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 – 2 December 1991

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 2nd December 1991.



Irish Republic (Legislation)

Mr. Stanbrook : To ask the Prime Minister of the 32 applications by the United Kingdom under the Irish Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act 1976, referred to in his written answer of Monday 11 November, Official Report, column 352, how many cases have been prosecuted in the Irish Republic for offences committed in the United Kingdom; and with what results.

The Prime Minister : I refer my hon. Friend to the answer that my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General gave to him on 19 December 1988 at column 94, and to the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North, (Mr. McNamara) on 14 May 1990 at column 280. These answers give information about the outcome of cases prosecuted in the Irish Republic following the 31 applications (and not 32 as stated on Monday 11 November at column 352 ) made by the United Kingdom authorities.


Child Care

Mr. Peter Bottomley : To ask the Prime Minister if he will arrange to circulate to other departmental parliamentary clerks a summary of the papers and index on child care made available to European Standing Committee B as a good example of content and presentation.

The Prime Minister : I am glad that my hon. Friend regarded those papers as a good example of content and presentation. I do not propose to circulate the documents to other Departments, but I am sure that they will have noted my hon. Friend’s comment.


National Lottery

Mr. Peter Bottomley : To ask the Prime Minister what study has been made of a national lottery; and what consideration has been given to the objectives of a scheme and objections to it.

The Prime Minister : The Rothschild Royal Commission on Gambling, which reported in 1978, studied the matter in detail and recommended that there should be a single national lottery for good causes. A number of organisations have since undertaken studies of the merits of a national lottery, and the Government have kept the matter under review.

The objective most frequently suggested for a national lottery is to raise money for good causes.

Among the many other factors which have to be considered are the implications for gambling and the revenue raised, the impact on existing local charitable lotteries and charitable giving generally, and the use of the proceeds.



Mr. Meacher : To ask the Prime Minister, further to his answer, 19 November, Official Report, column 95 what is the total number of whole-time employees employed by the six departments and agencies which exceeded a 3 per cent. level of staff registered as disabled; and what percentage this is of total employees of all departments and agencies.

The Prime Minister : The total number of full-time equivalent staff employed by the six departments and agencies is 57,400. This is 10.4 per cent. of all full-time equivalent staff in the home civil service.


Sterling (German Support)

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Prime Minister what understandings he reached with the German Chancellor about German support of the £ sterling.

The Prime Minister : It has been the practice of successive Governments not to disclose details of intervention in the foreign exchange markets.


British Youth Council

Mrs. Currie : To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to meet representatives of the British Youth Council to discuss a range of issues of concern to young people in the United Kingdom.

The Prime Minister : I am well aware of the valuable work of the British Youth Council (BYC) in representing our young people, but I have no immediate plans for a meeting. I understand, however, that a meeting is shortly to be arranged between my hon. Friend the Minister for Sport and representatives of the BYC to discuss youth issues which fall within the responsibilities of the Department of Education and Science.


Welsh Research Organisations

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Prime Minister when the mid-Wales meeting of research organisations in Wales, to be convened by the Cabinet Office, in the autumn of 1991 to encourage greater participation in collaborative projects under the aegis of European Community framework funds for research and development, that was referred to in his letter to the hon. Member for Cardiff, West in August 1991, will take place; how many organisations have been invited to attend; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : The event that I referred to in my letter of 1 August took place in Rossett, Clwyd on 15 November. This seminar was organised by the Mid Wales Export Association Ltd., with sponsorship from the Welsh Office. It included speakers from the Cabinet Office, various directorates of the European Commission, and Welsh businesses. The seminar provided up-to-date information on current and future developments in ECR and D funding for representatives of businesses and research organisations. Thirty-two companies and research organisations took part in the seminar.


Special Financial Allowance

Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the public duties undertaken by former Prime Ministers for which the special financial allowance is provided.

The Prime Minister : The allowance that I announced on 27 March is available to former Prime Ministers to assist them with the heavy office and secretarial expenses they incur in handling correspondence and engagements as a result of their special position in public life.


Sunday Trading

Mr. Michael : To ask the Prime Minister for what reasons he decided not to introduce legislation in the current session to provide a new legal framework for the regulation of Sunday trading.

The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave to the hon. Member for Preston (Mrs. Wise) on 28 November at column 1066 and the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State, Home Office, on 27 November at column 919.