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 – 21 February 1994

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 21st February 1994.



Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 17 December, Official Report, column 958, what reply has been sent to the Members of the United States Congress, Japanese Diet and hon. and right hon. Members on their appeal for a review and public inquiry on THORP; and on what date.

The Prime Minister : My hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment and Countryside replied to right hon. and hon. Members on 16 February.


Royal Family (Education)

Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on Her Majesty’s Government’s policy in respect of the education and upbringing of those in line to the throne.

The Prime Minister : No. This has traditionally been regarded as a matter for the royal family.


International Investments Ltd., Gibraltar

Mr. Beggs : To ask the Prime Minister if he will ask the Prime Minister of the Irish Republic to appoint a High Court inspector to investigate International Investments Ltd., Gibraltar–in liquidation–and its associated companies in the Irish Republic during their next meeting.

The Prime Minister : No. The Royal Ulster Constabulary is, however, carrying out investigations into the affairs of International Investments Ltd., with the assistance of the authorities in the Republic of Ireland.


Government Leader

Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Prime Minister which Minister is authorised in the event of his temporary incapacity through injury of illness, to head the Government in the immediate period following such incapacity and before Her Majesty the Queen is able to make a temporary appointment of a chief Minister.

The Prime Minister : The arrangements made would depend on the circumstances at the time.


Highfield Hospital

Mr. Burden : To ask the Prime Minister what response he has made to the letters sent to him by the Save Highfield Hospital Campaign on 20 November 1993 and 31 January 1994 and to the petition on Highfield hospital which was handed in to 10 Downing Street on 20 November 1993; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health has replied on my behalf.


Devon and Cornwall

Mr. Streeter : To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will list the results of the Government’s policies in Devon and Cornwall since 1983; and if he will make a statement;

(2) whether he will list, by Government Department, the principal aid given to Devon and Cornwall in each year since 1983.

The Prime Minister : Since 1983, the Department of Trade and Industry policy and programmes have committed more than £71.4 million in grants and loans to industry and commerce in Devon and Cornwall. This has created or safeguarded more than 21,000 jobs spread across 3,363 companies.

In addition, the Devon and Cornwall Development Bureau has received over £4.25 million to assist in the attraction of inward investment to the two counties. Overseas investment in the area was more than £164 million.

Government policies of low inflation, low interest rates and less regulation provide the foundation for growth across the country.


Public Appointments

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Hazel Grove (Sir T. Arnold) of 4 February, Official Report, column 972, if he will give those details on the number of public appointments made by Ministers or by the Crown or nominations by Ministers that can be compiled without incurring disproportionate cost.

The Prime Minister : I have nothing further to add to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Hazel Grove on 4 February 1994, Official Report, column 972.


Design Council

Mr. Bayley : To ask the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library a copy of the representations that he has received from Mr. Ivor Owen, the former director-general of the Design Council, about the British railway manufacturing industry, together with a copy of his reply to Mr. Owen.

The Prime Minister : As far as I am aware, I have received no such letter.


Official Gifts

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the official gifts he has received since November 1990.

The Prime Minister : No.


Council of Europe

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister how many conventions have been agreed by the Council of Europe since 1964; and how many have been acceded to by Her Majesty’s Government in full or in part.

The Prime Minister : Seventy-two conventions have been agreed by the Council of Europe since–and including–1964. The Government have acceded to 34 of these and signed, but not yet ratified, a further seven.



Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he is having with President Clinton and President Mitterrand about the increase in malnutrition-related marasmus and other diseases in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates.

The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 25 January, Official Report, column 153. We are also in regular touch with France over Iraq, including the humanitarian situation.


Departmental Accounting Officers

Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the occasions since 1979 when Ministers have issued written instructions to override a Department’s accounting officer’s objections.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 2 February 1994] : The issue of such an instruction is entirely a matter for the Minister and accounting officer concerned. Therefore, no central records are maintained.


Pergau Project

Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Prime Minister when he was first informed that the Foreign Secretary intended to issue a direction to the accounting officer in respect of the Pergau project.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 10 February 1994] : In February 1991.



Mr. Rogers : To ask the Prime Minister on how many occasions Tan Sri Arumugam, joint managing director, GEC-Malaysia, has visited his office in the past three years; and if he will list the occasions.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 17 February 1994] : Once, in 1992, on the occasion of an official dinner for the Prime Minister of Malaysia.


President Yeltsin

Mr. Wareing : To ask the Prime Minister what views he received from President Yeltsin on the NATO ultimatum to the Bosnian Serbs during his discussion with him on Tuesday 15 February; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 18 February 1994] : I described the specific terms of the North Atlantic Council’s response to the United Nations Secretary General’s request for NATO assistance at Sarajevo. I agreed with President Yeltsin that our objectives were the same. Both the United Kingdom and Russia wanted to see an effective ceasefire implemented in Sarajevo, with heavy weapons brought under United Nations control. We both strongly supported the negotiations for a peaceful settlement.

We discussed President Yeltsin’s decision to send a personal emissary to Belgrade. He told me that he was considering sending additional Russian troops to assist UNPROFOR in maintaining control over heavy weapons. I welcomed this, and agreed with President Yeltsin that it was important for Russia and her western partners in the European Union and the United States to use their channels of influence to promote a ceasefire in Sarajevo and an overall settlement. President Yeltsin stressed that Russia wished to be a full participant in this process, and I welcome his Government’s announcement on 17 February that the additional forces will be made available to UNPROFOR.


Regional Offices

Mr. Rendel : To ask the Prime Minister which of Her Majesty’s Government’s Departments have been incorporated into integrated regional offices since 1992.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 18 February 1994] : New Government offices for the regions will come into being in April, combining the existing regional offices of the Departments of the Environment, of Employment, of Trade and Industry and of Transport.