Mr. Luce : Since my announcement on 3 May at column 105 I am pleased to announce that a painting by Rubens has been accepted in lieu of tax. In accordance with the condition on which it was offered, the painting will be allocated to the Ashmolean museum, Oxford. It satisfied £169,852.48 tax and followed the precedent set by the acceptance of Picasso's "Weeping Woman", in that the Ashmolean agreed to pay the owner the difference (£180,147.52) between the tax liability to be satisfied and the "special price" of £350,000.
Sir David Price : To ask the Minister for the Arts whether he will arrange with the Property Services Agency that before the freehold of the Tate gallery is handed over to the trustees the fabric of the gallery is brought up to acceptable standards ; and how much he estimates it will cost.
Mr. Luce [holding answer 8 May 1989] : Untying of the national museums and galleries from the Property Services Agency took effect from 1 April 1988. The progressive transfer of ownership of the buildings to the relevant trustee bodies is part of this process. The Government share the view of the institutions concerned that this allows the trustees to make more flexible and effective use of the resources available for the upkeep and improvement of the buildings. I have also provided the national museums and galleries with substantial increases in their building and maintenance grant-in-aid over this period. The Tate gallery's provision of £2.4 million in 1988-89 was enhanced by a supplementary estimate of £0.8 million in that year ; a further increase of 17 per cent. brings the figure for the current year to £3.8 million.
Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people have purchased 2 per cent. Treasury stock in each year since the stock was first issued ; and how many holders of the stock sold their holdings in each year.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information he has as to the levels of overseas investment of each of the Group of Seven countries in the latest year for which figures are available.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 28 April 1989] : Figures for the flow of net overseas investment in 1987 of all the countries in question, can be found in the February 1989 edition of the Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 5 May 1989] : I regret that no estimate is available. However, the arrangements proposed in clause 20 of the Finance Bill were formulated after extensive consultations with representatives of fuel and power suppliers, and go as far as the Government are able within the terms of the judgment of the European Court of Justice to ease the administrative burden of operating the revised relief.
The Prime Minister : We are following developments at UNESCO closely and hope that the director general can bring about the changes that are needed. Before we can consider reviewing our position on membership we will need to be convinced that fundamental reforms are being implemented both in UNESCO's administration and in its programmes. This will certainly not be possible until after UNESCO's general conference in November this year, which will adopt the organisation's new medium-term plan (1990-95) as well as its programme and budget (1990-91).
17 to 18 July 1980--Anglesey
11 December 1980--Cardiff
2 July 1982--Mid Wales
21 September 1984--North East Wales
26 April 1985--North Wales
21 June 1986--Porthcawl
13 March 1987--Bangor and Penmaenbach tunnel
I have omitted from the above any dates on which I was solely engaged on party business.
The Prime Minister : This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. I was also present at Victoria station to mark the arrival of President Babangida. In addition to my duties in the House I shall be having further meetings later today. This evening I will attend a state banquet in honour of President Babangida.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, pursuant to his reply to the hon. member for Nottingham, South (Mr. Brandon-Bravo), 2 February 1989, Official Report, column 402, how the clerical error to which he refers came about ; whether the error has been notified to the safe works authorities ; whether any other unreported errors have been made in plutonium accountancy ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Spicer : I have nothing to add to my reply of 2 February 1989 to my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South (Mr. Brandon- Bravo). I re-emphasise that the underlying data were not affected in any way.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, Official Report, 17 January 1989, column 157, in what form the unseparated plutonium was exported and to which country ; from which reactors the 2,865 kg originated, and in what quantities from each reactor ; and if he will update the table to March 1989.
Mr. Michael Spicer : The unseparated plutonium was exported in the form of irradiated fuel. The precise quantities of separated plutonium exports linked to individual reactors cannot be disclosed on the grounds of commercial confidentiality. Figures of exports and imports of plutonium for the financial year 1988-89 will be included in the published data on plutonium production later in the year.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish a comparative table showing the volumes and radioactive content of radioactive waste arisings per unit of energy output expected from (a) thermal nuclear reactors, (b) fast breeder nuclear reactors and (c) fusion nuclear reactors ; and if he will ask United Kingdom Nirex Ltd. to prepare management and storage plans for radioactive waste from fusion power.
