The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1994Prime Minister (1990-1997)

PMQT Written Answers – 26 January 1994

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 26th January 1994.




Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will place in the Library the information note prepared by his private secretary on 3 December 1990 on options for responding to allegations published in The Sunday Times on United Kingdom assistance to the Iraqi machine tool industry;

(2) if he will place in the Library a copy of the chronology of United Kingdom trade with Iraq, including the export guideline milestones, prepared for his office by the Cabinet Office in November 1992;

(3) if he will place in the Library the briefing note prepared for him in support of his answer to the right hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Ashdown) of 12 November 1992, Official Report, column 990.

The Prime Minister : No. All the relevant documents have been made available to the Scott inquiry.


Christmas Cards

Mr. Bayley : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 18 January, Official Report, column 456, how many official Christmas cards he sent out in 1993; and how much this cost.

The Prime Minister : Nine hundred; the direct total cost of purchase and dispatch to the Prime Minister’s office was approximately £205. The cost of the other cards I send does not fall on official funds.


Trinidad Terms

Mr. Pike : To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he has had in the last six months regarding the Trinidad terms; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : Under the existing Trinidad terms, which resulted from my personal initiative, 18 countries have benefited. Over $4 billion of debt has been restructured and nearly $2 billion will be reduced over the lifetime of the individual agreements. We expect more countries to benefit over the coming months. These terms have the effect of halving the payments due to creditors and give a commitment to consider restructuring the whole stock of a country’s eligible debt after a good track record of economic reform has been established. This would lead to significant additional relief for indebted countries in the medium term.

At the G7 Tokyo summit last July, I secured agreement that improved debt reduction terms should be considered for the poorest and most indebted countries, including, for the first time, earlier action case by case on reducing the whole stock of debt – a key Trinidad terms objective.

The United Kingdom is active in the Paris club and elsewhere in seeking co-ordinated action by creditors on the comprehensive debt reduction which these countries need, the Government miss no opportunity for urging other creditors to make progress.


Second World War Commemorations

Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will ensure that recognition is given in the commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the Normandy landings to the contribution made by the construction of Mulberry harbours at the town of Tilbury; (2) if he will consult on ways to commemorate the sacrifices made, and the contribution to victory given, by dock workers and dockland communities throughout the United Kingdom during the Second World War.

The Prime Minister : The Government’s programme for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landings was announced on 6 January : I have arranged for details to be placed in the House Library. Included in the programme is a dinner at the Portsmouth guild hall and representatives of those who designed and built specialised equipment such as the Mulberry harbour will be invited.

Plans are also being made for an official commemorative event in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. This will be a national event involving not only the armed forces, but those civilian organisations which served this country during the war. It pays tribute to all those who sacrificed so much during the Second World War.



Mr. Madden : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer on 17 January, Official Report, column 367, if he will place in the Library a copy of the unsigned letter on Mr. Adams’s headed notepaper, dated 7 January, which he recently received.

The Prime Minister : I have done so.