Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 21st April 1994.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister what guidance has been issued to Ministers regarding the practice of replying to parliamentary questions in terms such as, “I will write to the hon. Member”; and in what circumstances this practice is considered appropriate.
The Prime Minister : A reply in which a Minister says that he will write to the hon. Member may be given for a number of reasons. It may be used as an interim reply because it is not possible to provide a substantive answer within the time scale laid down, to provide information of specialist or local interest which is detailed or lengthy or where there is a need for discretion in making the full reply available because it concerns a confidential constituent’s case.
Following a recommendation from the Procedure Committee, first report, Session 1992-93, guidance has been issued that such replies should also state, except where confidentiality is necessary, that copies of the Minister’s reply will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 21 April.
Sir Peter Tapsell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 21 April.
The Prime Minister : This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today.
Tigris and Euphrates Valleys
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister what is the latest information to Her Majesty’s Government about malnutrition-related diseases, and the shortage of water-pumps, water-filters and pharmaceuticals in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates.
The Prime Minister : In addition to information given to me by the hon. Member himself, and obtained from non-governmental organisations with local knowledge, information is in the most recent reports from the United Nations and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House. The reports point out that reliable data are not generally available.