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Tobacco

Ms Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action he proposes to take to further the adoption of global standards on tobacco marketing. [64125]

Ms Jowell: I have been asked to reply.

We will fully co-operate in the planning, scheduling and information-sharing that would accompany the development of an international framework convention for tobacco control, intended to facilitate and encourage member states to strengthen their own national tobacco control policies. We will liaise with relevant organisations in taking this forward. The White Paper 'Smoking Kills' signalled our willingness to co-operate and we hope it will provide a model in the development and operation of a framework convention.

PRIME MINISTER

Duty Free

Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Prime Minister if he will estimate the numbers of duty free cigarettes per month brought into the United Kingdom by EU travellers in the past year. [64097]

The Prime Minister: HM Customs and Excise have no published estimate of the number of duty free cigarettes brought into the UK by EU travellers.

Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Prime Minister (1) when he took the decision to support a continuation of EU duty free purchases of cigarettes for travellers; [64096]

The Prime Minister: At the recent European Council meeting in Vienna a number of Member States, including the UK, asked the Commission and the Council of Finance Ministers (ECOFIN) to examine, by March 1999, the problems which could arise with regard to employment and to address, on the basis of proposals from the Commission, possible means of tackling these problems, including the possibility of a limited extension to duty free shopping. Any proposal to extend duty free shopping beyond 30 June 1999 would still be subject to unanimity in Council.

Mr. Gale: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 9 December 1998, Official Report, column 219, what case for looking again at the 1991 decision to abolish duty-free sales within the European Union at the end of June 1999 is available now that was not available at the time of his written answer of 19 May 1998, Official Report, column 315, his oral answer of 20 May 1998, Official Report, column 952, his written answer of 3 June 1998, Official Report, column 215, or during the last United Kingdom Presidency of the European Union. [63948]

15 Dec 1998 : Column: 457

The Prime Minister [holding answer 14 December 1998]: I refer the hon. Member to the oral reply I gave him in the House on 14 December 1998, Official Report, column 618.

South Africa

Mr. Evans: To ask the Prime Minister what arrangements he has made to visit South Africa in 1999; if he will list those who will accompany him and their travel arrangements; and what estimate he has made of the cost of the visit. [63678]

The Prime Minister: Details for my visit are still being finalised.

RAF Planes

Mr. Evans: To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to use RAF planes between 17 December 1998 and 11 January 1999; and if he will list those who will accompany him and the estimated cost of the journeys. [63677]

The Prime Minister: I have no plans to use RAF planes between 17 December 1998 and 11 January 1999.

15 Dec 1998 : Column: 458

Pressure Groups

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Prime Minister if he will amend the Ministerial Code to provide guidance to Ministers on how to respond to questions about past affiliations to pressure groups. [64088]

The Prime Minister: No. The Ministerial Code already provides guidance on the handling of private interests, including membership and/or support to pressure groups. Guidance is also provided on the declaration of Ministers' private interests if these might conflict, or be thought to conflict, with their Ministerial duties.

Departmental Staff

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list, by Department, all special advisers, together with their salaries. [63912]

The Prime Minister: For details of the Special Advisers employed in my office I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Wantage (Mr. Jackson) on 8 December 1998, Official Report, column 143.

At 14 December, my Ministerial colleagues had appointed the following Special Advisers.

15 Dec 1998 : Column: 457

Appointing MinisterName of appointee
Chief WhipIan McKenzie
Sue Jackson
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and FoodTom Greatrex
Kieran Simpson
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and SportJohn Newbiggin
Andy Burnham
Secretary of State for DefenceBernard Gray
Alasdair McGowan
Secretary of State for Education and EmploymentConor Ryan
Hillary Benn
Tom Bentley--part time
Sophie Linden--part time
Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the RegionsJoe Irvin
Paul Hackett--part time
Joan Hammell
Darren Murphy--part time
Richard Olszewski
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth AffairsDavid Clark
Andrew Hood
Secretary of State for HealthJoe McCrea
Simon Stevens
Secretary of State for the Home DepartmentEd Owen
Justin Russell
Lord ChancellorGary Hart
Secretary of State for International DevelopmentDavid Mepham
Dee Sullivan
Leader of the House of Lords and Minister for WomenClare Cozens
Jo Gibbons
Secretary of State for Northern IrelandNigel Warner
Andrew Lappin
Minister for the Cabinet OfficeTim Walker
Anna Healey
President of the Council and Leader of the House of CommonsSheila Watson
Nicci Russell
Secretary of State for ScotlandWendy Alexander
Murray Elder
David Whitton
Secretary of State for Social SecurityAndrew Maugham
Secretary of State for Trade and IndustryDan Corry
Ben Wegg Prosser
Chancellor of the ExchequerEd Balls
Charles Whelan
Chief SecretaryEd Milliband
Spencer Livermore
Secretary of State for WalesJulia Crowley
Gareth Williams

15 Dec 1998 : Column: 459

In addition, the Minister for the Cabinet Office has appointed Mr. Keith Hellawell as the UK Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator and Mr. Michael Trace as his Deputy. Professor Michael Barber has been appointed as the Standards and Effectiveness Adviser to the Secretary of State for Education and Employment. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has appointed Mr. Chris Wales and Mr. Paul Gregg as members of the Council of Economic Advisers. All are employed on Special Adviser terms.

For information on the salaries of Special Advisers, I refer the hon. Member to the answer my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Bethnal Green and Bow (Ms King) on 16 November 1998, Official Report, column 354-55.

Ministerial Visits

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the official visits which he has made to Buckinghamshire since 2 May 1997. [64131]

The Prime Minister: I visited the Chilton Cheshire Home at Gerrards Cross on 30 October 1997. In addition, some of my official duties are carried out at Chequers.

Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the countries of Latin America visited by members of Her Majesty's Government since 2 May 1997, stating the name of each Minister, the purpose of each visit and the duration of each stay. [64020]

The Prime Minister: There have been 29 Ministerial visits to 12 different countries in Latin America since 2 May to strengthen bilateral relations, promote British interests and continue to play our leading role in international affairs. All visits have been made in accordance with the Ministerial Code.

Local Government Cabinet Sub-Committee

Mr. Ottaway: To ask the Prime Minister if he has appointed Councillor Jeremy Beecham to the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Local Government. [64089]

The Prime Minister: No. However, my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office, who is Chairman of the Ministerial Group on Better Government, has invited Councillor Sir Jeremy Beecham to attend relevant meetings of the Group in order to bring a local government perspective to discussion of ways of improving service delivery in the public sector.

President of the Council

Mr. Gapes: To ask the Prime Minister what ministerial support is provided to the President of the Council. [64274]

The Prime Minister: Her Majesty, the Queen, has been pleased to approve that my hon. Friend the Member for Sherwood (Mr. Tipping) be appointed Parliamentary Secretary, Privy Council Office.

My hon. Friend will provide support to my right hon. Friend the President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons, in a number of areas for which she is responsible. The President's responsibilities were set out in the answer given by my right hon. Friend to my hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Mr. Casale) on 2 November 1998, Official Report, column 363.

15 Dec 1998 : Column: 460

My hon. Friend the Member for Sherwood will not draw a Ministerial salary.


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