Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will make it his policy to offer to (a) the United States of America and (b) the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom expertise in the destruction or disablement of their chemical biological or toxic warfare agent stockpiles ;
(2) if he has any plans to offer to (a) Libya, (b) Iraq and (c) Israel, United Kingdom technical expertise and technology to destroy or disable chemical or biological warfare agents held by each respective country.
Mr. Waldegrave : Information on the destruction of chemical weapon stockpiles is widely available. A number of countries have tabled papers on the subject at the negotiations in Geneva aimed at achieving a global ban on chemical weapons. In particular, Britain has tabled two papers in 1979 and 1988 on the destruction of the pilot nerve agent production plant at Nancekuke, Cornwall. We would, of course, consider approaches from any country for technical advice on the disposal of such weapons. We have no particular expertise in the destruction of biological weapons.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to request the incoming United States Secretaries of Defence and State that the United States of America implement a moratorium on its new binary chemcial weapons development programme.
Mr. Waldegrave : No. The unilateral United States moratorium on chemical weapons production from 1969 to 1987 was not matched by the Soviet Union, which has the world's largest and most sophisticated chemical weapons capability. In the face of this, the continuing disparity between our assessment of, and Soviet claims about, the size of their stockpile, and in the absence of a comprehensive convention banning these weapons, we support the United States modernisation programme as a means to maintain a limited but credible deterrent capability.
The eventual United States binary stockpile will, in fact, be smaller than their limited and aging unitary stockpile, which is already being destroyed.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, during his visit to the Gulf states he raised with any of the heads of state or Government ministers whom he met the possibility of sales of United Kingdom nuclear reactor and fuel service technology to their country.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, during his recent meeting with Saudi Government ministers during his Gulf state tour he took the opportunity to welcome the recent accession of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty by Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will arrrange for copies of videos and transcripts of the Central television 12-part series on the nuclear age to be put in his Departmental library.
Mr. Waldegrave : No. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office library does not normally stock audiovisual material or transcripts of television programmes.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he made any application under the Public Records Act of 1958 in accordance with paragraphs 26 and 27 of the White Paper on Modern Public Records, Cmnd. 8531, to withhold beyond 30 years papers concerning the background to the signing with the United States Government of the Anglo-American mutual defence agreement on atomic energy matters in July 1958.
Mr. Eggar : Records may be retained or closed for longer periods than 30 years under appropriate sections of the Public Records Act 1958 and in accordance with established criteria. It has been the practice of successive administrations not to disclose the content of records which are so withheld from public release.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if his arms control and disarmament research unit has examined the potential benefits to future Soviet tank division readiness and efficiency from the redeployment of Soviet tank technicians from obsolete tanks to be withdrawn under the commitment made by president Gorbachev in his speech to the United Nations in December ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave : We are examining the effect which the cuts in Soviet forces announced by Mr. Gorbachev on 7 December, on which he and Mr. Shevardnadze elaborated on 18 and 19 January, might have on Soviet military capabilities. We welcome the statement that 5,300 of the 10,000 Soviet tanks to be withdrawn will be modern, although it is disappointing that only 5,000 of the 10,000 will be destroyed. A number of detailed questions remain to be answered about how the cuts will be implemented, including the question of how residual forces might be redeployed.
Mr. Amos : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has received any representations on the level of compensation paid to former Japanese prisoners of war ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : Yes. The question of compensation was dealt with in the 1951 treaty of peace with Japan. The total sum made available to the United Kingdom for compensation was £4,816,473, including £178, 871 contributed by the Thai Government for work done on the Burma-Siam railway.
Mr. Amos : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many representations he has received regarding his decision to attend Emperor Hirohito's funeral.
Mr. Eggar : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State has received 57 letters regarding his decision to attend the late Emperor of Japan's funeral, including 25 letters from hon. Members.
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government have yet determined the conditions under which they would be prepared to write off their development loans to Zambia.
Mr. Chris Patten : I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave the hon. Member for Oxford, East (Mr. Smith) on 14 November 1988 at column 366.
