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1995 - PMQT Written Answers 24th January 1995

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 24th January 1995.


PRIME MINISTER:

Engagements

Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 24 January.

Sir Peter Tapsell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 24 January.

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.


Hugh Colver

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Prime Minister during which years Mr. Hugh Colver was employed by Her Majesty's Government in (a) the Ministry of Defence, (b) other Departments and (c) No. 10 Downing street.

The Prime Minister: Mr. Hugh Colver was employed as an information officer in the Ministry of Defence from December 1975 to July 1981 and again from September 1985 to June 1987 as deputy chief of public relations and from then until July 1992 as chief information officer. He was a press officer at: No. 10 from July 1981 to July 1982; at the Department of Education from July 1982 to January 1984; and at the Metropolitan police from January 1984 to September 1985. He is no longer employed by a Government Department.


Card Systems

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Prime Minister if he will consider setting up a committee to consider the developing technology of card systems, and the potential demand for such systems from Government Departments; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by the Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service and Science today.


Scott Inquiry

Mr. McAllion: To ask the Prime Minister which Ministers and former Ministers have given evidence to the Scott inquiry.

The Prime Minister: Ministers and former Ministers who the Government are aware have given evidence to Sir Richard Scott's inquiry are:

Ministers who have given written and oral evidence :

In addition to myself,

The Right hon. Kenneth Clarke QC

The Right hon. Michael Heseltine RD

The Right hon. Douglas Hurd CH

The Right hon. Peter Lilley

The Right hon. Sir Nicholas Lyell QC

The Right hon. Sir Patrick Mayhew QC

The Right hon. Malcolm Rifkind QC

The Right hon. the hon. William Waldergrave

Former Ministers who have given written and oral evidence :

The Right hon. Kenneth Baker CH

The Right hon. Sir Adam Butler

The Right hon. Paul Channon

The Right hon. Alan Clark

The Right hon. Tristan Garel-Jones

The Right hon. The Lord Howe QC

The Right hon. Sir Richard Luce

The Right hon. David Mellor QC

The Right hon. Timothy Renton

The Right hon. The Baroness Thatcher OM FRS

The Right hon. Lord Trefgarne

Ministers who have given written evidence only :

The Right hon. Jonathan Aitken

The Right hon. Douglas Hogg QC

Former Ministers who have given written evidence only :

The Lord Glenarthur

The Right hon. the hon. Sir Archie Hamilton

Neil Hamilton

The Right hon. the hon. Sir Timothy Sainsbury


Science Promotion

Dr. John Cunningham: To ask the Prime Minister what steps he has taken since 1993 to promote science and its applications.

The Prime Minister: In May 1993, we published the White Paper "Realising our Potential"--Cm 2550--which sets out the Government's policy for science, engineering and technology. It announced a number of new initiatives such as technology foresight and the restructuring of the research councils to carry forward the Governments strategy. That strategy is to improve the nation's competitiveness and quality of life by maintaining the excellence of science, engineering and technology in the United Kingdom.

In a speech to the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee in February 1994, I underlined the importance of the White Paper and my commitment to the policy it sets out.

The White Paper recognised the important benefits of international collaboration. In September I visited South Africa and met President Mandela. I exchanged letters of intent with him, committing the United Kingdom and South Africa to continuing discussions with a view to concluding in due course a bilateral science, engineering and technology agreement.

In September I also met members of the Council for Science and Technology which the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster chairs on my behalf. We discussed the vital contribution of science, engineering and technology to the nation's prosperity and quality of life. I emphasised our determination to create a culture of partnership, where excellence in science and the development of new applications go hand in hand.


Women Workers

Mrs. Maddock: To ask the Prime Minister what practical measures he has introduced to help (a) employers in the private sector and (b) employers in the public sector to increase the quality and quantity of women's participation in the work force, since the launch of Opportunity 2000 in 1991.

Miss Widdecombe: I have been asked to reply.

Opportunity 2000 is an employer-led campaign which the Government have supported since its launch in 1991.

The Employment Department helps private and public sector employers increase the quality and quantity of women's employment by promoting a competitive, efficient and flexible labour market. Details of the ED's initiatives introduced since the launch of Opportunity 2000 are contained in the ED's annual reports, copies of which are available in the Library, and include, the out-of-school child care grant, new horizons for women, and fair play for women.