The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1996Prime Minister (1990-1997)

PMQT Written Answers – 6 February 1996

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 6th February 1996.



Parliamentary Private Secretaries

Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Prime Minister, if he will publish the current list of parliamentary private secretaries and the Ministers to whom each is attached.

The Prime Minister: A comprehensive list is as follows:

Parliamentary private secretaries (as at 5 February 1996)

Minister Secretary

Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

Minister for Agriculture Mr. D. Hogg) Mr. G. Clifton-Brown

Minister of State (Mr. T. Baldry) Mr. N. Evans


Secretary of State (Mr. M. Portillo) Mr. D. Amess

Ministers of State (Mr. N. Soames and Mr. J. Arbuthnot) Mr. N. Hawkins

Cabinet Office

Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. M. Heseltine) and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. R. Freeman) Mr. S. Coe

Education and Employment

Secretary of State (Mrs. G. Shephard) Mr. A. Coombs

Ministers of State (Mr. E. Forth and Lord Henley) Mr. J. Whittingdale


Secretary of State (Mr. J. Gummer) Mr. D. French

Ministers of State (Mr. D. Curry, Lord Ferrers, Robert Jones) Mr. M. Banks

Foreign Office

Secretary of State (Mr. M. Rifkind) Mr. H. Bellingham

Ministers of State (Mr. D. Davis, Mr. J. Hanley, Sir N. Bonsor) Mr. P. Atkinson


Secretary of State (Mr. S. Dorrell) Mr. D. Faber

Minister of State (Mr. G. Malone) Mr. N. Waterson

Home Office

Secretary of State (Mr. M. Howard) Mr. D. Lidington

Ministers of State (Mr. D. Maclean, Baroness Blatch Mr. D. Evennett

Minister of State (Miss A. Widdecombe) Dr. R. Spink

Law Officers Department

Attorney-General (Sir N. Lyell) and Solicitor-General (Sir D. Spencer) Mr. E. Garnier

Minister without Portfolio (Mr. B. Mawhinney) Mr. A. Duncan

National Heritage

Secretary of State (Mrs. V. Bottomley) Mr. P. Ainsworth

Minister of State (Mr. I. Sproat) Mr. A. Robathan

Northern Ireland Office

Secretary of State (Sir P. Mayhew) Mr. J. Cran

Ministers of State (Sir J. Wheeler and Mr. M. Ancram) Mr. H. Elletson

Prime Minister Mr. J. Ward

The Lord McColl

Privy Council Office

Lord President and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. T. Newton) Mr. J. Couchman

Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords (The Viscount Cranborne) Mr. J. Sykes

Scottish Office

Secretary of State (Mr. M. Forsyth) The Hon. B. Jenkin

Social Security

Secretary of State (Mr. P. Lilley) Mr. P. Merchant

Ministers of State (Lord MacKay and Mr. A. Burt) Mr. D. Congdon

Trade and Industry

President of the Board (Mr. I. Lang) Mr. S. Coombs

Minister of State (Mr. T. Eggar) Mr. P. Luff

Ministers of State (Lord Fraser, Mr. A. Nelson) Mr. T. Devlin


Secretary of State (Sir G. Young) Dr. C. Goodson-Wicks

Minister of State (Mr. J. Watts) Mr. T. Dicks


Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. K. Clarke) Mr. P. Butler

Chief Secretary (Mr. W. Waldergrave) Mr. M. Robinson

Welsh Office

Secretary of State (Mr. W. Hague) Ms J. Lait


Nolan Committee

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Prime Minister if he will refer to the Nolan Committee the issue of the financial links of people who are being considered for appointment as ambassadors.

The Prime Minister: There is no need to do so. This is already covered by the terms of reference.


Local Authorities (Equity Portfolios)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral answer of 1 February Official Report, column 1121, on the purchase by local authorities of shares in privatised companies, what duties are owed by councils and their advisers to council tax payers which constrain their ability to build very unbalanced portfolios, with special reference excluding certain classes of equities.

The Prime Minister: Local authorities are free to invest their funds how they choose, subject to their general duty of prudence and other matters set out in professional guidance issued by the accounting bodies. Where authorities place their general funds in investments which are not approved under regulations, receipts from the disposal of those investments are treated as capital receipts. Local authorities’ use of capital receipts is controlled through the capital finance system.


Libya (Sanctions)

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 22 January, Official Report, column 46, what factors led to Her Majesty’s Government being unable to estimate the cost to British trade of sanctions against Libya; and if he will make it his policy to implement structures to allow such estimates to be made in situations where sanctions are imposed in the future.

The Prime Minister: It is not possible to distinguish which elements in the overall fall in British exports to Libya over the past five years are attributable to the UN sanctions and which other factors such as the decline of the Libyan economy and lower oil prices.



Sir Peter Tapsell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 6 February.

Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 6 February.

The Prime Minister: This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today.