Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 1st November 1993.
Vietnamese Prime Minister
Mr. Alton : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 16 July, Official Report, columns 11-12, what action has been taken on the specific human rights cases raised with the Vietnamese Prime Minister during his visit to the United Kingdom.
The Prime Minister : Our embassy in Hanoi continues to raise our human rights concerns with the Vietnamese authorities, most recently on 15 October when the cases of Thich Huyen Quang and the three monks arrested in Hue in May were discussed.
Speeches (Party Conferences)
Mr. Betts : To ask the Prime Minister to what extent civil servants may assist Ministers in drafting speeches delivered at party conferences.
The Prime Minister : Civil servants may provide briefing of a factual nature for Ministers on matters relating to their own Departments. In addition, Ministers in preparing for a conference can draw upon material produced by their Department during the normal course of business.
Writs (Cabinet Ministers)
Mr. Betts : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the Cabinet Ministers whose legal costs arising from writs against them issued by individuals have been wholly or partly met from public funds in the past month.
The Prime Minister : I know of no such cases.
Mr. Madel : To ask the Prime Minister what proposals he has to change the 1993-94 cash limit or running costs limit for the Cabinet Office : other services vote.
The Prime Minister : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the running costs limit for the Cabinet Office : other services vote (class XIX, vote 1) will be increased by £1,901,000 from £22,513,000 to £24,414,000. At the same time, the cash limit will be increased by £3,321,000 from £18,313, 000 to £21,634,000. This increase reflects the residual transfer of certain administrative functions, following the machinery of government changes announced after the general election, and provides for the transfer of certain other administrative functions and the move to repayment for some common service support as follows :
(a) transfer or running costs provision for superannuation awarding services (£1,617,000);
(b) transfer of running costs provision for central services previously funded by Cabinet Office : Office of Public Service and Science (class XVIII, vote 1) which is offset by an inter-vote payment by that department (£16,000);
(c) transfer of running costs provision (£80,000) for central services offset by a reduction on HM Treasury : administration (class XVII, vote 1);
(d) transfer of running costs provision for information services (£249,000) and some central services (£128,000) offset by an increase on Cabinet Office : Office of Public Service and Science (class XVIII,vote 1);
(e) increased appropriations in aid following the transfer of provision for certain central services offset by increases on Department of National Heritage (class XI, vote 7) (£231,000), Central Statistical Office (class XVII, vote 14) (£155,000) and Inland Revenue (class XVII, vote 6) (£12,000).
In addition, as announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 14 July 1993, Official Report, cols. 512-17, this vote is eligible for a cash limit increase of £868,000 in respect of the end year flexibility arrangements for capital expenditure. This supplementary estimate gives effect to the increase. All the increases are either offset by inter-departmental transfers or have been charged to the Reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.