Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 1st March 1993.
Mr. Li Ka Shing
Mr. Rogers : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the formal or contractual arrangements which exist between (a) Mr. Li Ka Shing and (b) Norinco and United Kingdom Government agencies or bodies, including those in Hong Kong.
The Prime Minister : As far as I am aware, none.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the occasions on which Ministers have exercised prerogative powers in the last 18 months; and how this was reported to Parliament in each case.
The Prime Minister : In the main, specific functions are conferred on Ministers by Act of Parliament. Statute now covers much of the ground which in earlier times was covered by prerogative powers. However, the common law still recognises some prerogative powers as residing in the Crown and some of these are, by convention, exercisable by Ministers. Examples of areas where the prerogative still plays a part are foreign affairs, defence and the regulation of the civil service. Particular examples of the exercise of prerogative power are the issue of a passport or the grant of a pardon or reprieve under the prerogative of mercy. It is for individual Ministers to decide on a particular occasion whether and how to report to Parliament on the exercise of prerogative powers. The relationship between statutory powers and prerogative powers can be very complex and it would be impracticable, and would lead to disproportionate cost, to list all the occasions when action was taken under the prerogative.
Mr. William Ross : To ask the Prime Minister which department is responsible for the work and advice leading up to the adoption of the European charter for regional or minority languages by the Committee of Minorities.
The Prime Minister : The Welsh Office took the lead in the discussions on the text of the charter, but consulted all other Departments with an interest.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Prime Minister which Ministers and Departments are responsible for (a) policy in regard to the provision of secure places for young people in England and Wales and (b) providing such places and the relevant finances.
The Prime Minister : Policy on the provision of secure accommodation in England and Wales, and the allocation of capital grants for such projects, are matters for my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Health and the Secretary of State for Wales respectively.
Local authorities are responsible for providing secure accommodation and for meeting the running costs.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Prime Minister when the secure places for young people announced in 1991 will be available.
The Prime Minister : The provision of secure accommodation is the responsibility of local authorities. The Government remain committed to their target of abolishing the practice of remanding juveniles to prison by 1995-96 and will provide the necessary capital resources to achieve this.
St. David’s Day
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to make St. David’s Day a bank holiday in Wales.
The Prime Minister : We have no plans to make St. David’s Day a bank holiday in Wales.
Mr. George Robertson : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the oral statement by the Attorney-General of 22 February, Official Report, column 736, whether the Attorney-General attended the meeting of the Cabinet on Thursday 11 February.
The Prime Minister : The Attorney-General did not attend the meeting of the Cabinet on Thursday 11 February.