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Mr. Freeman : There was an explosion at Cassino Lines, in the New Territories, Hong Kong, on Sunday 4 December at 11.22 hours local time, in which one officer was killed and another seriously injured. Initial investigations suggested that the explosion was caused by a hand grenade. The Royal Military Police and Royal Hong Kong Police are conducting a joint investigation, and have announced that the case is being treated as murder. There is thought to be little likelihood of terrorist involvement.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the approximate cost of holiday visit passages paid in respect of (a) children of the Ministry of Overseas Development personnel and (b) children of technical co-operation officers in receipt of education allowances for the latest available year.
Mr. Chris Patten : The latest year for which figures are available is 1987-88. In that year, the cost of holiday visit passages for children of staff of the Overseas Development Administration (formerly the Ministry of Overseas Development) was £22,200. For children of all personnel financed from technical co-operation funds, including technical co- operation officers and supplementees, the cost was £990,000.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Minister for the Arts whether he will consider the contents of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation convention of 14 November 1970 on the means of prohibiting and preventing the illicit import and export, and transfer of ownership, of cultural property, in relation to the sale of two statues of Vishnu at Sotheby's on 14 November.
Mr. Buchan : To ask the Minister for the Arts what was the reason for the cost escalation in the first phase of the Corn Merchant's Stores conversion at the British Library, Boston Spa, from £600,000 in November 1986 to a final cost of £2.309 million in 1988.
Mr. Luce : The figure of £600,000 to which I referred in answer to the question from my hon. Friend the Member for Ruislip-Northwood (Mr. Wilkinson) on 17 November 1986 at column 30 was not an estimate of the cost of the conversion of the Corn Merchant's Stores but was the Government's earmarked funding for the project for 1987-88. This was part of a total Government commitment of £1.6 million over three years, the balance of the cost being contributed by the British Library. There was no material change in the estimated cost of the project between 1986 and 1988.
Stage 1A is currently under construction and will be completed in 1993. The amount of office accommodation space to be included in the completion phase is not yet known.
Mr. Buchan : To ask the Minister for the Arts whether the open access shelving provisions and reader seats for science and technology readers in the phase I St. Pancras building will be less or more than the present provisions in the Holborn reading rooms.
Mr. Luce : There are in total 144 reader desks in the two science reference and information services (SRIS) building at Holborn ; this provision compares with 178 standard reader desks which will be available at St. Pancras by 1993, with some 60 additional desks planned to be available by 1996. In addition, stools are provided at Holborn, but are not yet a formal part of the St. Pancras brief. The length of open access shelving at Holborn is approximately 11.7 km. This compares with 12.6 km which will be available at St. Pancras in 1993, with some 6 km of additional shelving by 1996.
Mr. Greg Knight : To ask the Minister for the Arts whether he is able to announce the publication date of the report of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art for the year ended 30 June.
Mr. Baldry : To ask the Minister for the Arts whether he is satisfied that the present arrangements for the support of the arts through the Arts Council and the regional arts associations in England are adequate to meet changing needs.
Mr. Luce : I believe that the time has come to review the existing structure in the light of recent changes and present developments. After consultation with the chairman of the Arts Council, Lord Rees-Mogg, and his successor designate, Mr. Peter Palumbo, I have invited Mr. Richard Wilding, the present head of the Office of Arts and Libraries who retires from the public service at the end of this month, to conduct a review in consultation with the parties concerned and to report to me by 31 October 1989.
The review will be primarily concerned with the structure of support, and the way in which the various parts of the system fit together. It will be conducted on the basis that the arm's-length principle will continue to
Column 256govern the allocation of money within a given total and the making of artistic judgments, and that a substantial amount of decision-making should continue to take place at the regional level. Existing arrangements in Scotland and Wales will not be affected by the review.
The thinking that underlies the commissioning of the review and the scope that I wish it to cover are set out at greater length in a letter which I have today sent to Lord Rees-Mogg. I am placing a copy of the letter in the Library.
Mr. Wilding will carry out wide consultations in the course of the review. Any person or body wishing to contribute views or comments is invited to write to him, care of the Office of Arts and Libraries, Horse Guards Road, London SW1P 3AL.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Minister for the Arts (1) when he intends to publish his response to the submissions he has received on his Green Paper on the future financing of public libraries ; (2) whether it is his intention to introduce legislation in this current session of Parliament implementing his proposals on the future financing of public libraries.
Mr. Wakeham : The salaries of Ministers and other paid office holders were last increased from 1 January 1988 under the terms of the Ministerial and other Salaries Order 1987, and will remain at these levels until they are changed by a new order. The Government have considered possible changes to ministerial salaries in the light of the increase in the salaries of Members of Parliament that will take place on 1 January 1989 according to the terms of the resolution of 21 July 1987. The Government propose a package of increases averaging 4 per cent. This is set out in the following table. I have today laid the draft Ministerial and other Salaries Order 1988 to implement these changes.
