The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1991Prime Minister (1990-1997)

PMQT Written Answers – 18 June 1991

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 18th June 1991.



Sign Language

Mr. Ashley : To ask the Prime Minister what is Her Majesty’s Government’s policy towards the recommendation of the EEC resolution of June 1988 to give official recognition to British sign language for the deaf.

The Prime Minister : The Government have noted the terms of the resolution on sign languages for deaf people adopted by the European Parliament in June 1988. We fully recognise the right of deaf people to use their preferred method of communication, including British sign language and have grant aided a variety of organisations concerned with the promotion and development of sign languages and other communication techniques.


Cruise Missiles

Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the departure to the United States of America of the last flight of Cruise missiles and the de-activation of 501 missile wing USAF at Greenham common.

The Prime Minister : The departure of the last cruise missiles from RAF Greenham Common on 5 March and the deactivation of the 501st Tactical Missile Wing on 4 June mark an important milestone in the implementation of the INF treaty. As well as making a vital contribution to the NATO alliance, the 501st Tactical Missile Wing has been a valuable presence in this country and welcome neighbours to the people of Newbury. The United States presence in Newbury will continue at a reduced level with the base returning to standby status.


Kurdish People

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Newport, West, of 25 April, Official Report, column 520; if he will now consider establishing safe havens in southern Iraq.

The Prime Minister : We remain very concerned by the situation of refugees in southern Iraq. We believe the best way forward is to continue our support for the work of the United Nations, including the establishment of a humanitarian centre in Basra and the expansion of relief efforts in the area. We welcome the Secretary General’s decision to send a high-level fact finding mission to the south to assess humanitarian needs.

Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Prime Minister when he will answer the letters on behalf of the organisation British Aid for the Kurds of 17 April and 11 June sent to him by Mrs. Judith P. Stubbs of Culthorpe, Chesterfield.

The Prime Minister : The letter sent in April by Mrs. Stubbs was among the 3,500 letters about Iraq and kind offers of help for the Kurds received by my office at that time. These were sent as appropriate to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Overseas Development Administration to take forward.

The ODA has been in frequent contact with British Aid for Kurds since April to offer advice on the changing types of aid that would be most useful to the Kurds as the situation developed. The ODA chartered two Iran Air flights which carried over 90 tonnes of aid collected by British Aid for the Kurds. A reply to Mrs. Stubbs’s latest letter will be sent shortly.


Energy Efficiency

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the main items of expenditure included in the £78,000 spent in 1990-91 on improving the energy efficiency of the Cabinet Office.

The Prime Minister : The main items of expenditure in the £78,000 spent during 1990-91 on improving energy efficiency in the Cabinet Office were :

Energy efficient lighting for the new residential block and roads and pathways in the grounds of the Civil Service College, Sunningdale – 48,766 pounds

Energy audits of various buildings including Nos. 10-12 Downing Street – 7,245 pounds

Energy efficient lighting scheme for 70 Whitehall – 22,000 pounds



Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 18 June.

Mr. Ray Powell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 18 June.

The Prime Minister : This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today.


“Blueprint for Football”

Mr. Pendry : To ask the Prime Minister what support Her Majesty’s Government intend to offer to the “Blueprint for Football” launched by the Professional Footballers Association on 6 June; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 17 June 1991] : We welcome any new initiative that will promote greater unity in the leadership of the game and help football raise the necessary funds to implement Lord Justice Taylor’s recommendations and thereby improve standards of safety and comfort for spectators. My hon. Friend the Minister for Sport has had discussions with the Professional Footballers Association, the Football Association, the Football League and representatives of the supporters’ associations to hear their various proposals for the future of the game. He has not indicated a view on any of them other than to welcome them as a contribution to the debate. He has made it clear that decisions are for football alone to take.


Birmingham Olympiad

Sir Neil Macfarlane : To ask the Prime Minister if he has any plans to meet the president of the International Olympic Committee during the Olympiad in Birmingham ; what functions the Government intend to host during that event ; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 17 June 1991] : I have not yet had the opportunity of meeting the president of the International Olympic Committee. However, the Minister for Sport was present at the opening of the 97th congress of the IOC in Birmingham and had discussions with the president, other senior officials and members of the IOC. The Government were not invited to host any functions.