Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Prime Minister (1) how many times since November 1987 she has met the staff counsellor for the security and intelligence services ; and what items were discussed ; (2) when she next expects to receive a report from the staff counsellor for the security and intelligence services ; and whether she will make it available to hon. Members.
The Prime Minister : I set out the arrangements for the staff counsellor for the security and intelligence services to report to me in my reply to my hon. Friend the member for Wycombe (Mr. Whitney) on 2 November 1987 at column 512. There has been no change to those arrangements. It is not proposed that the staff counsellor's reports should be published or that details should be given about how he discharges his responsibilities.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister what amounts for bad debts have been allowed for by her office in calculating the total costs of her visits abroad given in answers to questions by right hon. and hon. Members during the past three years.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister if she will instruct her office to clear up all outstanding debts owed by media organisations for the cost of sending their representatives with her on overseas visits.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister why she will not identify those media organisations which have not settled their accounts for expenses arising from their representatives accompanying her on overseas visits ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister whether the level of £250 as the normal cost ceiling for the answering of a parliamentary question includes specific or notional staff costs arising from administration, research and delivery of the answer ; and if she will provide an analysis of the costs associated with the answering of this question.
The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Member to the answer my right hon. Friend the Paymaster General gave on 28 July 1988 to the hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) at columns 497-98. It is not the practice to give an analysis of the costs of individual parliamentary questions.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister who determines the cost level beyond which a parliamentary question is referred to the responsible Minister before significant resources are committed ; and what changes have been recorded in the cost levels, expressed at 1979 prices.
The Prime Minister : The cost level is kept under review by Her Majesty's Treasury. It was originally set at £50 in 1965, increased to £200 in 1982 and then further increased to £250 in 1988 to reflect increases in costs.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if she will take steps to require the Boundary Commissions to equalise the number of electors per constituency in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland ; and if she will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : The Home Affairs Select Committee considered the disparities in the average electorates in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in its report on the redistribution of seats (2nd Report, 1986-87). The Committee decided to make no recommendation aimed at rectifying these disparities and the Government accepted that conclusion.
Mr. Jessel : To ask the Prime Minister why the office of Minister for Sport is included within the Department of the Environment ; and if she will set out in the Official Report the environmental considerations which the Minister for Sport is expected to take into account.
Column 493the office of the Minister for Sport to be the Ministry of Housing and Local Government and subsequently, on its creation, the Department of the Environment. The Minister is, of course, responsible to the Secretary of State for the Environment. All Government funding specifically allocated to sport is channelled through the Sports Council. The Sports Council's priorities are determined by its royal charter.
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on her policy on any future application of the warrant provisions of clause 3 of the Security Service Bill to the property of right hon. and hon. Members.
The Prime Minister : The review is taking into account matters relating to tourism policy for Great Britain as a whole, in which the Secretaries of State for Scotland and for Wales clearly have an interest. I have no plans to broaden the review to include the arrangements for tourism for which my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales are specifically responsible.
Mr. Buckley : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will state the occasions when the Luxembourg agreement has been invoked at any meeting of the European Council or Council of Ministers since July 1987.
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) when he expects to receive a report from the staff counsellor for the security and intelligence services ; and whether he will make it available to hon. Members ;
(2) how many times since November 1987 he has met the staff counsellor for the security and intelligence services ; and what items were discussed.
Mr. Waldegrave : The arrangements for the staff counsellor for the security and intelligence services to report to me were set out by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in her reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Wycome (Mr. Whitney) on 2 November 1987. There has been no change to those arrangements. It is not proposed that the staff counsellor's reports should be published or that details should be given about how he discharges his responsibilities.
Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, pursuant to his answer of 30 November 1988, Official Report , column 310 , he will give the reasons for the level of refusals of entry clearance applications made in Jamaica in 1987 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : Prior entry clearance for Jamaicans wishing to visit the United Kingdom is not mandatory and the majority travel without an entry certificate. Those applying for entry clearance at the High Commissions in Kingston tend to be the less straightforward cases many of whom are unable to meet the requirements of the immigration rules. Some 31,600 Jamaicans were admitted to the United Kingdom in 1987 ; 269 were refused leave to enter.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the total value of orders placed with United Kingdom companies for services and goods for Malawi in the last year ; and and if he will list them.
Mrs. Chalker : The total value of visible exports from the United Kingdom to Malawi for the 12 months to 30 November 1988 was £26.4 million. Figures for exports of services are not available. Information on individual orders is not available, with the exception of orders placed by Crown Agents with United Kingdom firms using aid funds. In calendar year 1988 the total value of these orders was £1,712,208 and of orders placed directly by the ODA, £31, 771.92. I will send the hon. Member the detailed information available.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the occasions since July 1988 when representatives of Her Majesty's Government in the Council of Ministers of the European Economic Community were given notice by the presidency of that body to reach either a common policy or find agreement on a legislative proposal at less than one week's notice, together with details of the respective proposals, meetings and periods of notice given.
Mrs. Chalker : The presidency has, in accordance with the rules of procedure, circulated provisional agendas for each council meeting to the other members of the Council and to the Commission at least 14 days before the date of each meeting. Exceptions to this procedure can be made only by unanimous agreement of the Council.
A detailed analysis of all agenda items considered at more than 30 Council meetings could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Column 495The Agriculture Council will be held on 23 January. It is likely that the following subjects will be discussed : income aids, reform of the beef (and possibly also the sheepmeat) regime, milk quotas, agrimonetary questions, aid to small cereals producers, tree nuts and possibly the labelling of spirit drinks. The Commission is also expected to introduce its 1989 price-fixing proposals.
The Foreign Affairs Council on 23/24 January will include a review of the dispute with the United States on hormones, preparations for the EC/ACP Council of Ministers meeting in Brazzaville on 16/17 February at which negotiations on a successor to the present Lom e convention will continue, and discussion of relations with the Council of Europe. There will also be further discussion of new financial protocols for Cyprus and Malta.
The Internal Market Council on 30 January will discuss further measures relevant to the completion of the single market.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what changes have been made by the Hong Kong authorities in legislation following their review of measures designed to enforce their responsibilities under the convention on international trade in endangered species ; and if he will make a statement.
(ii) To tighten up transit requirements.
(iii) To ban the import, export and possession of medicinal products purporting to contain rhinoceros ingredients.
(iv) To make it an offence for persons to give false information when applying for endangered species licences.
(v) To overcome certain indentification difficulties by accepting labels and accompanying documents as evidence for prosecution. (vi) To extend the power of search to cover any offence committed under the ordinance.
(vii) To empower the Government to release live endangered species or dispose of perishable specimens before relevant cases come to court.
Proposals to effect these changes will be included in a draft Bill which the Hong Kong Government intend to introduce into the Legislative Council during its present session.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many seizures of illegally imported endangered species were made by the Hong Kong authorities in the second six months period of 1988 ; how many seizures were made of similar categories intended for export ; and if he will give details of all seizures made.
Species/Parts Quantity |Illegal import |Illegal possession ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Felidae (Cats): Stuffed |1 Skin |7 pieces |4 pieces and |7.3 kg scraps Deer Antlers: |110 kg |400 kg Musk Pod: |1.5 kg |0.25 kg Elephant: Skin |23 pieces |17 pieces Ivory |1,205 kg | - Monkeys: | - |2 Rhinoceros: Horn | - |1.5 kg Hide | - |0.5 kg Pangolin: Meat |33.4 kg | - Birds of Prey/Owl |15 | - Meat |0.4 kg | - Parrots: |12 | - Reptiles: |409 pieces | - Skins |3 | - Sea Turtle: |26 |4 Giant Salamander: |8 |5 Asiatic Bony Tongue: Fish |4 | - American Ginseng: |2.6 kg | -
There were no seizures in respect of intended export.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many restaurant inspections were carried out by the Hong Kong authorities in the second six-month period of 1988 to ensure that no rare or engangered species of animals and plants were offered for sale as food ; and if any seizures were made.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the operation to date of the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance (Replacement of Schedules) Order 1988 made by the Hong Kong Executive Council on 26 July 1988 in respect of the import of elephant tusks.
