Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 24th May 1993.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Prime Minister if civil service (a) terms and conditions and (b) codes of conduct apply to special advisers attached to Ministers in Government.
The Prime Minister : Special advisers have generally the same conditions of service as other civil servants, except that their salaries are negotiated individually in relation to previous earnings and are confidential. Different arrangements apply to severance pay. They are, however, normally paid on a special advisers’ salary spine of 30 points.
Special advisers are subject to the same rules of conduct as other civil servants, with the exception of the rules on the acceptance of outside appointments after resignation or retirement and certain aspects of the rules on political activities.
European Parliament (Elections)
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the Government’s policy regarding the de Gucht report on elections to the European Parliament.
The Prime Minister : We are ready to discuss the issue in Council when the presidency decides to table the report. If the council were to reach a consensus, which remains to be seen, it would certainly need to respect different national traditions. We acknowledge the attempt made by the de Gucht report to take these considerations into account.
Nuclear Test Veterans
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Prime Minister if he will sympathetically consider any request to meet representatives of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : Studies so far have shown that the incidence of death and malignant disease has been no greater among British nuclear test veterans than among the general population. If, however, the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association has any new evidence to change the position, I should be pleased to examine it and will readily consider any subsequent request for a meeting in that light.
British Coal Superannuation Scheme
Mr. Tipping : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the correspondence he has received about the British Coal staff superannuation scheme.
The Prime Minister : I have received a substantial number of representations on a wide range of coal issues.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list all those organisations and companies, other than the Manufacturing and Construction Industries Alliance, from which he has received recent representations concerning the crossrail project.
The Prime Minister : I have received representations in recent weeks from the following organisations and companies :
Aylesbury Vale District Council
Buckinghamshire County Council
London Chambers Network
Residents’ Association of Mayfair
Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The Corporation of the City of London
Mr. Elletson : To ask the Prime Minister what is the total cost of Britain’s contribution to the peace process in the former Yugoslavia.
The Prime Minister : The costs cannot be precisely calculated but are considerable in the military, political and humanitarian fields. Up to 31 March 1993, the United Kingdom’s contribution to UNPROFOR operations in Croatia and Bosnia has amounted to £93,835,679. Further expenditure of £2,576,831 has been incurred as a result of the airlift of humanitarian supplies to Sarajevo. We expect to recover a proportion of these costs from the United Nations in due course.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Prime Minister when he last met representatives of the European Commission to discuss the application of the additionality principle by (a) the United Kingdom and (b) other member states; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : I last discussed additionality with the Commission and other EC Heads of State and Government at the European Council in Edinburgh. We agreed that the basic principles laid down in 1988 – concentration, programming, partnership and additionality–should continue to guide the implementation of the structural funds. Financial control more generally will be strengthened and greater emphasis will be given to appraisal, monitoring and evaluation. The current review of the structural funds regulations is examining the Commission’s proposal on additionality.
European Court of Human Rights
Mr. Allen : To ask the Prime Minister what proposals he intends to bring to the Council of Europe Heads of State summit in October with regard to the European Court of Human Rights; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, at its meeting at Strasbourg on 14 May, instructed that work should proceed urgently on the mandate for a draft protocol amending the European convention on human rights, to be submitted to Heads of State and Government at the Council of Europe summit in October. The United Kingdom will contribute fully to this work.
The purpose of the draft protocol will be to reform the control machinery of the convention, in order to accommodate the growing workload of the European Court and Commission of Human Rights and to ensure that cases are heard in good time. All member states are agreed that such reform is urgently needed.