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1996 - PMQT Written Answers 21st November 1996

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 21st November 1996.


PRIME MINISTER:

European Year Against Racism

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Prime Minister what plans Her Majesty's Government have to mark European Year Against Racism in 1997.

The Prime Minister: The Government believe that the European Year Against Racism will make a valuable contribution to the work already being carried out to combat racism and we intend to take a full and active part in the initiative to ensure its success.

We are setting up a national co-ordinating committee which will oversee this work in the United Kingdom. The committee will be chaired by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Department, and I understand that the first meeting is due to take place on 2 December.


Engagements

Sir Peter Tapsell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 21 November.

Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 21 November.

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.


Government Information (Access)

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Prime Minister on how many occasions part 7, paragraphs (a) and (b) of the code of practice on access to Government information has been used to deny information to hon. Members in each of the last three years, broken down by Government Departments and their agencies.

The Prime Minister: The information in the detail requested is not held centrally. Monitoring reports, showing progress in implementing the code of practice on access to Government information, are produced each year by the Office of Public Service. These include a breakdown of the exemptions cited when a refusal to provide information under the code results in a review of the case, but not a breakdown of the exemptions cited when the refusal is initially made. Copies of the monitoring reports published in March 1995 and March 1996 are available in the Libraries of the House.


EU General Affairs Council

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he or his Ministers have had with European Union Commissioners or officials on matters to be considered at the General Affairs Council on 25 November.

The Prime Minister: We have regular discussions with our European colleagues on all matters to be considered at the forthcoming General Affairs Council.

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Prime Minister who will be representing the Government at the General Affairs Council on 25 November.

The Prime Minister: My right hon. and learned Friend, the Foreign Secretary and the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the hon. Member for Boothferry, (Mr. Davis) will represent Her Majesty's Government at the General Affairs Council on 25 November.