Minister and other paid office holders |Current official salary |January 1989 official |Percentage increase |Current total salary |Total January 1989 salary|Percentage increase |salary |(including reduced |(including reduced |Parliamentary salary of |Parliamentary salary of |£16,911) |£18,148) |£ |£ |£ |£ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Prime Minister<1> |45,787 |46,109 |0.70 |62,698 |64,257 |2.49 Mr. Speaker |35,887 |36,209 |0.90 |52,798 |54,357 |2.95 Cabinet Minister (C) |34,157 |34,479 |0.94 |51,068 |52,627 |3.05 Cabinet Minister (L) |40,438 |41,997 |3.86 Minister of State (C) |23,887 |24,209 |1.35 |40,798 |42,357 |3.82 Minister of State (L) |34,688 |37,047 |6.80 Parliamentary Secretary (C) |17,897 |18,219 |1.80 |34,808 |36,367 |4.48 Parliamentary Secretary (L) |28,688 |30,647 |6.83 Attorney General |36,357 |36,679 |0.89 |53,268 |54,827 |2.93 Solicitor General |29,637 |29,959 |1.09 |46,548 |48,107 |3.35 Lord Advocate |40,508 |42,067 |3.85 Solicitor-General for Scotland |34,956 |36,515 |4.46 House of Commons Leader of the Opposition |31,237 |31,559 |1.03 |48,148 |49,707 |3.24 Chief Whip |28,267 |28,589 |1.14 |45,178 |46,737 |3.45 Deputy Chief Whip |23,887 |24,209 |1.35 |40,798 |42,357 |3.82 Opposition Chief Whip |23,887 |24,209 |1.35 |40,798 |42,357 |3.82 Government Whips and Assistant Government Whips |14,827 |15,349 |3.52 |31,738 |33,497 |5.54 Assistant Opposition Whips |14,827 |15,349 |3.52 |31,738 |33,497 |5.54 Chairman of Ways and Means |23,887 |24,209 |1.35 |40,798 |42,357 |3.82 Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means |20,877 |21,199 |1.54 |37,788 |39,347 |4.13 House of Lords Chief Whip |34,688 |37,047 |6.80 Deputy Chief Whip |28,688 |30,647 |6.83 Government Whips |25,618 |27,377 |6.87 Opposition Leader |28,688 |30,647 |6.83 Opposition Chief Whip |25,618 |27,377 |6.87 Chairman of Committees |34,688 |37,047 |6.80 Principal Deputy Chairman of Committees |31,578 |33,537 |6.20 <1> The Prime Minister has elected to receive the same salary as a Cabinet Minister in the House of Commons. Note: The Lord Chancellor's salary is governed by the Lord Chancellor's Salary Order 1988 and is not affected by this Order. (He receives £87,250 effective from 1 October 1988).
Mr. Wakeham : There have been 40 cases of theft within the Palace of Westminster reported to the police in the last 12 months. Of these 40 reported, three cases were subsequently classified as "no crime" in that the property mentioned had either been recovered by the losers or found by members of staff. The details of the 37 remaining cases are :
Wallet and contents
File and contents
Twenty (20) 13 amp plugs
3 half-cases of champagne
Credit and cheque cards
Briefcase and contents
Column 258Items of shopping
Mr. Heddle : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he expects to announce the conclusions of his Department's study to establish the nature, scope, extent and implications of professional liability problems.
Mr. North : Fuzzy logic is potentially valuable in areas of computation which call for "human-like" reasoning based on qualitative or imprecise information, for example speech and vision systems, expert systems technology and database interrogation. Many of the developments are still in their infancy, though a few are now maturing in the expert system and database field. Such concepts can complement other advanced tools and methods to enable the computer software industry to develop novel and powerful applications. I am sure that the industry will take advantage of these opportunities as they present themselves.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what specialist training is given to those officers of his Department who are responsible for the monitoring of the financial services industry.
Mr. Maude : The effect of the Financial Services Act is that monitoring of the financial services industry is a matter for the Securities and Investments Board and the bodies recognised by it. Questions as to the training of officers of those bodies are for the bodies themselves.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what information he has concerning the training and qualifications of the officers and personnel of FIMBRA and other self- regulatory organisations responsible for vetting membership applications for FIMBRA and those other organisations.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what information he has concerning the proportion of the income of FIMBRA that is allocated to the investigation of the background of those companies seeking membership ;
(2) if he will list all those companies or individuals who have been suspended by FIMBRA or any other self-regulatory organisation and indicate in each case the reason for that suspension.
Column 260self-regulatory organisations automatically to inform his Department of applications which they receive for membership.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on what date his Department first adopted the policy of automatically contacting NASDIM about applicants for licensing by his Department under past financial services legislation ; and on what date NASDIM was first recognised as an acceptable alternative to licensing by his Department.
Mr. Maude : The Department maintained a list of bodies which it automatically consulted when it received an application for a licence to deal in securities under the Prevention of Fraud (Investments) Act 1958. NASDIM was added to this list at the beginning of 1985. The order declaring NASDIM a recognised association of dealers in securities under section 15 of the Prevention of Fraud (Investments) Act was made on 28 November 1983 and came into effect on 31 December 1983.