Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the discussions with the Department of Health on the future research programme into child sexual abuse to be concluded ; and if he will make an announcement.
Mr. John Patten : Discussions are in progress with the Department of Health on that part of the Home Office research and planning unit's programme of research for the financial year 1989-90, which concerns child sexual abuse. The details of the research projects on this topic which the Home Office will undertake will be published in the summer in the Home Office research and planning unit's programme of research. Copies of this publication will be placed in the Library.
Mr. John L. Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how often police have used the power given under the Public Order Act 1986 to impose a limit on the number of people attending a football match.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We are not aware that the Public Order Act has been used for this purpose.
Mr. John L. Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many exclusion orders have been imposed on football supporters under the Public Order Act 1986.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Since 1 August 1987, 1,417 orders have been recorded by the Football Association.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis about the level of complaints against the Haringey police from the Asian community ; what steps are being taken to investigate these and improve police-community relations ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that the statistics of complaints are extracted from individual files when action on the complaint is complete. He further tells me that in 1987 action was completed on three complaints against the Haringey police involving Asian complainants. Action on six such complaints was completed in 1988.
All complaints against officers of the Metropolitan police are investigated in accordance with the procedures laid down in part IX of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and the associated regulations.
Column 580The commissioner places the highest importance on good relations between his force and all sections of the community. His force is committed to a range of policies designed to this end.
Sir Eldon Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish in the Official Report the number of rapes reported to the police in the administrative county of Suffolk during each of the years 1979 to 1988 and the number of convictions obtained after prosecutions.
Mr. John Patten : The number of offences of rape recorded by the police in each police force area is published annually in table S3.1 of "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales, Supplementary Tables, Volume 3", a copy of which is in the Library of the House. The number of offences of rape recorded by the Suffolk constabulary in January to September 1988 was 37. Information held centrally, which may be incomplete, shows five persons convicted of rape in 1979, three in 1983 and three in 1987 ; provision of corresponding figures for other years would involve disproportionate cost.
Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list those international organisations on which his Department is represented and the total cost of these commitments.
Mr. Hurd : My Department is represented at meetings arranged under the auspices of the following organisations :
Anglo-French Policing and Frontier Controls Working Group Council of Europe
Comite Technique Internationale de Pre vention et d'Extinction du Feu
Conference Permanente Europe enne de la Probation
European Committee on Standards
European Group on DNA Integration
European Civil Aviation Conference
IATA Working Group on Inadmissible Passengers
Intergovernmental Commission on Channel Tunnel
International Civil Aviation Organisation Facilitation Committee International Maritime Organisation Facilitation Committee International Standards Organisation
International Penal and Penitentiary Foundation
International Prison Chaplains' Association
Internationale de Me trologie Le gale
Western European Union
In the financial year 1987-88 my Department's subscription to Interpol was £440,000, to the Major Donors' group of the United Nations fund for drug abuse control £162,000 and to the Council of Europe's co- operation group to combat drug abuse and illicit trafficking in drugs (the Pompidou group) £34,000. The cost of other commitments could be estimated only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to extend the Data Protection Act to cover paper and card indexes held by the Economic League and similar bodies.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make a statement on the disqualification of the residents of Caldey Island, Pembrokeshire, from parliamentary and European elections ; and what action he proposes to ensure that the residents are refranchised in time to vote in the European elections in June.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Caldey Island is not within the district of south Pembrokeshire. Since 1983 parliamentary constituencies, and hence European parliamentary constituencies, in Wales have been defined by districts and district wards. The jurisdiction of electoral registration officers is also determined by district. It has recently come to light that this removes the right of the residents of the island to be included on the electoral register We are discussing with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales, who is responsible for local government areas in Wales, how best to restore the franchise to the residents of Caldey Island.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the chief constable of Kent as to what stage has been reached in police investigations in relation to the Herald of Free Enterprise incident ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : I understand from the chief constable of Kent that the police investigation is nearly complete and that a final report will then be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Mr. Gregory : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to lay a code of practice under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 before Parliament.
Mr Douglas Hogg : My right hon. Friend has today laid before the House, under section 21 of the Act, a code of practice for the housing and care of animals used in scientific procedures which will be published tomorrow.
This code is based upon guidelines published in 1987 jointly by the Royal Society and the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare. It is a tribute to the excellent and thorough work done by these bodies that little amendment has been needed to convert their guidelines into a code of practice which should command widespread support.
Mr. Skinner : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to provide that bodies acting solely as channels for contributions to political bodies shall be disbarred from charitable status.
Mr. John Patten [holding answer 6 February 1989] : No organisation that acted solely as a channel for contributions to political bodies could lawfully be a charity.
Mr. Butler : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Cambridgeshire, North-East (Mr. Moss) of 25 January, Official Report, column 575, access to European Investment Bank loans for Cyprus will be permissible for applications deriving directly fron the area known as the Turkish republic of north Cyprus.
Mrs. Chalker : EIB loans require Government guarantees. Direct access to European Investment bank loans from the Turkish area of Cyprus would therefore not be possible.
Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent developments have taken place in efforts to secure the release of John McCarthy.
Mr. Waldegrave : Despite recent rumours of the imminent release of one or more British hostages, and the efforts made, particularly by Her Majesty's ambassador in Beirut, to follow up these reports, I regret that there have been no substantive developments. We continue to follow up all available information.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the final treaty on chemical weapons disarmament and verification, currently being negotiated in Geneva, will require that all old burial and destruction sites of chemical warfare agents will need to be indentified for the purposes of verification ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave : The question of old chemical weapon burial and destruction sites has been raised in the Geneva negotiations and their coverage under a comprehensive chemical weapons convention is still under discussion. There is general agreement in the negotiations that upon entry into force of such a convention, states would be required to declare their existing chemical weapon stockpiles, accept on-site inspection of such stockpiles and destroy them within 10 years. Production of chemical weapons would cease immediately and production facilities would be dismantled over the 10-year period. Chemical weapon destruction facilities would be declared and progress in the destruction of stocks monitored.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will specify each donation which his Department has made in response to public appeals for financial aid during each financial year since 1979-80.
Mr. Eggar : We can find no trace in our records of any donation made by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (diplomatic wing) since 1979 in response to public appeals.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the sources of information on which he bases his assessment that the Soviet Union has continued without any break in its nuclear weapons modernisation programme.
Mr. Waldegrave : It is not our policy to comment on sources of information obtained on subjects of this nature.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will set out the inaccuracies identified by his Department in the Thames Television programme "Death on the Rock."
Mr. Waldegrave : Our concerns over the broadcast of the programme "Death on the Rock", and the serious and damaging inaccuracies it contains, are set out in a Government press statement of 26 January, and the attached correspondence from officials to Lord Windlesham, which my hon. Friend the Minister for the Armed Forces has laid in the Library of the House.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has on new plans under study by the People's Republic of China to build more nuclear power plants in Guandong, near Hong Kong, in addition to the Daya Bay Plant under construction.
Mr. Eggar : I am aware of no such plans.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions since 1979 permission for emigration to, or travel within, the Soviet Union or other COMECON eastern bloc countries has been denied to applicants formerly employed at the Government communication headquarters at Cheltenham.
Mr. Eggar : We have nothing to add to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 26 January at column 704.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the total number of people employed in the offices of the United Kingdom permanent representative to the European Communities ; and what is the total annual cost, including salaries, rent, rates, equipment, depreciation, allowances, training, and expenses, for 1988.
Mrs. Chalker : The total number of people employed in the offices of the United Kingdom permanent representative to the European Communities is 84, including locally engaged staff.
Column 584The total cost for the financial year 1987- 88 was £5.5 million. This is the latest figure available.
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what has been the cost to public funds of the Falkland Islands Government for the latest year for which figures are available, per capita for the permanent population of the islands.
Mr. Eggar : For the financial year 1987-88, our public expenditure in the Falkland Islands was as follows :
Development aid : £6,780,000
Garrison costs : £118,000,000
Total : £124,780,000
For the financial year ending 30 June 1988, public expenditure by the Falkland Islands Government was £15,541,731.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations he has made to the Turkish authorities regarding continuing reports of systematic and widespread use of torture in places of detention ;
(2) if he will make representations to the Turkish Government urging them (a) to repeal those laws which criminalise the non-violent expression of opinion, (b) to abolish the use of military courts when trying civilians, (c) to conform to international standards of justice in the proceedings of civil courts and (d) to abolish the use of the death penalty ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Chalker : My right hon. and learned Friend raised the continuing allegations of breaches of human rights when the Turkish ambassador paid an introductory call on him on 1 February. I also did so during his call on me on 2 February. He assured us that his Government were aware that there were areas where further improvement was necessary and were acting to eliminate shortcomings. We welcome that assurance.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Turkish authorities regarding the case of Ibraham Acan.
Mrs. Chalker : We are aware of the circumstances of Mr. Acan's case. We urge the Turkish Government to ensure that they respect and abide by the terms and conditions of the human rights agreements to which they are signatories.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Turkish authorities on breaches of the European convention for the prevention of torture and request them to make known the steps being taken to end the use of practices condemned therein.
Mrs. Chalker : My right hon. and learned Friend and I have both recently made the Turkish ambassador aware of our concern about allegations of breaches of human rights in Turkey. Through him we have reminded the Turkish Government of the need to abide by the international conventions to which they are signatories.
Mr. Ron Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the countries which have been asked to pay rates arrears for diplomatic properties in London ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : We are seeking payment of rates arrears for diplomatic properties in London from the following states :
We regularly approach missions which are in arrears to urge them to make payment.
Mr. Hanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he is taking to secure the release of Mr. Ian Richter from imprisonment in Iraq ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave : The continuing imprisonment of Mr. Richter remains a source of grave concern to the Government. The sentence passed on him is severe, and we have made numerous appeals for clemency to the Iraqi authorities. We note that Mr. Richter is now the only remaining long-term western prisoner in Iraq. His early release would remove a major obstacle to the improvement of Anglo-Iraqi relations.