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Mr. Wilson: To ask the Prime Minister what steps he has taken to assure himself that the right hon. Member for Norfolk, South (Mr. MacGregor) has, in all respects, complied with the guidelines laid down in "Questions of Procedure for Ministers", and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 25 October 1994]: Ministers have the responsibility to ensure that they comply with the guidelines in "Questions of Procedure for Ministers". I have no reason to think that my right hon. Friend failed to do so.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 25 October 1994]: Because of his former association with Messrs Hill Samuel, my right hon. Friend gave instructions to his Department that he should play no part in the selection process, in 1993, of financial advisers to the Department of Transport for the channel tunnel rail link.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 25 October 1994]: As was made clear in my right hon. Friend's resignation letter of 20 July, he had advised me earlier in the summer of his intention to leave the Government. I was informed of my right hon. Friend's decision to take up his appointment on 6 October.
Mr. Wilson: To ask the Prime Minister what intimation of potential conflict of interest was made by the right hon. Member for Norfolk, South when direction was given by his Department to the British Railways Board to establish a vendor unit; and on what date.
Mr. Wilson: To ask the Prime Minister what arrangements were intimated by the right hon. Member for Norfolk, South under paragraphs 128 to 134 of "Questions of Procedure for Ministers"; and if advice was sought by him from the then Prime Minister's Private Secretary in terms of paragraph 132.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 25 October 1994]: My right hon. Friend's pension arrangements are a matter for him, but I am advised that they corresponded with the requirements of paragraphs 128-134 of "Questions of Procedure for Ministers", and no consultation with the then Prime Minister's Private Secretary was therefore necessary.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Prime Minister on how many occasions since 1 January 1991 the Cabinet Secretary has advised individual Ministers of his opinion on their conduct in relation to "Questions of Procedure for Ministers"; which Ministers were involved; and on what dates the opinion was given.
Dr. Wright: To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will give details of the current inquiry into the system of public appointments and identify (a) when it was established, (b) its terms of reference, (c) its composition and (d) when it will report;
(2) if he will give details of the current inquiry into the governance of quangos; when it was established; what are its terms of reference; what is its composition; and when it will report.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 25 October 1994]: As I told the House on 20 October, I set up a working group in May to review the guidance to Departments on public appointments procedures. The terms of reference for the review are:
"To examine, in consultation with departments, the principles that should govern the membership of public bodies and the methods used to identify potential candidates, including questions relating to equal opportunities and multiple appointments, and the procedures leading to disqualification from or premature termination of
Column 917appointments; and to consider whether amendments and additions need to be made to the Guide on Public Appointments procedures'." The working group is chaired by the director of the public appointments unit and includes representatives from the Department of Employment, the Department of the Environment, the Department of Health, the Lord Chancellor's Department, the Scottish Office, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Treasury and the Welsh Office. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and I expect to receive the working group's report in a few weeks' time. I have also asked my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to look across the board at appointments to all public bodies and to make any further recommendations he thinks necessary. We shall be making any recommendations, together with the working group's report, available to the committee on standards in public life.
In addition, the Office of Public Service and Science and the Treasury are preparing, in consultation with Departments generally, a revision of "Non- Departmental Public Bodies: A Guide for Departments". This is intended to assist sponsor Departments on a range of matters concerning non- departmental public bodies. The guide was last revised in March 1992. Work on a further revision began in May, and the aim is to produce the revised guide when the parallel work on public appointments has been concluded. This, too, will be made available to the committee on standards in public life.
Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Prime Minister if he will take steps to co-ordinate Government policy between the Treasury and the Home Office on the reduction of fines for law breaking in respect of persons, authorities or nations who refused to pay them, in relation to the decision made at the Council of Finance Ministers of the European Union on 21 October.
Although disallowance decisions taken by the Commission under the common agricultural policy are often colloquially described as fines, they are in fact completely different from fines imposed by criminal courts. I believe that co-ordination between the Treasury and the Home Office on these areas of policy is satisfactory.
Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral answer of 20 October, Official Report , columns 420 22 , in regard to the inquiry by the Cabinet Secretary, how many other cases there are of hon. Members who are now Ministers in respect of whom any inquiries are being or have been undertaken; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral answers of 20 October, Official Report , columns 420 22 , (1) which other hon. Members are being questioned by the Permanent Secretary to the Cabinet;
Column 918(2) if he will (a) make a statement on the Cabinet Secretary's report when it is complete and (b) publish (i) its contents, including the nature of the complaints and where they originated, (ii) the evidence requested, (iii) details of interviews conducted, (iv) a full summary of points considered and (v) the conclusions drawn.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 27 October 1994]: I refer the right hon. and hon. Members to the statement that I made to the House on Public Life (Standards of Conduct) on 25 October 1994, Official Report , columns 757 770 , and to the answer that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Dartford (Mr. Dunn) on 25 October 1994, Official Report , columns 521 22.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Dartford (Mr. Dunn) of 25 October, Official Report, column 521-22, if he will identify the informant acting on behalf of Mohamed Al Fayed and all Ministers against whom allegations were made; and what documentary evidence has been requested and examined by the Cabinet Secretary as part of his investigation.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 28 October 1994]: The answer to the first part of the question is no. On the identity of the Ministers against whom allegations were made, I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave today to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr Morris). On the third part of the question, I have nothing to add to the reply that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Dartford (Mr. Dunn), on 25 October 1994 Official Report, columns 521-22.
Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his oral answer to the hon. Member for Barnsley, West and Penistone (Mr. Clapham) of 20 October, Official Report, columns 420-21 , how many Ministers are being or have been investigated by Sir Robin Butler; when he expects to receive the report; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 26 October 1994]: My right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary and my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury have confirmed that they were the subject of allegations investigated at my request by the Cabinet Secretary. No other Ministers were involved.
Dr. Wright: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what is the total number of public appointments which he is responsible for making or which require his approval; and if he will include figures for the Crown appointments on which he is responsible for advising Her Majesty the Queen; (2) pursuant to his answer of 17 January, Official Report , columns 367-68 , if he will give details of the Crown appointments on which he is responsible for advising Her Majesty the Queen.
Column 919The Prime Minister [holding answer 27 October 1994]: Further to the information on appointments already given to the hon. Member, I am listing those appointments on which at the present time I advise Her Majesty the Queen. The total number of appointments for which I am responsible, including those on which I advise Her Majesty the Queen, cannot be accurately calculated since I have discretion in some cases as to how many appointments I make; and in the case of Church appointments some vacancies fall casually and unpredictably to the Crown by virtue of the Royal Prerogative.
Appointments made by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister
Bank of England
Governor and Deputy Governor
Executive and Non-Executive Directors
British Broadcasting Corporation
Governors, including the Chairman and Vice-Chairman
Chancellor of the County Palatine of Durham
Chairman and six others
The Churches Conservation Trust
Chairman and members
Head of the Home Civil Service (Cabinet Secretary)
Board of Customs and Excise, Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Commissioners
Board of Inland Revenue, Chairman and Commissioners including Deputy Chairman
Clerk of the Crown in Chancery
Civil Service Commissioners
Her Majesty's Printer of Acts of Parliament (Controller of the Stationery Office)
Procurator General (Solicitor General)
Comptroller and Auditor General
Tower of London
Captain of Deal Castle
Crown Estate Commissioners
Data Protection Registrar
Ecclesiastical Appointments in England
Archbishops of Canterbury and York
Diocesan and Suffragan Bishops
Crown Livings c. 200
Appointments under the Royal Prerogative and Sede Vacante Ecclesiastical Appointments in Scotland
Her Majesty's High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
Governor of the Isle of Wight
Health Service Commissioners for England, Wales and Scotland Interception of Communications Tribunal
Vice President and members
Ministers of Her Majesty's Government
Senior Judiciary in England
Lord Chief Justice of England
Master of the Rolls
President of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division Lords of Appeal in Ordinary
Lord Justices of Appeal
Court of Ecclesiastical Causes Reserved
Senior Judiciary in Scotland
Lord Justice Clerk
Lord Justice General and Lord President of the Court of Session in Scotland
Judge of the Arches Court of Canterbury and the Chancery Court of York
King Edward's Hospital Fund for London
President, or three Governors
Lord Clerk Register of Scotland
Lord Great Chamberlain
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
Lord-Lieutenants and Vice Lord-Lieutenants of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Clerk of the Parliaments
Clerk of the House of Commons
Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration
Honorary Physicians to The Queen
Police Complaints Authority
Public Works Loans Board
Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Commissioners
Receiver-General and Deputy Receiver-General of Jersey
Receiver-General of Guernsey
Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation Members, including President Standing Royal Commissions, including Millennium Commission Scholastic Appointments
Regius Professors of Oxford and Cambridge
School of Oriental and African Studies Governing Body members Provost of Eton
Principal of King's College, Cambridge
Master of Trinity College, Cambridge
Master of Church College, Cambridge
Security Service Tribunal
Members, President and Vice President