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 – 10 July 1995

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 10th July 1995.



Judicial Appointments

Mr. Mullin: To ask the Prime Minister on how many occasions in the last 10 years he has declined to pass on to Her Majesty recommendations from the Lord Chancellor’s Department in respect of senior appointments.

The Prime Minister: It is on the basis of the Lord Chancellor’s advice that I make recommendations to Her Majesty the Queen for appointments to the senior judiciary, but the advice from the Lord Chancellor in respect of these appointments is a confidential matter, as is the use I make of it.


Bank of England

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister in which periods since 1965 there has been a trade union leader as a member of the court of the Bank of England; what plans he has to appoint a successor to Sir Gavin Laird; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: The following trade union leaders have been directors of the Bank of England since 1965; Sir William Carron, 1963 to 1969; Sir Sidney Greene, 1970 to 1978; Mr. Geoffrey Drain, 1978 to 1986; Sir Gavin Laird, 1986 to 1994. Members of the court are not appointed to represent particular institutions or organisations. The aim is always to appoint the best people to advise the Governor and other executive directors of the bank.


Former Prisoners of War

Mr. Madden: To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has made to the Japanese Government since his visit to Japan in 1993 about examining whether non-governmental measures would assist in the provision of compensation for British prisoners of war; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: I have been in contact with successive Japanese Prime Ministers about these matters, including my present counterpart, Mr. Murayama. Although our proposal for a non-governmental foundation did not prove to be feasible, we are pursuing our discussions with the Japanese Government about other possible approaches. Those efforts will continue.


Air Strikes (Bosnia)

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Prime Minister what consideration led to the decision not to carry out air strikes to protect the UN designated safe areas including the capital of Bosnia; what agreement has been reached with the Serbians regarding air strikes and the release of UN forces; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: As I told the House on 28 June, Official Report, column 905, we certainly made no deals with the Bosnian Serbs over the release of the hostages. The UN and other Governments have stated clearly that they made no deals either. Air power remains an important option available to the commanders on the ground for protecting UN forces and enforcing relevant UN resolutions.


Special Advisers

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Prime Minister what part (a) Gregor Mackay, (b) Sophie McEwen, (c) Rachel Whetstone and (d) Tim Collins have played as civil servants in the current Conservative party leadership campaign; and what restrictions apply to civil servants in these circumstances.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 6 July 1995]: The officials named are special advisers. Special advisers may take part in political activities of the sort described provided they do so during leave or in their own time in addition to fulfilling their normal duties.


Ministerial Speeches

Mr. Barnes: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 26 June, Official Report , columns 445-46, if he will list all publications, published by Government Departments at public expense, which contain a collection of a Minister’s speeches, in the format recently produced by the Department of Transport–“Transport, the Way Ahead”.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 5 July 1995]: “Transport: The Way Ahead” was published by the Secretary of State as a consultation document. It includes a series of six speeches by my right hon. Friend which address central issues of transport policy on which views are invited.

I am aware of two other recent departmental publications which include collections of ministerial speeches: “Progress through Partnership”, published by the Department of Health in February 1995, includes four speeches by the Secretary of State for Health. “Purchasing for Health: A Framework for Action”, published by the Department of Health in June 1993, includes three speeches by the right hon. Member for Peterborough (Dr. Mawhinney) as Minister of State together with one by the chief executive of the national health services.