Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 19th December 1991.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will bring forward legislation to provide that Secretaries of State must be members of the Cabinet;
(2) if he will bring forward legislation to amend the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 to allow the Lord Chancellor to be a Member of the House of Commons;
(3) if he will bring forward legislation to abolish the post of Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chancellor’s Department, and to establish in their place a Secretary of State for Law and a Department of Law;
(4) if he will bring forward legislation to replace the title of Secretary of State by the title of Cabinet Minister;
(5) if he will bring forward legislation to provide that the Attorney-General must be a member of either the Commons or the Lords.
The Prime Minister : No.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to make available to the Governments of the Republics of the former Soviet Union, United Kingdom expertise in (a) civil and military nuclear technology, (b) environmental pollution abatement and (c) food distribution.
The Prime Minister : United Kingdom expertise in civil uses of nuclear power and food distribution can be made available to the republics of the former Soviet Union under the auspices of our know-how fund. A separate fund for tackling environmental problems will come into operation next year. We are studying how we might help the republics reduce the risks of the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list in the Official Report those topics on which the institutions of the European Community will not possess a basis of views for any opinion, recommendations, legislation, expenditure or adjudication, consequent to the adoption of the draft treaties agreed at Maastricht.
The Prime Minister : The provisions of the treaty on European union agreed at Maastricht, a copy of which is in the Library of the House, make clear the conditions under which the institutions of the European Community may act.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the legal qualifications necessary for appointment as (a) Lord Chancellor and (b) Attorney-General.
The Prime Minister : The Lord Chancellor must be a person able to discharge duties as the president of the supreme court of judicature–that is, the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the Crown court–and also as the presiding chairman of the House of Lords in its judicial capacity. In order that he or she may represent the Crown in each of the Queen’s courts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Attorney-General is a member of the Bar of England and Wales.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 19 December.
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.