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much of the debt owed by each of the 17 most indebted countries is owed to (a) Her Majesty's Government and (b) British banks.
Mr. Chris Patten : As at 31 March 1988 amounts outstanding to the Overseas Development Administration from the 17 countries classsified by the World Bank as highly indebted were as follows :
Country |£ ------------------------------------------ Argentina |- Bolivia |270,856.48 Brazil |3,416,096.55 Chile |- Colombia |2,847,924.56 Costa Rica |3,214,041.25 Cote D'Ivoire |1,814,770.77 Ecuador |7,557,273.24 Jamaica |49,180,720.59 Mexico |- Morocco |- Nigeria |5,175,084.04 Peru |4,194,608.65 Philippines |5,481,634.67 Uruguay |- Venezuela |- Yugoslavia |-
The latest available figures on amounts at risk to ECGD were published in its "Summary of audited trading results 1986/87". Claims by United Kingdom commercial banks on developing countries are listed in table 15 of the Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin.
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the net financial transfer of resources to the 17 most indebted countries during 1988 ; and if he wlll make a statement.
Mr. Chris Patten : Figures for net resource transfers in 1988 are not yet available.
Mr. Wells : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what contribution he is making towards the implementation of the decisions taken at the Commonwealth Ministers' meeting at Vancouver to establish a Commonwealth distance learning project ; and whether he will make a statement ;
(2) what action he has taken to implement the decisions taken by Commonwealth Ministers at Vancouver about a Commonwealth distance learning project ; and whether he is yet in a position to make a statement.
Mr. Chris Patten : The United Kingdom is playing a major part in the new Commonwealth of learning, a distance learning network to help students in one country take advantage of educational facilities in another. An important requirement for the network will be a comprehensive information unit and credit transfer register. Her Majesty's Government have agreed to finance these developments by building on existing facilities at the British Open university. Discussions have already taken place and a meeting of representatives of user institutions is being held at the Open university in February. A proposal will then be placed before the board of governors of the Commonwealth of learning, on which the United Kingdom is represented, at its second meeting in March. The cost of these developments will be between £1 million and £2 million over five years and is additional to the support which Her Majesty's Government will continue to give to distance education under its bilateral aid programme.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Attorney-General what is the number of staff in the Crown Prosecution Service, by grade, in receipt of local pay additions outside London and the south-east economic planning region ; what are the different amounts paid to staff, by grade ; whether this figure varies due to location ; what qualifying period of scale-related criteria is used ; and whether this varies by location.
The Attorney-General : Local pay additions are not paid to members of the Crown Prosecution Service employed outside London and the south-east economic planning region.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Attorney-General what is the number of staff in the Lord Chancellor's Department, by grade, in receipt of local pay additions outside London and the south-east economic planning region ; what are the different amounts paid to staff by grade ; whether this figure varies due to location ; what qualifying period of scale-related criteria is used ; and whether this varies by location.
The Attorney-General : The number of staff in the Lord Chancellor's Department by grade in receipt of local pay additions outside London and the south east economic planning region is as follows :
|Number --------------------- EO |6 A0 |13 Typist |5
All are paid at the same rate of £300 per annum on completion of six months service.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Attorney-General what is the number of staff in Her Majesty's Land Registry, by grade, in receipt of local pay additions outside London and the south-east economic planning region ; what are the different amounts paid to staff by grade ; whether this figure varies due to location ; what qualifying period of scale-related criteria is used ; and whether this varies by location.
The Attorney-General : There are no Land Registry staff, outside London and the south east economic planning region, in receipt of local pay additions.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Attorney-General what criteria were used by the Lord Chancellor in determining the reasons for the witholding of papers from release at the Public Record Office for 1958 concerning the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
The Attorney-General : The Public Records Act 1958 makes provision for records to be retained or closed from access for periods longer than 30 years. Records are retained or closed from access in accordance with established criteria, which were set out in paragraphs 24-31 of the White Paper "Modern Public Records", Cmnd. 8531, March 1982.
