Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 4th December 1995.
Former Prime Ministers (Briefings)
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Prime Minister if he will set out the procedures by which civil servants are allowed to provide advice and information to former Prime Ministers; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister: Subject to the approval of Ministers, civil servants may provide factual briefing to former Prime Ministers, as to other Members of Parliament. Such briefing is often provided for visits to overseas countries.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Prime Minister what is the latest total cost to public funds of providing legal services for witnesses to Sir Richard Scott’s inquiry.
The Prime Minister: The accounts settled to date from public funds for the provision of external legal services to witnesses to Sir Richard Scott’s inquiry are approximately £750,790. The value of legal services charged by the Treasury Solicitor’s Department is £306,320. Some legal advice has also been provided by Government lawyers as part of their normal duties. The cost of this advice is not quantifiable.
Northern Ireland Peace Process
Mr. Forman: To ask the Prime Minister if he will give an account of his latest discussions with the Prime Minister of the Irish Republic on the peace process; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the statement I made on 29 November 1995, Official Report, columns 199-201.