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1995 - PMQT Written Answers 16th February 1995

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 16th February 1995.


PRIME MINISTER:

Private Office Staff

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Prime Minister how many of his private office staff are fluent in European languages and which ones.

The Prime Minister: A number of my staff are fluent in a number of European languages.


Phoenix Project

Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Prime Minister what response he has made to the letter dated 19 May 1994 from the leader of Somerset county council concerning the Phoenix project.

The Prime Minister: My office has no trace of the letter.


Sustainable Development

Mr. Dafis: To ask the Prime Minister if he will set out the conclusions or recommendations of paragraphs 11, 19, 20, 23, 29, 31, 35, 40 and 50 of the first report of the British Government on sustainable development, together with the Government's response in each case.

The Prime Minister: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment has welcomed the first report from the Government panel on sustainable development. The Government will consider the recommendations and respond in due course.


Lockerbie

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has had from Dr. David Fieldhouse, former police surgeon at Bradford, on the discrepancies between the Foreign Secretary's explanation of events concerning himself in relation to Lockerbie in December 1988 and Dr. Fieldhouse's own account of duties as a police surgeon as agreed by the Dumfries and Galloway police.

The Prime Minister: None.


Knighthoods

Mr. Sedgmore: To ask the Prime Minister how many hon. Members have received knighthoods since the 1979 general election.

The Prime Minister: One hundred and twenty two hon. Members have received knighthoods since the 1979 general election.


Oxfordshire Education Authority

Mr. Spearing: To ask the Prime Minister, following his recent statement, how Oxfordshire education authority will be able to maintain its current pupil to teacher ratio in the financial year 1995 96.

The Prime Minister: Under local management of schools, it is for governing bodies to determine school staffing levels within the resources available to them, including reserves.


Climate Change Convention

Mr. Dafis: To ask the Prime Minister, if he will be attending the meeting of the conference of the parties of the climate change convention, in Berlin in March.

The Prime Minister: No. However, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment hopes to attend.


Engagements

Sir Peter Tapsell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 16 February.

Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 16 February.

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.


Special and Political Advisers

Mr. Hutton: To ask the Prime Minister how many ministerial special and political advisers were paid salaries in excess of the highest salary payable to a civil servant in each of the last five years; and what were the total annual salary payments to those advisers in each of those years.

The Prime Minister: None.


Single European Act

Mr. Madden: To ask the Prime Minister if he will arrange for a copy of a report he commissioned from the head of the Cabinet Office European Secretariat, concerning the policy implications arising from the opt-out negotiated by Her Majesty's Government in 1985 to the Single European Act to be placed in the Library.

The Prime Minister: No. It has been the practice of successive Administrations not to disclose policy advice.

Mr. Madden: To ask the Prime Minister, what representations he has received expressing concern at the requirement under the Single European Act on non-British citizens settled in the United Kingdom, to obtain visas before making short visits to other member states of the European Union; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: As far as I am aware, none. The Single European Act contained no provisions relating to visa requirements.


Intergovernmental Conference

Mr. Madden: To ask the Prime Minister, what action he proposes, in relation to the forthcoming intergovernmental conference, concerning the maintenance by the United Kingdom of its frontier immigration controls; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: We shall take whatever steps are necessary to maintain our frontier controls. It is too soon to decide whether we shall need to take action on this during next year's intergovernmental conference.