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1994 - PMQT Written Answers 22nd March 1994

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 22nd March 1994.


PRIME MINISTER:

Punjab

Mr. Spellar : To ask the Prime Minister whether he raised the question of human rights in the Punjab with the Indian Prime Minister during his recent visit.

The Prime Minister : I discussed human rights in India with Mr. Narasimha Rao. The main focus of our discussion on human rights was, however, Kashmir.


Chief of Defence Staff

Mr. Mullin : To ask the Prime Minister on what date he was first informed that the position of Sir Peter Harding as Chief of the Defence Staff might be compromised.

The Prime Minister : I was first informed of the circumstances which led up to the resignation of Sir Peter Harding on Saturday 12 March.


Bosnia

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister if, during his visit to Bosnia he sought to establish whether British-manufactured or designed shells, and British-licensed guns, have been used offensively against Bosnian civilians and British service men in Bosnia.

The Prime Minister : We have no evidence of British-made or British-designed weapons or ammunition being used offensively in Bosnia.

We understand that a formerly British-owned 1942 40mm Bofors gun has been surrendered under the ceasefire arrangements in central Bosnia.


Engagements

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 22 March.

The Prime Minister : This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in this House I shall be having further meetings later today.

Sir Peter Tapsell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 22 March.

The Prime Minister : This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in this House I shall be having further meetings later today.


Second World War Commemorations

Sir Jim Spicer : To ask the Prime Minister whether he intends to invite German representation at the events commemorating the end of the second world war.

The Prime Minister : The commemoration in Britain on 7 May 1995 of the end of the second world war will be the occasion to celebrate the 50 years of peace and reconciliation we have enjoyed since 1945. During that time we have developed extremely close relations with our allies and partners in Germany. We very much hope Germany will play a full part and be represented at a high level in the 1995 commemorations, for which planning is now in hand.

The focus of the 1995 commemorations will be :

a service in St. Paul's;

a parade in central London; and

a lunch or dinner for the Heads of State or Government who attend.

In addition we hope to arrange a variety of events throughout the country designed to build on the theme of reconciliation.


Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list for the last 12 months how many parliamentary questions he has referred to the Cabinet Office for answer; and what percentage of parliamentary questions to him this represents.

The Prime Minister : In the past 12 months approximately 3 per cent. of my written parliamentary questions were referred to the Cabinet Office for answer.


Council of Europe

Sir Russell Johnston : To ask the Prime Minister whether he has replied to the letter from the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Catherine Lalumiere, concerning participation in the Council of Europe's campaign against racism, xenophobia, anti-semitism and intolerance; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : As far as I am aware I have not received such a letter, but I understand that Mrs. Lalumiere has written to the Lord Chancellor who will be replying shortly.