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1996 - PMQT Written Answers 27th February 1996

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 27th February 1996.


PRIME MINISTER:

Departmental Officials (Interest)

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the officials in his Department who have declared a current interest; what requirement are placed on officials to declare relevant interests; in what form records of such declarations are kept; and if he will establish a central register of officials' interests.

The Prime Minister: For these purposes my office forms part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given today by my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service.


Ministerial Accountability

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to paragraph K8.1 of the Scott report relating to ministerial accountability, what additional measures he proposes to ensure his Department's compliance with paragraph 27 of "Questions of Procedure for Ministers".

The Prime Minister [holding answer 26 February 1996]: I refer the hon. Member to the speech made by my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade on 26 February 1996, Official Report, columns 589-604.


EDS Ltd.

Ms Eagle: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list those contracts his Department currently holds with EDS Ltd., indicating for each the (a) date of inception, (b) value and (c) duration.

The Prime Minister: For this purpose, my office is part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given today by my right hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service.


Cabinet Working Group on Iraqi Procurement

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list all members of the Cabinet working group on Iraqi procurement between 25 May 1989 and 25 February 1990.

The Prime Minister: The members of the working group on Iraqi procurement were officials drawn from the Departments concerned. It is not the practice to publish the membership of official committees.


Ministerial Duties

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to ensure that conventions regulating ministerial duties are codified by legislation.

The Prime Minister: No. I believe that ministerial duties to Parliament should be supervised by Parliament.


Engagements

Sir Peter Tapsell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 27 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.


Live Animal Exports

Sir Terence Higgins: To ask the Prime Minister if the speech by the Secretary of State for Agriculture to the annual general meeting of the Devon members of the National Farmers' Union on the export of live animals represents Government policy.

The Prime Minister: My right hon. Friend the Minister set out his views on the export of live animals very clearly in his speech on 15 January. They are consistent with the views expressed in the House on previous occasions.


2001 Census

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Prime Minister how many representations his office received (a) in favour of and (b) against the setting up of a census office for Wales (i) in respect of the 1991 census and (ii) in respect of the 2001 census; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: So far as I am aware, none. I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave him on 23 January 1996, Official Report, column 141.

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to ensure that the format of the 2001 census forms conform with the provisions of the Welsh Language Act 1993; if he will make it his policy to consult the Welsh Language Board in preparing census forms; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: The content and format of the 2001 census form are not yet decided. However, the Registrar General will ensure that the forms conform with the Welsh Language Act 1993, consulting other bodies as required.

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to include in the 2001 census a question to discover how many people throughout the United Kingdom can understand, read and write the Welsh language.

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to him on 23 January 1996, Official Report, column 141.


Hong Kong

Mr. Byers: To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to meet David Tang, Jimmy Lai, Morris Nourari, Stanley Ho and Li Kash Ing during his forthcoming visit to Hong Kong.

The Prime Minister: I naturally hope to meet a broad range of business men, politicians and other opinion formers.