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1996 - PMQT Written Answers 2nd April 1996

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 2nd April 1996.


PRIME MINISTER:

Intergovernmental Conference

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister what proposals Her Majesty's Government plan to introduce to the intergovernmental conference on openness; what response has been made to the Swedish Government's proposals for right of access to official documents; and if he will place in the Library a copy of all proposals submitted by EU member state Governments and received by him to the IGC on openness.

The Prime Minister: We are committed to greater openness in the European Union and have already supported a number of proposals to achieve this. We are considering our policy on openness in the intergovernmental conference, including how to respond to the Swedish ideas for a treaty right of access to official documents. We have already placed in the Library material from other Governments setting out their policy at the intergovernmental conference, including on openness.


Engagements

Sir Peter Tapsell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 2 April.

Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 2 April.

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.


No. 10 Downing Street (Receptions)

Mr. Hall: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the dates on which the receptions were held for (a) the 45th winter ball and (b) the 46th winter ball.

The Prime Minister: A reception was held at No. 10 Downing Street for the 45th winter ball on 7 November 1994.

The reception for the 46th winter ball was not held at No. 10 Downing Street.

Mr. Hall: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list all the functions and the dates on which they took place which were held at No. 10 Downing Street since November 1990 where the costs have been met by (a) the winter ball, (b) the City and Industrial Liaison Council and (c) any of the regional industrialists councils which raise funds on behalf of the Conservative party.

The Prime Minister: Two functions have taken place where the costs were met by the winter ball. These were on 8 December 1993 and 7 November 1994. There have been no functions where the costs have been met by the City and Industrial Liaison Council or any of the regional industrialists councils which raise funds on behalf of the Conservative party.


Intelligence and Security (Committee Report)

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what action he proposes to take on concerns prompted by the Ames case and tainted intelligence referred to in paragraph 32 of the Intelligence and Security Committee report, Cm 3198;

(2) pursuant to paragraph 35, what action he proposes to take on significant lapses in the procedures for the briefing of Ministers as referred to in paragraph 32 of the Intelligence and Security Committee report, Cm 3198.

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to my letter of reply to the chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee at the front of the report in which I said:

"In the light of what your report said about the Ames case, and as you suggested at our meeting, I have myself reviewed the evidence given to you. I feel satisfied that Ministers were adequately briefed on this case and that, on the evidence so far available, damage to United Kingdom interests was not great. But these are serious issues and I look forward to seeing your conclusions following your further investigations into these matters."