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1995 - PMQT Written Answers 13th July 1995

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 13th July 1995.


PRIME MINISTER:

West Midlands (Visit)

9. Mr. Thomason: To ask the Prime Minister what proposals he has to visit the west midlands and the Bromsgrove constituency in particular.

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


Prime Ministerial Duties

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Prime Minister what proportion of his time he devoted to his duties as Prime Minister between 23 June and 4 July.

The Prime Minister: I was Prime Minister throughout the entire period in question.


Government Cars

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister what make and type of Government car is allocated to the Prime Minister; and what is the cost of this vehicle to the Exchequer; including the annual cost of the chauffeur.

The Prime Minister: I have been allocated a Daimler Majestic as my official car. The annual running cost, which includes a number of security measures, is some £100,000. This also includes maintenance and the cost of a chauffeur.


French Nuclear Tests

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has received from the Governments of (a) Australia and (b) New Zealand about French nuclear tests in the Pacific; and what Commonwealth representations he proposes to make to the French Government.

The Prime Minister: We are in regular contact with both Governments and are aware of their views. The United Kingdom does not act on behalf of the Commonwealth.

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will protest to the French Government against (a) the proposed French nuclear tests in the Pacific and (b) the French Government's action against the Rainbow Warrior.

The Prime Minister: No.

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Prime Minister on which occasions he has raised the issue of French nuclear testing within institutions of the European Union.

The Prime Minister: I have discussed nuclear testing with President Chirac on a number of occasions. I have not considered it necessary to do so within institutions of the EU.


Public Interest Immunity Certificates

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list details of the occasions during the past 30 years when public interest immunity certificates have been signed indicating the Minister concerned, the Department and the subject matter to which the certificate was related.

The Prime Minister: The information as requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate costs.


Prime Minister's Questions

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Prime Minister who will be answering oral questions addressed to him when he cannot be present in the House.

The Prime Minister: The First Secretary of State and Deputy Prime Minister will answer oral questions addressed to me when I cannot be present in the House.


Prime Ministerial Offices

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the offices in 10 Downing Street available to him for his official duties, together with the size of such offices, measured in square feet.

The Prime Minister: A study is available, which measures approximately 370 sq ft. The Cabinet room and other rooms in No. 10 Downing Street are used for Government business. These amount in total to 4,343 sq ft.


Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister, what role in the presentation and co-ordination of Government policy will be filled by the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary.

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Ainger) on 11 July, Official Report, column 496.

Mr. Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister what level has been set for the annual salary of the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State.

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Pendle (Mr. Prentice) on 11 July, Official Report, column 496.

Mr. Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister what will be the duties and responsibilities of the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary.

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Ainger) on 11 July, Official Report, column 496.

Mr. Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister how many rooms in the Cabinet Office have been allocated to the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary and his staff.

The Deputy Prime Minister: I have been asked to reply. Four rooms in the Cabinet Office have been allocated to the First Secretary of State and Deputy Prime Minister and his staff.

Mr. Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister if he will estimate the annual cost of running the offices and department of the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary, indicating (a) staff costs and (b) rentable value of accommodation occupied.

The Deputy Prime Minister: I have been asked to reply. The currently estimated annual cost of running the Cabinet Office (Office of Public Service), including the office of the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary, is £80 million of which £32 million relates to staff costs and £5 million is in respect of accommodation.

Mr. Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the fixtures and fittings ordered for the office of the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State with particular reference to (a) carpets and (b) pictures.

The Deputy Prime Minister: I have been asked to reply. No fixtures or fittings have been ordered for the First Secretary of State and Deputy Prime Minister's office. The carpet and pictures were in place and the furniture came from existing stocks.

Mr. Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister what is the size, in square feet, of the new office of the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary, located in the Cabinet Office.

The Deputy Prime Minister: I have been asked to reply. The size of the First Secretary of State and Deputy Prime Minister's office is 872 sq ft.

Mr. Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister what refurbishment work is (a) completed, (b) under way and (c) planned for the offices of the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary and his staff; and what is his estimate of the costs of such work.

The Deputy Prime Minister: I have been asked to reply. None.

Mr. Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister, how many (a) telephones, (b) fax machines, (c) photocopiers and (d) computers have been and will be allocated to the offices and department of the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary; and what is the estimated value of the items obtained in each of the above categories.

The Deputy Prime Minister: I have been asked to reply. The following items have been allocated to the offices of the First Secretary of State and Deputy Prime Minister and his private office staff.

                                                      |Cost excluding VAT                                  

                           |Quantity                  |£                                                   

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Telephones                 |10                        |590                                                 

Facsimile machines         |1                         |1,425                                               

Photocopiers               |1                         |4,017 (annual hire charge)                          

Computers/printers         |7/3                       |12,469                                              

Information for the Office of Public Service and its agencies could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what will be the design features of stationery created for the office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

(2) what orders for new stationery have been placed by the offices and Department of the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary; and what the cost of such orders will be.

The Deputy Prime Minister: I have been asked to reply. The stationery for the office of the First Secretary of State and Deputy Prime Minister features the crest used by the Cabinet Office and "Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State". Orders for stationery have so far been placed to an estimated value of £75.


Rose Garden Announcement

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his answer of 4 July, which of the means proposed to remunerate the public purse will be used in the particular case of the rose garden announcement of 22 June.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 10 July 1995]: My announcement on 22 June took place during the normal working hours of No. 10 Downing street. Any additional costs to the public purse were de minimis and, in accordance with long-standing practice, no charge will be levied.