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1994 - PMQT Written Answers 8th February 1994

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 8th February 1994.


PRIME MINISTER:

Public Bodies

Dr. Wright : To ask the Prime Minister which appointments since 1979 to public bodies or posts for which he is responsible have included candidates nominated by the Chief Whip's Office; if any nominees by this source have been appointed; and if he will give details.

The Prime Minister : It is not the practice of Her Majesty's Government to answer parliamentary questions about discussions and consultations between Departments and offices of Government relating to public appointments.


Scott Inquiry

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Kaufman) of 25 January, Official Report, column 152, if he will now make it his policy to give substantive answers to parliamentary questions on his testimony given at the Scott inquiry on 17 January.

The Prime Minister : No. While Lord Justice Scott's inquiry continues, it would be inappropriate to comment substantively on any of the evidence which has so far been taken.

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister what powers Lord Justice Scott has to compel the attendance as witnesses before his inquiry of people who are neither civil servants nor ministers.

The Prime Minister : Lord Justice Scott does not have powers to compel people to appear before his inquiry.


Lockerbie Air Crash

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards the possible trial of Libyan suspects relating to Pan Am 103 taking place in The Hague, under a Scottish judge, with Scottish court rules.

The Prime Minister : The Government's policy is to obtain justice for the 270 victims of the Lockerbie disaster. Part of this is to ensure the appearance for trial in a United Kingdom or United States court of those accused of the Lockerbie bombing. The two accused would receive a fair trial in Scotland. There is therefore no need to establish a special court to try them in The Hague. The Libyan Government should comply in full with Security Council resolutions 731, 748 and 883 without further delay.


Engagements

Sir Peter Tapsell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 8 February.

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 8 February.

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.


Biwater Group

Mr. Burden : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the public engagements of Ministers held in connection with the Biwater group of companies since 1983.

The Prime Minister : The information requested can be provided only at disproportionate cost.


Charterline Pilot Scheme

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 28 January, Official Report, column 406, what proportion of the representations he has received on the Charterline pilot scheme have been (a) favourable and (b) critical.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 4 February 1994] : Recent surveys of Charterline users show that 87 per cent. are happy with the Charterline service and 93 per cent. would use the Charterline service again. I have received one representation critical of Charterline.


Pergau Dam

Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what factors led him to make a decision at Prime Ministerial level to over-rule an accounting officer in the case of the Pergau Dam.

Mr. Goodlad [holding answer 3 February 1994] : I have been asked to reply.

I refer the hon. Member to what my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has already said to the House on this matter and to my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State's answer of 25 January 1994 at column 145-46 to the right hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham). have made it clear that if he feels a change in his powers or terms of reference is needed, the Government will be ready to consider that.