The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1995Prime Minister (1990-1997)

PMQT Written Answers – 9 May 1995

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 9th May 1995.




Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 9 May 1995.

Sir Peter Tapsell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 9 May.

Mr. Newton: I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is currently on an official visit to Moscow as part of the VE day commemorations.


Bank Holidays

Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Prime Minister which of his Ministers has responsibility for designation of bank holidays in (a) Scotland, (b) England, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland.

The Prime Minister: Bank holidays are designated in the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971. Power to vary the specified dates or to designate additional dates is exercisable by Her Majesty by royal proclamation or in the case of Northern Ireland by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. By virtue of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s overall responsibility for the 1971 Act, the Treasury currently co-ordinates advice on any designations for royal proclamation in consultation with other Departments as necessary.


St. Paul’s Angels’ Nursery

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Prime Minister if he expects to make a further visit to St. Paul’s Angels’ nursery before September.

The Prime Minister: I currently have no plans to do so.


Public Records

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will introduce legislation to prohibit individuals, acting in a private capacity, from charging for the reproduction of any document or other material produced directly or indirectly in the service of the Crown.

The Prime Minister: No. Such legislation is not necessary. It is already the law, under section 163 of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988, that Crown copyright subsists in any work made by an officer or servant of the Crown in the course of his or her duties.

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will publish the whole of the correspondence with the Churchill family and their advisers relating to the expenditure of £13.5 million on the purchase of public and other records created during Sir Winston Churchill’s periods of office as well as the records of all meetings of the commission with the Churchill Trust to discuss the matter.

The Prime Minister: No, it is not my normal practice to publish private correspondence.

Contrary to the impression given in the question, no public records were purchased. The national lottery memorial fund funded the purchase of non-state papers; the Government have transferred the state papers so that the whole archive is preserved, intact, at Churchill College.


Historical Documents

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Prime Minister what special training is given to persons who have responsibility for assessing the historical significance of documents held by his Department.

The Prime Minister: Training and assessing the historical significance of departmental records is carried out under guidance of the Keeper of Public Records. It is provided in a number of different ways, including courses on the appraisal of records and through conferences and seminars arranged by the Public Record Office.