Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 15th January 1997.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Prime Minister which persons representing which bodies were present at the meetings he attended recently with the President of the European Council in the Netherlands.
The Prime Minister: I met the Prime Minister of the Netherlands in The Hague on 7 January. Mr. Kok was accompanied by his State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and three officials. I was accompanied Her Majesty’s ambassador at The Hague and three officials.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Prime Minister who represented the British Government at the OECD conference on 16 December on economic flexibility and social cohesion in the 21st century.
The Prime Minister: Participants to this conference were invited as individuals and not representatives of Governments. Professor Snower of Birbeck college attended, and presented a paper concerning long-term implications of current economic and social policies.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister which department is responsible for matters relating to the illegal trade in CFCs.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 13 January 1997]: The Department of the Environment has responsibility for the United Kingdom’s domestic and international policy on the control of CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances under the Montreal protocol, including trade controls. CFCs imported into the European Union require a licence from the European Commission. Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise is responsible within the UK for checking that such imports are properly licensed.
Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Prime Minister when he expects parliamentary approval to be sought for the estimate relating to official royal travel by rail and air.
The Prime Minister: The new grant-in-aid for royal travel will be payable from 1 April 1997 and will be administered by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport. Pending approval of the main estimates for 1997-98, authority for payment will rest on the vote on account for 1997-98 and the winter supplementary estimate for class V, vote 3, both of which have already been approved by Parliament. Specific provision for royal travel is planned to be made in the main estimates for the Department of Transport’s votes. Main estimates are normally laid before Parliament shortly before the financial year to which they relate.