 18 February.

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.


Iraq

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on (a) the structure, (b) the number and civil service rank of personnel on the staff and (c) the timing of the inquiry under Lord Justice Scott.

The Prime Minister : Lord Justice Scott is supported by a team of eight of which the civil service members comprise :

1 Assistant Solicitor (Grade 5)

1 Press Officer (Part Time) (Grade 6)

1 Grade 7

1 Executive Officer

1 Administrative Officer

1 Personal Secretary

The timing and structure of the inquiry is a matter for Lord Justice Scott. He has made it clear that he wishes to report to my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade as soon as possible.


Salman Rushdie

Mr. Winnick : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the answer of 12 February, by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Official Report, column 841-42, what plans he has to meet Mr. Salman Rushdie; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : My right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, met Mr. Rushdie on 4 February. He underlined our full support for Mr. Rushdie's fundamental rights. The fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini and reaffirmed by senior figures in Iran is a serious violation of international law. The continuing failure of the Iranian authorities to repudiate this incitement to murder inevitably prevents the establishment of full and friendly relations with Iran.


Terrorism

Mr. Winnick : To ask the Prime Minister in what circumstances British citizens living in the United Kingdom are asked to contribute to the cost of police security when their lives are threatened by terrorists.

The Prime Minister : It is for the chief officer of police to decide whether it is appropriate to provide police officers to protect individuals. The individuals concerned would not be asked to contribute to the cost of these officers.


Housing Corporation

Mr. Battle : To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he has had concerning the future of the Housing Corporation; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : I regularly discuss with my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment the delivery of the Government's housing policy, in which the Housing Corporation continues to play an important part.


Chemical Warfare

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards the export of materials and equipment which could be or is thought to be suitable for making chemical weapons; what monitoring takes place; what assessment is made of end-user certificates in such circumstances; and if he will lay before Parliament regulations for the export of such items.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 12 February 1993] : The 54 chemical weapon precursor chemicals and the dual use chemical plant and equipment identified as of proliferation concern are specified in and controlled under the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1992. In addition, other, unlisted items, though normally of no proliferation concern, do require a licence if the exporter knows or suspects that they are intended or likely to be used in connection with weapons of mass destruction. All export licence applications are carefully considered : information on destinations and end users is always taken into account. Compliance by exporters with these controls is monitored by the compliance unit of the Department of Trade and Industry.