Mr. Eggar : The Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance (Replacement of Schedules) Order 1988 came into effect on 5 August 1988. It extended the import control of ivory to all worked items. Up to 7 January 1989, 39 shipments totalling 510 kg of worked ivory items have been seized. During the same period, 133 shipments totalling 4,752 kg of worked ivory from CITES approved sources have been imported under valid licences.
Column 497the internal sale of medicinal products containing rhino horn will also include a ban on the export of such products ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many prosecutions were initiated by the Hong Kong authorities in 1988 arising from illegal imports, exports and possession of endangered species.
Mr. Eggar : The Hong Kong authorities will shortly seek tenders for the sale of certain confiscated items which are permitted for commercial trade under CITES. These items include elephant tusks, skins of felidae (cat), reptiles, chinchilla and others, and deer antlers.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the progress made by the Hong Kong Government in banning the internal sale of medicinal products containing rhino horn.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Government of Saudi Arabia regarding illegal hunting by Saudi nationals in Niger ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department was notified in December 1988 of possible sabotage threats to Pan Am flights from Europe to the United States.
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether any notices of possible sabotage threats to aircraft flights were issued to diplomatic staff in December 1988 which were not also available to the travelling public.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the provisions of the draft European Community directive on the protection of fauna, flora and habitats extends to Gibraltar.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) whether he will consider proposing international action to improve the level of training and co-ordination of rescue teams dispatched to major disasters, in the light of recent experience in Armenia ;
(2) if he has any plans to improve the level of training, co-ordination and equipment for British rescue teams, in the light of recent experience in the earthquake rescue operation in Armenia.
Mr. Chris Patten : The expertise of the relief teams in Armenia was impressive and they had the best equipment that they could take with them. Co-ordination was in the hands of the Soviet authorities. But I am considering all aspects of the international relief operation to see whether lessons can be learnt for future emergencies.
Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish a table listing the total amount in constant 1988 prices of all United Kingdom official aid flown to sub- Saharan Africa from 1979 to 1988.
Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the total amount of aid given by Her Majesty's Government to sub-Saharan Africa in 1979 and 1988, or the latest year for which figures are now available in constant 1988 prices.
|£ million ------------------------------ 1979 |386 1980 |369 1981 |379 1982 |296 1983 |271 1984 |287 1985 |310 1986 |280 1987 |284
Figures for 1988 are not yet available.
Mr. Chris Patten : Some £1.4 million has been allocated so far, in response to specific requests from the Soviet authorities for assistance with emergency relief and search and rescue measures. This has included :
(a) 12 relief flights carrying tents, clothing, medical supplies, food and heavy earthmoving equipment, in collaboration with the British Red Cross Society ;
Column 499(b) a team of four London firemen with specialist search equipment ;
(c) a team of eight Manchester doctors specialising in crush injury treatment ;
(d) a contribution to a food parcel programme by CARE Britain : (
(e) supply and transport of containers to move donated clothes and equipment to Soviet provided ships ;
(f) supply of heaters for prefabricated housing.
The remaining £3.6 million will be used for rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Mr. Chris Patten : We shall continue to give the Southern Africa Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC) our full support. I have, for example, just approved a further £15 million contribution for the Limpopo railway rehabilitation project. I plan to attend the SADCC annual conference in Luanda in February 1989.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what has been the total amount spent by his Department in each of the last five years on schemes in support of animal conservation.
Mrs. Chalker : Total expenditure on animal conservation is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Records are available for expenditure in the last three years under the Overseas Development Administration's joint funding scheme with British voluntary agencies. The following projects aimed at conserving wildlife habitats have been supported :