Mr. Michael Spicer : These are matters for the operators of the reactor types in question. I have asked the chairmen of the Central Electricity Generating Board and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority to write to the hon. Member about thermal nuclear reactors and fast breeder nuclear reactors respectively. The prospects for power from fusion reactors are so far distant that it is not practicable to make any such estimate.
UK Nirex Ltd. will provide facilities for the disposal of intermediate and low-level wastes arising from all sources, including any which may eventually arise from fusion power.
Mr. Michael Spicer : This Department has no direct responsibilities for the provision of rescue services at licensed mines. The Coal and Other Mines (Fire and Rescue) Regulations 1956 require that the owner of a mine is responsible for ensuring provision for rescue is available. The Health and Safety Executive's mines and quarries inspectorate is responsible for ensuring the provisions of the 1956 regulations are complied with.
Mr. Faulds : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much public money has been committed to Cyprus by the British Government in the last 12 months for the benefit of (a) Turkish Cypriots and (b) Greek Cypriots ; and for what purposes.
I Overseas Development Administration Technical Co-operation Programme
(a) Turkish Community :--
English Language Teacher Training in Turkish medium schools : £69, 800 for the period 1988-91
Book Presentation Programme : £4,000 for 1989-90
(b) Greek Community
Pedagogical Institute Teacher Training Project £103,000 for the period 1989-92
Book Presentation Programme £6,000 for 1989-90
Overseas Development Administration Technical Co-operation Training Programme
£121,000 for 1989-90
As I told the hon. Member on 1 March 1988, at column 502, the ratio of awards to Greek and Turkish Cypriots will vary from year to year, depending on the quality of the candidates coming forward and other factors. It is not possible to forecast at this stage the distribution of future awards.
II FCO Scholarship and Award Scheme for 1988-89
(a) Turkish Candidates £81,217
(b) Greek Candidates £37,413
III FCO Fee Support Scheme for 1988-89
(a) Turkish Candidates £49,129
(b) Greek Candidates £744,365
IV British Council (exchanges of persons, information activities, etc.) for 1989-90
(a) Turkish beneficiaries £10,940
(b) Greek beneficiaries £66,590
V Home Office (Anti-drug trafficking programmes for 1988-89) (a) Turkish Community :
Training for Turkish Cypriot customs officers : £2,200
Column 359(b) Greek Community :
Provision of customs equipment : £8,300
Mr. Faulds : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much public money has been committed to Cyprus by the European Community in the last 12 months for the benefit of (a) Turkish Cypriots and (b) Greek Cypriots ; and for what purposes.
Mr. Chris Patten : The European Community allocated £29 million under the second five year financial protocol for Cyprus which expired last December. A further five-year financial protocol under which £41 million will be provided was agreed at the beginning of this year. The Community seeks to support projects of benefit to the whole population of the island ; in particular, it has met the cost of water, electricity and sewerage works. No division of the sums committed for the benefit of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots is available.
Mr. Faulds : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much public money has been committed to Cyprus by the United Nations and its specialised agencies in the last 12 months for the benefit of (a) Turkish Cypriots and (b) Greek Cypriots ; and for what purposes.
Mr. Chris Patten : In 1987, the latest year for which figures are available, total net official development assistance to Cyprus from the United Nations and its agencies was $7.62 million, or some £4.65 million. Detailed information on the precise destination and purpose of this assistance is not held centrally.
