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Mr. Waldegrave : We are in close and constant touch with our NATO colleagues over East-West policy. We share a broad measure of agreement in our analysis of the present situation and of the way forward.
Column 468admission of citizens from Commonwealth countries to the United Kingdom for holidays or short stays and the need to ensure that appropriate flexibility is allowed to help cases where such citizens wish to visit Britain urgently because of the chronic illness or death of a relative resident in the United Kingdom.
68. Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary- General of the United Nations on the present position in Cyprus ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Chalker : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State last met the United Nations Secretary-General in Tokyo on 25 February. During their discussion they reviewed progress in the intercommunal talks on Cyprus. The talks continue, with our full support.
69. Mr. Butterfill : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in what ways the European Community and the European Free Trade Association are working together towards the development of the single market.
Mrs. Chalker : The United Kingdom believes that the EFTA countries should, as far as is practicable and mutually beneficial, have access to the single market. The programme of EC/EFTA co-operation initiated by the Luxembourg declaration of 1984 is continuing. Following a joint ministerial meeting on 20 March, the Commission is exploring with EFTA options for further extending co-operation. A further ministerial meeting is planned for the autumn.
72. Mr. Sumberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to encourage a unified western response to the reforms taking place in eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.
Mr. Waldegrave : We are in constant touch, bilaterally and multilaterally, with our allies over East-West policy. There is a broad agreement on analysis of the situation in eastern Europe and the Soviet Union and on the way forward.
80. Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what will be the principal matters Her Majesty's Government intend to discuss with Prime Minister Shamir of Israel when he visits the United Kingdom in May ; and if he will make a statement.
82. Mr. Dykes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what current discussions he is holding with his European Economic Community counterparts on preparations for the forthcoming European Economic Community summit meeting of Heads of Government in Madrid.
Mrs. Chalker : It is for the Spanish presidency to make the preparations for the European Council in June. The agenda will be discussed in advance in the Foreign Affairs Council in the usual way. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State discusses current items of Community business with his colleagues in the Council and at other meetings.
Mrs. Chalker : The next meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council is on 22 and 23 May. Matters for discussion include preparation for the EC/Israel Co-operation Council ; preparation for the ACP/EC ministerial meeting in June ; the EC-US dispute over hormones in meat ; the GATT Uruguay round (Tropical Products) ; a draft mandate for negotiations with the USSR on a trade agreement ; and preparation for the OECD ministerial meeting at the end of May. An EC/Israel Co-operation Council will be held in the margins of the Council.
Sir Russell Johnston : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what was the total value of the United Kingdom overseas development assistance in 1979-80, and in 1988-89 at constant 1979 prices.
Mr. Chris Patten : The United Kingdom net aid programme in 1979-80 was £798 million. The equivalent figure for 1987-88, at 1979-80 prices, was £700 million. The figure for 1988-89 is not yet available.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list (a) the number and character of Council of Ministers meetings in each of the past two years, (b) the Ministers who represented the United Kingdom by Department and (c) by Department and grade of the civil servants who attended.
Mrs. Chalker : The information requested at (a) and (b) is provided in the relevant six-monthly White Papers on developments in the European Community, copies of which are deposited in the Library of the House. But details of attendance by civil servants by Department and grade could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list Royal Air Force participation in (a) Red Flag, (b) Green Flag, (c) Copper Flag and (d) Maple Flag exercises during 1988, giving the number and type of Royal Air Force aircraft involved and the dates of the exercises on each occasion.
Date |Aircraft involved ------------------------------------------------------------------ Royal Air Force participation in Red Flag exercises 8 October to 19 November 1988 |Nine Tornado |Eight Phantom |Two Hercules Royal Air Force participation in Green Flag exercises 15 March to 16 April 1988 |Nine Tornado Royal Air Force participation in Maple Flag exercises 30 April to 11 June 1988 |Eight Harrier
Mr. Neubert : I have nothing to add to the answer given by my predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Kettering (Mr. Freeman), on 22 April 1987 at column 583. The matter is still being studied by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
Column 471(2) what is the planned number of sorties to be conducted by RAF aircraft on training detachment to Goose bay, Canada during 1989.
