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1993 - PMQT Written Answers 23rd November 1993

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 23rd November 1993.


PRIME MINISTER:

War Veterans

Ms Walley : To ask the Prime Minister if he will take steps to assist British war veterans attending the D-day commemorations in Brittany to stay in the hotels in which their bookings have been made.

The Prime Minister : I am aware that some of the hotel reservations made by British veterans wishing to attend the D-Day commemorations in France in 1994 have been cancelled by French hoteliers. I am pleased to say that, following an approach by the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, the French authorities have established an office in Caen to deal with all queries concerning accommodation in Normandy. The address of the office is :

Comite Departmental du Tourism du Calvados

Place du Canada

1400 CAEN

France

(Telephone : 010-33-31-86-53-30)

(Fax : 010-33-31-79-39-41)


Weapons Proliferation

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister if he will set out the policies Her Majesty's Government intend to implement to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The Prime Minister : We will continue to oppose the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by strongly supporting the unconditional and indefinite extension of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and by working towards the effective implementation of the chemical weapons convention and the strengthening of the biological weapons convention. We will continue to press for universal membership of these agreements and to give vigorous support to the related export control regimes.


Housing Associations

Mr. Tyler : To ask the Prime Minister if he will initiate an inter-departmental review of the relationship between housing association grant rates and benefit entitlements to identify the impact of varying marginal rates of tax and benefit on both housing associations and their tenants, to reduce numbers dependant on benefit and the poverty trap.

The Prime Minister : Ministers and officials in the Departments of the Environment and of Social Security already work closely together in those areas to ensure that the interaction between the different subsidy systems is fully understood and appreciated. A formal working group has now been established to discuss this and other issues relating to housing and benefits policy on a regular basis.


Scott Inquiry

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister how many documents his office has provided to Lord Justice Scott's inquiry into arms sales to Iraq since 23 November 1992; what has been the cost of document provision; how many civil servants in his office have been involved in assisting Lord Justice Scott with documents; how many have attended the inquiry; and which documents requested have been withheld.

The Prime Minister : My office has provided 184 documents to Lord Justice Scott's inquiry, doing so, for administrative reasons, via the Cabinet Office. No documents have been withheld. Up to six officials were involved in the compilation of the documents, and the costs incurred by both Departments has been approximately £800 in total. One Cabinet Office official has attended each hearing of the Inquiry.


Crime Prevention

Mrs. Roche : To ask the Prime Minister which ministers are currently members of the ministerial group on crime prevention.

The Prime Minister : The current membership of the ministerial group on crime prevention is as follows :

Chairman, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Charles Wardle MP, the hon. Member for Bexhill and Battle) Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (The noble Lord Astor)

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment (Tony Baldry MP, the hon. Member for Banbury) Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (John Bowis MP, the hon. Member for Battersea)

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Education (Eric Forth MP, the hon. Member for Mid-Worcestershire)

Minister of State, Scottish Office (The noble Lord Fraser of Carmyllie)

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Welsh Office (Gwilym Jones MP, the hon. Member for Cardiff, North)

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Robert Key MP, the hon. Member for Salisbury)

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Patrick McLoughlin MP, the hon. Member for Derbyshire) Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Anthony Nelson MP, the hon. Member for Chichester)

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of National Heritage (Iain Sproat MP, the hon. Member for Harwich)

Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Sir John Wheeler MP, the right hon. Member for Westminster, North)

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Employment Department (Ann Widdecombe MP, the hon. Member for Maidstone)


Baroness Thatcher

Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Prime Minister whether the additional security costs arising from Baroness Thatcher's book-signing tour were borne by the police forces or by Government.

The Prime Minister : Any such costs will be met in the usual way from the police fund. Specific grant at the rate of 51 per cent. is paid by the Home Office on police expenditure.


Engagements

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 23 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.