Mr. McNamara : To ask the Attorney-General on how many occasions his Department has been informed by the prosecuting authorities of the Republic of Ireland that witnesses have refused to travel to the Republic to give evidence in cases involving the Criminal Law Jurisdiction Act 1976.
The Attorney-General : I am not aware of any ocassions when information of such refusal has been communicated by the prosecuting authorities of the Republic of Ireland to my Department.
Mr. Devlin : To ask the Attorney-General whether any changes will be made to the Lord Chancellor's Department's cash limit and running costs limit for 1988-89.
The Attorney-General : Yes. Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimate, the cash limit for the Lord Chancellor's Department, class XI vote 5 will be increased by £9,999, 000 from £207,384,000 to £217,383,000. This increase reflects an increase of
Column 664£8,000,000 to take account of a projected shortfall in receipts from civil court business fees ; an increase of £2,000,000 to maintain progress on the court building programme ; and a reduction of £1,000 to £213,803,000 in the running cost limit. The running costs limit decrease will be offset by a corresponding increase in the running costs limit for the Office of the Minister for the Civil Service (class XX, vote 1) and reflects the transfer of costs for recruitment under the direct entry grade 7 competition 1988. The cash limit increase will be charged to the reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he intends to issue a Welsh Office version of the Department of Education and Science handbook "Our Changing Schools."
Mr. Wyn Roberts : We have no plans at present to do so. The Welsh Consumer Council published in 1988 a guide for parents with children starting school.
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many oral parliamentary questions he has answered by written reply because the question was not reached at Question Time, for the most recent year for which figures are available.
Mr. Peter Walker : A total of 240 oral questions were tabled to the Secretary of State for Wales between1 January and 31 December 1988 ; of these oral questions 100 were answered by written reply because they were not reached.
The figure does not include oral questions which were subsequently withdrawn, unstarred or transferred to other Departments.
Mr. Geraint Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he has any plans to build the Cardigan bypass within the next three years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Wyn Roberts : Yes. Details of the timing will be given in the forthcoming edition of "Roads in Wales".
Mr. Geraint Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he has any plans to give financial aid or a loan to the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society during the next three years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Walker : The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society has recently made an application to my Department which is under consideration.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will state for each of the districts within
Column 665mid-Glamorgan the number of jobs (a) lost and (b) created for the 12 months ended (i) December 1987 and (ii) December 1988.
Mr. Peter Walker : Comprehensive information on jobs lost and created is not available.
Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the saving achieved in building the Gresford to Pulford bypass as a result of the prior singling of the Wrexham to Chester railway line.
Mr. Wyn Roberts : About £300,000.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he is able to announce his decisions on local authority higher education provision in 1989-90 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Walker : Having consulted the Welsh joint education committee and the Welsh counties committee I have decided that the higher education quantum for 1989-90, formerly known as the advanced further education quantum, should be set at £39.4 million. This represents a 7.7 per cent. increase between 1988-89 and 1989-90. I have received advice from the Wales advisory body for local authority higher education on the planned disposition of academic provision, the number of student places on higher education courses in local authority colleges in Wales and the distribution of the higher education quantum. The WAB proposals provide a growth of 2.9 per cent. between the target of 13,589 full-time equivalent students in 1988-89 and the target student numbers of 13,986 for 1989-90. They provide for continued emphasis to be given to courses in science, engineering and other vocational disciplines and for sub-degree and part- time provision to be protected. The proposals for distributing the quantum relate to the proposals for target student numbers by institution, mode of attendance and subject, and allow additional funding for degree and postgraduate courses. WAB has considered bids from institutions against the £400,000 set aside for selective initiatives and has proposed that this money be used to fund the following initiatives :
Continued support for the manufacturing systems engineering degree course at the Polytechnic of Wales.
Continued support for the engineering access course at the Polytechnic of Wales.
Continued support for professional, industrial and commercial updating (PICKUP) courses at six institutions.
Continued support for research activities at the Polytechnic of Wales, together with new support for research at the South Glamorgan and West Glamorgan Institutes of Higher Education.
