Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 17th March 1994.
Mr. Kenneth Baker : To ask the Prime Minister whether the 30-year rule applies to the handwritten records of each Cabinet meeting; and, after the lapse of this time, whether they will be open to public scrutiny.
The Prime Minister : The Cabinet Secretary’s handwritten records of Cabinet meetings are regarded as subject to the Public Records Acts which make provision for the release of public records after 30 years. Section 3(4) of the 1958 Act permits the retention of such records for longer than 30 years, subject to the Lord Chancellor’s approval.
The question of the release of the notebooks was considered in the summer of 1993, in accordance with a recommendation in the Wilson committee’s report on “Modern Public Records”, Cmnd. 8204. The Lord Chancellor has approved the continued retention of the notebooks. It is proposed that a further review will take place in 10 years’ time.
Sir Peter Tapsell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 17 March.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 17 March.
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.