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1994 - PMQT Written Answers 3rd March 1994

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 3rd March 1994.


PRIME MINISTER:

Nursery (Official Visit)

Q8. Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Prime Minister what further plans he has to visit a children's nursery.

The Prime Minister : I have no immediate plans to do so.


Milton Keynes

Q10. Mr. Butler : To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to visit Milton Keynes.

The Prime Minister : I have no immediate plans to do so.


Public Interest Immunity Certificates

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister how many public interest immunity certificates he or his predecessor have been asked to sign in each year since 1979; how many he or his predecessor declined to sign; and if he will make a statement on his policy of signing public interest immunity certificates.

The Prime Minister : No central record has been kept of the number of public interest immunity certificates put to Ministers since 1979, and a search of all the records in No. 10 would involve disproportionate cost. I do not recall being asked to sign such a certificate and it is unlikely that either I or my predecessor would have been asked to sign one since immediate responsibility for the relevant documents or information would normally rest with the head of a separate Department.


USA (Official Visit)

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister what matters were discussed, and what decisions taken, during his visit to the United States of America.

The Prime Minister : We discussed current international issues, and established a wide measure of agreement on points for joint United Kingdom-United States action. These included sending a joint British-American civil planning mission to Sarajevo; continuing support for the process of democratic and economic reform in Russia; steps to promote the process of democratic reform in South Africa; reaffirmation of United States support for the joint declaration on Northern Ireland; and support for Governor Patten's policies on Hong Kong.


Lords Lieutenant

Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Prime Minister who pays for the ceremonial dress worn from time to time by the Lords Lieutenant of England.

The Prime Minister : On appointment, Lords Lieutenant are offered a contribution from public funds towards the cost of the ceremonial uniform worn on their official engagements.


Official Gifts

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 28 February, column 579, if he will place in the Library a copy of the official inventory of items given to Prime Ministers.

The Prime Minister : A variety of gifts are received from heads of government, heads of state and others. They are all handled in accordance with "Questions of Procedure for Ministers". It is not considered appropriate to provide a list.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister if he will give details of the official gifts he has presented on the official visits abroad he has made since November 1990.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 2 March 1994] : No. The customary practice is to give official gifts to heads of government, heads of state and small numbers of officials on the occasion of each visit to a country, but it is not considered appropriate to give details of these.


Engagements

Sir Peter Tapsell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 3 March.

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 3 March.

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.


St. Winwaloe's Day

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister what plans Her Majesty's Government have to celebrate St. Winwaloe's day.

The Prime Minister : None.


Malaysia

Sir David Steel : To ask the Prime Minister what offers of aid to Malaysia were discussed during his visit to Malaysia in September 1993; and what were the amounts involved for each potential project.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 28 February 1994] : There was no substantive discussion of aid offers during this visit. However, I attended the unveiling of a plaque at the Connaught Bridge power plant for which the Government had provided £23,485 million aid and trade provision support. I was also present at the signature of a document between the Kuala Lumpur international airport Berhad and the Anglo-Japanese airport consortium, on the role the consortium would play in the Kuala Lumpur airport project.


St. David's Day

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister what plans Her Majesty's Government have to celebrate St. David's day.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 1 March 1994] : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales held a reception on the eve of St. David's Day, to mark the occasion.


Cabinet Meetings

Mr. Kenneth Baker : To ask the Prime Minister where the handwritten records of the Cabinet Secretary of each Cabinet meeting are kept; and how far back such records go.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 2 March 1994] : The Cabinet Secretary's notebooks, which contain the handwritten records of each Cabinet meeting, have been preserved since 1947. They are retained in the Cabinet Office with the approval of the Lord Chancellor under section 3(4) of the Public Records Act 1958.


Air Miles

Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Prime Minister what rules apply to the use of air miles credited to Ministers undertaking official journeys.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 2 March 1994] : I have recently made it clear that I do not believe that Ministers or officials travelling on Government business, necessarily paid for from public funds, should make private use of air miles which may arise as a result of that expenditure. There is no objection to re-applying the benefits of these schemes to travel on Government business.