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1 Mar 2004 : Column 775W—continued



Mr. Gray: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his answer of 11 February 2004, Official Report, column 1471W, on the Civil Service, whether he had been informed that IBM were subject to investigation by the Special Compliance Office of Inland Revenue in 1997; whether the then Cabinet Secretary's application declared that IBM UK were subject to Special

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Compliance Office investigation in 1997; when enquiries were made on IBM's standing of (a) Inland Revenue and (b) Customs and Excise as part of the approval process for the Cabinet Secretary's application to join IBM's UK advisory board; when the Prime Minister was informed that IBM were subject to Inland Revenue investigation; and when the former Cabinet Secretary advised the Prime Minister that he had resigned from IBM's UK advisory board. [156522]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 11 February 2004, Official Report, column 1471W and the answer provided by the Minister for the Cabinet Office on 2 February 2004, Official Report, column 713W.

In accordance with established procedures, Ministers are not informed of investigations into specific companies by either the Inland Revenue or Customs and Excise.

The then Cabinet Secretary submitted an application under the Business Appointment rules in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 4.3 of the Civil Service Management Code, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. There is no requirement on former civil servants to advise me that they have relinquished an outside appointment.

House of Lords

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the future of People's Peers. [157978]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Thurrock (Mr. MacKinlay) on 15 January 2003, Official Report, column 632W.


Mr. Cousins: To ask the Prime Minister whether it is his policy to press for the return to the people of Iraq of unallocated resources in the hands of the UN Compensation Commission. [157059]

The Prime Minister: The United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) was established in 1991 to assess and pay claims in compensation for losses as a result of Iraq's illegal invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The UNCC has completed more than 98 per cent. of its claims work and it is the UK Government's position that this work should be completed.

UN Security Council Resolution 1483 (22 May 2003) decided that 5 per cent. of Iraqi oil revenues would be deposited in the UNCC fund to meet awards. This will continue unless an internationally recognised, representative Government of Iraq and the Governing Council of the UNCC decide otherwise.

Lynne Jones: To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he has had with President Bush on the allegation that Saddam Hussein attempted to procure uranium from Africa. [157136]

The Prime Minister: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) on 15 July 2003, Official Report, column 174W.

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Mr. Cousins: To ask the Prime Minister what reports he has received that Iraq assembled and tested a long range artillery shell packed with irradiated zirconium. [157577]

The Prime Minister: None.

Tom Cox: To ask the Prime Minister whether British officials have visited Saddam Hussein since his capture by the United States authorities. [158031]

The Prime Minister: No British officials have visited Saddam Hussein since his capture.

Ministerial Speeches

Keith Vaz: To ask the Prime Minister how many speeches (a) the Minister without Portfolio, (b) the Leader of the House of Lords and (c) he made between 9 June 2003 and 1 February 2004; and where a copy of each speech can be obtained. [156142]

The Prime Minister: I and members of the Government make a number of speeches on a wide range of domestic and international issues including Iraq, Europe and public services. A list of all speeches by the Government is not maintained centrally.

Copies of my speeches are available on the Number 10 website.

My right hon. Friend the Minister without Portfolio and my noble and right hon. Friend, the Leader of the House of Lords have both made public speeches in this period. These are available from the Cabinet Office Press Office.


Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister what action has been taken by the UK Government to monitor the activities of Abdul Qadeer Khan since he was a research student with access to URENCO, with particular reference to the matters raised in the debate of 18 December 1979, Official Report, column 554 ff. [154969]

The Prime Minister: We have for many years been gathering information on the private network of suppliers of nuclear components operating across many countries and hinging on the activities of Dr. A Q Khan. The nature of this network is now well known to us and we, in co-operation with the US and other Governments have been engaged in closing down this network.

Recruitment Advertising

Pete Wishart: To ask the Prime Minister what his Office's expenditure on recruitment advertising was in each of the last three years, broken down by publication; and what proportion of such expenditure was (a) to advertise vacant posts and (b) in the form of other general recruitment advertising. [155532]

The Prime Minister: The cost for advertising vacant posts in my Office: in 2001 £1,667; in 2002 £11,932; and, in 2003 it was £12,964. These were to fill vacancies in a number of units including information technology, security and the correspondence unit.

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A difference in costs may occur because of the number of vacant posts advertised, the number of publications in which the advert is placed, the duration of the advert and the nature of the vacancy, for example specialist posts in information technology.

The adverts were published in a variety of media including the national, local and specialist press.

No expenditure was used for other general recruitment advertising.


Mr. Cousins: To ask the Prime Minister what secondments (a) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (b) Deloitte & Touche, (c) Ernst & Young and (d) KPMG have made to his Office since 2001; for what (i) periods and (ii) tasks the secondments were made; whether secondments of staff from his Office have been made to those firms; and for what (A) periods and (B) tasks. [156914]

The Prime Minister: Since 2001, no secondments have been made to or from my Office to these firms.

Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the secondees from outside organisations working at 10 Downing Street, stating in each case (a) the name of the person, (b) the name of the organisation, (c) the post held and (d) the start and finish dates of the secondment; and which are involved in drafting parliamentary answers. [158050]

The Prime Minister: None.


Mr. Cousins: To ask the Prime Minister which Government departments are responsible for (a) information on and (b) preparation against the use of radiological material as a terrorist device; and what expenditure on decontamination equipment there has been in the last two years. [157056]

The Prime Minister: The Cabinet Office is responsible for crisis and consequence management co-ordination across central Government in the event of such a terrorist attack.

Information on and preparation against the use of radiological material by terrorists involves many Government Departments and agencies. Protective security against the use of radiological material as a terrorist device is the responsibility of the Home Office. International non-proliferation of radiological material for terrorist means is the responsibility of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The other Departments and agencies that would have a role include the Department of Health; the Health Protection Agency (particularly the National Radiological Protection Board); the Ministry of Defence, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; the Health and Safety Executive; HM Customs and Excise; Department for Trade and Industry and the Department for Transport.

Over the past two years the Government have made available £54.4 million for investment in decontamination equipment for the Fire Service, Ambulance Service and Accident and Emergency Departments.