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 – 9 December 1996

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 9th December 1996.




Mr. Robert McCartney: To ask the Prime Minister on what occasions, and through what arrangement he or his office has had communications with the IRA since 1 September 1994.

The Prime Minister: None.


Council of Ministers

Mr. Allen: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list by Department each occasion when Her Majesty’s Government have entered a scrutiny reserve at Council of Ministers meetings, indicating the matter concerned.

The Prime Minister: Arrangements exist to prevent items coming forward for decision in the Council of Ministers where a member state’s parliamentary scrutiny procedures have yet to be completed. The presidency may, nonetheless, occasionally place an item on a Council agenda for decision which is still subject to parliamentary scrutiny in a member state. Information on the occasions when the United Kingdom has as a consequence maintained a scrutiny reserve at the Council of Ministers is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.



Mr. William Ross: To ask the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library (a) a copy of the letter recently sent to him by the hon. Member for Foyle (Mr. Hume); and (b) any documents which accompanied the letter or his reply.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 6 December 1996]: It is not my practice to reveal correspondence, either letters or accompanying documents, which are sent to me in confidence. As for my reply to the hon. Member for Foyle (Mr. Hume), I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke (Mr. Hunter) on 28 November, Official Report, columns 460-61.


President Mary Robinson

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Prime Minister if the present visit to Great Britain by President Mary Robinson is an official visit.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 6 December 1996]: No.