Support for the development of an all-Wales access consortium. Support for the development of a training course for management education teachers.
I have decided to accept the WAB's advice on academic provision and student numbers, on the methodology for distributing the quantum and on the distribution of the £400,000 for selective initiatives. The local education authorities have been informed of these decisions and of their individual allocations.
Column 666Copies of a note explaining the methodology by which the AFE quantum for 1988-89 is being distributed have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Ground : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if there are any proposals to change the 1988-89 cash limit for the office of the Minister for the Civil Service.
Mr. Luce : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimate, the cash limit for the Office of the Minister for the Civil Service (class XX, vote 1) will be increased by £2,889, 000 from £30,994,000 to £33,883,000. The increase will be charged to the reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure. The increase is required to cover the cost of physical security improvements to the Downing street complex and other buildings ; refurbishment and main-tenance in 10 Downing street and uprating of the of the telecommunications system (this charge is partially offset by appropriations in aid) ; charges by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the provision of conference officers for visits overseas by the Prime Minister (previously provided as an allied service) ; additional costs associated with the running of a competition for recruitment of direct entry grade 7 staff (this charge is offset by a corresponding decrease of £92,000 in the votes for the various Departments who are participating in the scheme). The increase also reflects the decision to disburse to charities and benevolent associations the savings to the Exchequer arising from the underpayment of public service pensioners as a result of the miscalculation of RPI increases.
The above increases have a consequent effect on the Department's running costs limit which will increase by £831,000 from £28,773,000 to £29,604,000.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Minister for the Arts if he will make a statement on the progress of the construction of the British Library.
Mr. Luce : Satisfactory progress on stage 1A of the new British Library, currently under construction at St. Pancras, is being maintained. Stage 1A is on target to be completed in 1993 within the cash target of £300 million which I announced last November. The current position is that, measured in expenditure terms, stage 1A is 24 per cent. complete.
The completion phase is now at the outline sketch design stage and progressing satisfactorily. This final phase of the building is being planned so that the whole new British Library will be complete and fully operational in 1996.
Ms. Richardson : To ask the Minister for the Arts what child care provision the Office of Arts and Libraries provides for pre-school age children of employees ; what child care provision, for school holiday or after-school
Column 667care, is provided for employees' children aged five and over ; what plans there are for increasing provision in the next five years ; and how these are to be funded.
Mr. Luce : The Office of Arts and Libraries does not at present provide child care facilities for its employees. The Cabinet Office, with which the Office would be associated in this matter, is considering the need to do so.
Mr. Baldry : To ask the Minister for the Arts if there have been any items accepted in lieu of tax or allocated since he last made an announcement on the subject to the House.
Mr. Luce : Since my announcement on 19 December at column 2, I am pleased to announce that three items have been accepted in lieu of tax ; a drawing by Rubens, a sculpture by Naum Gabo, and "The Artist's Studio" by Peter Tillemans. The tax liability satisfied was £50,000, £286,610 and £52,270 respectively. The Tillemans painting will go to the Castle museum, Norwich but a decision over the allocation of the other two items has not yet been taken.
Mr. Carrington : To ask the Minister for the Arts if he will give details of any proposed changes to the cash limits of his Department's votes in 1988-89.
Mr. Luce : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimates, the cash limits of the following votes will be increased as indicated :
Class and Vote |Current Cash Limit|Change |Revised Cash Limit |£ |£ |£ ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- XIII,1 |153,576,000 |+500,000 |154,076,000 XIII,2 |174,362,000 |+5,200,000 |179,562,000
Additional provision of £500,000 is being sought in a spring Supplementary Estimate on class XIII, vote 1. The grant-in-aid to the Tate gallery is to be increased by £800,000 to meet completion costs of building projects which exceed previous estimates. That increase will be partly met from savings of £300,000 elsewhere on the vote. Additional provision of £5.2 million is being sought on class XIII, vote 2. The main Estimate provision for assets accepted in lieu of tax is to be augmented by £5.7 million but this additional provision is partially offset by savings of £500,000 elsewhere on the vote. The increase of £5,700,000 on these two votes has been charged to the reserve and will not, therefore, add to the planned total of public expenditure.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many Rolls-Royce engines have been sold to (a) Malaysia and (b) Singapore air carriers in each of the last 10 years.
