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1996 - PMQT Written Answers 4th July 1996

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 4th July 1996.


PRIME MINISTER:

Hafez Dalkamoni

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the answer of 13 May, Official Report, column 362, about the release of Hafez Dalkamoni, in what circumstances the release by one country of a prisoner who is a national of another country is not solely a matter for the authority of the detaining country; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: I have nothing to add to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to the hon. Member for Eastwood (Mr. Stewart), on 17 January 1996, Official Report, column 590, other than that Mr. Dalkamoni was released on 27 June and deported to Syria.


Constitution (Referendum)

Mr. Bill Walker: To ask the Prime Minister what legislative provisions are currently in force which would enable a referendum on the constitution to be held in Scotland; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: None. Powers previously taken in 1975 and in 1978 to hold referendums have been repealed.


G7 Summit, Lyons

Mr. Dafis: To ask the Prime Minister what proposals to move the world economy closer to ecological sustainability he made to the Group of Seven summit in Lyons.

The Prime Minister: The subject of ecological sustainability was not discussed at Lyon. I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Hexham (Mr. Atkinson), on 2 July, Official Report, columns 425-27.


Engagements

Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 4 July.

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.


Ministers

Mr. Allen: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the average length of time served by (a) Secretaries of State, (b) Ministers of State and (c) Under-Secretaries in each Government Department since he became Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister: This is a matter of public record.


Parliamentary Pay and Allowances

Mr. Dover: To ask the Prime Minister when the Government plan to publish the report by the Senior Salaries Review Body on parliamentary pay and allowances.

The Prime Minister: The Government have now considered report No. 38 from the Senior Salaries Review Body on parliamentary pay and allowances. The Government are grateful to the review body for undertaking this complex remit so promptly. The report is being published today--as Command Paper 3330--and copies are available from the Vote Office.

Following representations made during the Government's consultations with other parties on the report, the Government will table motions to allow the House to consider whether it wishes to implement the recommendations of the report in full.

The Government themselves, however, are clear that the recommended increases for Members' and Ministers' pay are too high and that the motions to give effect to these should not be passed in current circumstances. They will therefore oppose the motions and will table motions to bring into effect an increase in the salary of a Back-Bench Member from £34,085 to £35,108, that is by 3 per cent., with effect from 1 July 1996, and for similar increases in the pay of Ministers and other office holders. The Government will also table motions to implement the report's recommendation that further increases should take effect from 1 April each year and should be linked to movements in senior civil service pay bands.