HC Deb 28 March 1995 vol 257 cc513-4W
Mr. Austin Mitchell

To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what part is played by the Bank of England in determining monetary policy; and if he will make a statement; [16987]

(2) if he will make it his policy to ensure that public pronouncements by officials of the Bank of England purporting to state or interpret Government policy are submitted to his office for prior approval. [16989]

Mr. Nelson

The Bank of England is an important source of advice to the Government on monetary policy. The advice the Governor gives at his monthly meeting with my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor is now open to parliamentary and public scrutiny through publication of the minutes. The bank also publishes its own independent inflation report. However, all monetary policy decisions are the responsibility of my right hon. and learned Friend.

Mrs. Ann Winterton

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions Her Majesty's Customs and Excise investigated the importation of obscene material in the five years prior to 1993–94; and in how many of these cases prosecutions resulted. [16798]

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory

The information requested is not available in that form. Centrally collated statistics for the period prior to 1991–92 do not distinguish between cases detected and cases where, following a detection, a full investigation was undertaken. In many cases when the detection involved only very small quantities of prohibited material a full investigation would not be justified and offence action is confined to the seizure of the offending goods.

Between 1 April 1988 and 31 March 1993 the following numbers of individuals were prosecuted by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise in connection with importation of indecent or obscene material:

  • April 1988—March 1989: 105
  • April 1989—March 1990: 98
  • April 1990—March 1991: 88
  • April 1991—March 1992: 52
  • April 1992—March 1993: 48

From 1 April 1991 records have been kept centrally on the numbers of full investigations which have followed from Customs detections and the following information is available. Between 1 April 1991 and 31 March 1993 Customs launched full investigations in the following numbers of cases of importation of obscene or indecent material:

  • April 1991—March 1992: 106
  • April 1992—March 1993: 94

Forward to