Mr. Faulds : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the Government intend to continue the paying of public funds to the Greek Cypriots as aid, in view of the finding of the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs that by most criteria the southern sector of Cyprus is no longer eligible for economic aid.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) when Mr. Sodigar Hussain applied to the post in Islamabad to join his wife, Mrs. Zaidah Begum, whose date of birth is 27 January 1967 ; and when a decision on his application will be taken ;
(2) when Shamim Akhter, who was born on 12 November 1964, applied to the post in Islamabad to enter the United Kingdom ; when her application was refused ; when the post dispatched an explanatory statement setting out the reasons her application was refused ; and if he will make a statement ;
(3) when Mr. Mchd Arif, who was born on 1 September 1963, will be issued with a visa by the post in Islamabad following his successful appeal against refusal to grant him permission to enter the United Kingdom ;
(4) when Mrs. Musrat Begum, whose date of birth is 1 January 1958, applied to the post in Islamabad, to join her husband in the United Kingdom ; and when a decision will be taken on her application.
Mr. Anderson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what evidence is now available of the use against the security forces in Northern Ireland of weapons obtained through the agency of South African intelligence personnel ; and whether that evidence will affect in any way the policies of the Government towards South Africa.
It remains our policy towards South Africa to work for the abolition of apartheid and the peaceful transition to a non-racial representative system of government.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in the light of recent statements from Spanish police sources that the Provisional IRA active service unit was under surveillance until crossing into Gibraltar and that it was known that the unit was not armed or in possession of a bomb, what steps he is proposing to take to determine what information British or Gibraltarian security forces had in their possession when these members of the unit were shot.
Mr. Waldegrave : We received full and invaluable co-operation from the Spanish authorities throughout this affair for which we remain very grateful. The nature of that co-operation is covered in the statement made to the Gibraltar coroner's officer by the responsible Spanish police officer, a copy of which, together with its translation by the coroner's officer, I have placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he has taken to request United Kingdom posts in Peru and Brazil to undertake inquiries about the whereabouts of Neil Sanderson ; and what contact officials at United Kingdom posts have had with the Governments or other agencies in Peru and Brazil to obtain information about Neil Sanderson.
Mr. Eggar : Her Majesty's embassies at Lima and Brasilia, Her Majesty's consulates-general at Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, and the honorary consulates in Manaus, Belem and Recife were also alerted by consular department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in January this year, when Mr. Sanderson's father reported that his son was missing after setting off alone from Peru to canoe down the Amazon. None of the posts has had contact with Mr. Sanderson.
Our posts have informed the Brazilian federal and the Peruvian police of the situation but our posts do not have the staff resources to make searches for missing persons themselves. We have advised Mr. Sanserson's family to
Column 361contact their local police in Yorkshire in order to request a formal police investigation in South America, via Interpol.
Mr Waldegrave : Following the Paris conference on chemical weapons in January this year the chemical weapons negotiations in Geneva have had an active spring session which has just ended. Progress has been made on a number of issues, but much work remains to be done, especially on verification, before a comprehensive effectively verifiable and global convention on chemical weapons can be achieved.
Mr. John Wheeler : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proposals for the modernisation of the Central line of London Underground he has received ; at what cost ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : Last October my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State approved proposals to modernise and re-equip the Central line at a cost of over £700 million. New, faster trains will be introduced ; the signalling will be replaced ; and other improvements will be made. These changes will increase the line's capacity and reliability.
Mr. Aspinwall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action his Department has taken to respond to the proposals made in the 1983 Monopolies and Mergers Commission report on the Civil Aviation Authority and national air traffic service ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The Department of Transport monitored the actions taken by the Civil Aviation Authority in response to the 1983 report of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, and discussed the follow- up action at a number of meetings with the CAA on 29 March 1984 and 23 January 1985. Statements were made to the House of Commons in answers to written questions at columns 274 and 415 on the progress being made by the CAA. My right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Transport wrote to the incoming chairman of the CAA on 24 July 1986 setting out his objectives. These included action on several of the recommendations of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.
Mr. Aspinwall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on the action the Civil Aviation Authority has taken to fulfil the recommendations made in the 1983 Monopolies and Mergers Commission report on the Civil Aviation Authority and national air traffic service showing the dates on which specific actions were taken.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The information given to the Secretary of State for Transport on the action taken by the Civil Aviation Authority to fulfil the recommendations made in the 1983 Monopolies and Mergers Commission report on the CAA and the national air traffic services is set out in the published CAA reports CAP 548 (February 1984) and CAP 499 (January 1985).