Mr. Atkins : Rolls-Royce plc has provided my Department with the following details of engines supplied for civil purposes to Malaysia and Singapore :
|Number --------------------------------------- Malaysia 1980 |1 Dart 1982 |10 RB211-524 1986 |1 RB211-524 1987 |1 RB211-524 Singapore 1979 |2 Dart 1980 |1 Dart 1987 |2 Spey
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will provide funds for those non-Confederation of British Industry member firms unable to afford the £1,725 fee for attendance at the Confederation of British Industry's Initiative 1992 seminars.
Mr. Maude : The DTI does not subsidise attendance at private sector conferences on the single European market. Our "Europe Open for Business" campaign provides a comprehensive service free of charge to help firms prepare for the single market challenge. This includes access to a database listing hundreds of conferences and seminars throughout the country.
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster excluding media advertising (a) how much has been spent on preparing British industry for the creation of the European single market in 1992 and (b) how this money has been spent.
Mr. Maude : Excluding advertising, some £3.65 million has been spent on DTI's campaign to encourage firms to prepare for the single European market. The expenditure includes detailed and comprehensive literature on the single market programme ; a major series of business conferences ; a national telephone inquiry service (01-200 1992) and mailing operation ; the 1992 Spearhead' computer database ; video materials ; and research into business preparations.
Ms. Harman : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will give details of Ministers' visits to the Peckham area in connection with the north Peckham task force, including the name of the Minister, the date of the visit, and the purpose of the visit.
Mr. Forth : The information is as follows and relates to visits since the launch of the task force in May 1986 :
Date ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1 July 1986 |Kenneth Clarke, Paymaster General and Sir | George Young, Parliamentary Under- | Secretary of State at DoE, to look at projects | in development. 4 March 1987 |Kenneth Clarke, Paymaster General opened | to the south east adult training project and looked | at other task force funded projects. 22 September 1987 |Kenneth Clarke, inaugurated the task force and | Lloyds business development fund. 20 January 1988 |Robert Atkins, Parliamentary Under-Secretary | of State at DTI-familiarisation visit. 1 February 1988 |John Patten, Minister of State at the Home | Office inaugurated the task force/Brook | Street project. 9 June 1988 |Tim Renton, Minister of State at Home Office | opened the Vietnamese refugee community's | employment and training project. 13 July 1988 |John Patten, Minister of State at Home Office | launched the Peckham enterprise centre. 26 July 1988 |Norman Fowler, Secretary of State for | Employment, to talk about task force funded | projects, with special reference to ET | providers. 12 December 1988 |Lord Young, Secretary of State for Trade | and Industry inaugurated the Walworth school | world of work scheme.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what plans he has to encourage manufacturers to produce dioxin-free disposable nappies and disposable paper products ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Forth : I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on 28 November, at column 96. I understand that the quantities of dioxin which may occur in these products are very small. I will consider the matter further when the expert advice from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the committee on toxicity at the Department of Health is available.
Mr. William Powell : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many overseas companies have set up operations in Britain over the past year.
Mr. Alan Clark [pursuant to his answer 18 January 1989, c. 231] : Toyota has for some time been considering setting up a car manufacturing plant in the European Community and has engaged consultants to help them assess the options. The Government believe that at this stage the United Kingdom is the lead candidate as a location for the project. Feasibility studies are in hand based on a plant producing up to 200,000 cars a year, with a local (EC) content level rising after a transitional period to 80 per cent. The project would create up to 3,000 direct jobs.
My right hon. and learned Friend has made it clear to Toyota that it would receive a warm welcome from the Government if it were to decide to locate the project in the United Kingdom, and he has invited the company to work closely with the Department of Trade and Industry in pursuing its feasibility studies.