Mr. Neubert : The total number of low-flying training sorties carried out by Royal Air Force aircraft from Goose bay, Canada in 1988 was 1,423. It is not expected that the amount of activity in 1989 will vary greatly from that carried out in recent years.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many RAF Tornado aircraft are currently deployed at Goose bay, Canada ; on what date they arrived there ; and what is their planned date of return to the United Kingdom.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the total number of military low-level training sorties flown over the United Kingdom in 1988 was accounted for by (a) fast jets, (b) light jet trainers, (c) heavy propeller-driven aircraft, (d) light propeller-driven aircraft and (c) helicopters.
Category |Proportion of sorties |flown |Per cent. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Fast jets |59 Light jet trainers |9 Heavy propeller-driven aircraft |2 Light propeller-driven aircraft |1 Helicopters |29
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the total numbers of complaints received about low flying in 1988 from addresses in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland.
Mr. Neubert : No fixed-wing low flying training is carried out in Northern Ireland. However, helicopters do undertake low-flying operations in Northern Ireland and although no central records are available of complaints received, headquarters Northern Ireland received 38 complaints in 1988. The numbers of complaints and inquiries about military low flying received by the Ministry of Defence during 1988 for the remaining areas were :
|Number ----------------------- England |3,955 Wales |856 Scotland |875
Mr. Neubert : United States Air Force F-111 aircraft flew 11,147 low -flying sorties during 1987 and 11,303 during 1988. Central records are not kept separately of low-flying sorties by EF-111 aircraft.
Mr. Neubert : The information requested is not available. Central records of night low-flying do not separately distinguish flying between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am. It is aimed to complete low-flying training before 11 pm wherever possible because it is recognised that aircraft noise can be particularly intrusive at night, and no more such activity is authorised than is necessary.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the aircrew in front-line RAF Tornado strike/attack squadrons is currently authorised to fly at less than 250 ft minimum separation distance.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list the names and dates of all military air exercises held in the United Kingdom since 1974 in which flying at less than 250 ft was permitted over land.
Mr. Neubert : Military air exercise held in the United Kingdom do not involve the use of the United Kingdom low-flying system for flying below a level of 250 ft over land. Exercises involving ultra-low flying, that is below this and down to 100 ft, are normally held in the United States of America and Canada. Some strictly limited work-up training for these exercises does take place in the United Kingdom but within specially designated, sparsely populated areas.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total number of low-flying sorties over the United Kingdom in 1988, calculated by the pre-1985 method of logging movements between low flying areas.
Mr. Neubert : Precise figures are not available prior to 1988. It is estimated that some 20 per cent. of RAF Germany fixed-wing low-level sorties made use of the United Kingdom low-flying system in 1988.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the low-level sorties over the United Kingdom in 1988 were flown by (a) British military aircraft, (b) the United States Air Force aircraft and (c) other air forces.
Operating Authority |Proportion of sorties |flown |Per cent. -------------------------------------------------------------------- British Military |84 United States Air Force |15 Others |1
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what requests have been received from foreign air forces for permission to fly in the United Kingdom low-flying system at less than 250 ft minimum separation distance.
Mr. Neubert : There are no records of foreign military aircraft having been authorised to carry out low-flying training in the United Kingdom at less than 250 ft or of any formal request having been made for such training.
Mr. McKelvey : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give the total budget for advertising on the armed forces, showing separately the cost of advertising of the Territorial Army for 1989-90.
|£ ------------------------------------- Royal Navy/ Royal Marines Army |9,405,000 Royal Air Force |5,891,000
The figure for the Army includes our current estimate for the cost of advertising for the Territorial Army for 1989-90 which is £2,403, 000. This sum excludes local advertising expenditure commissioned by TA Voluntary Reserve associations who make their own allocations from a block grant received from the Ministry of Defence.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : So far as Royal Navy vessels are concerned, such visits are arranged to foster good relations between the Royal Navy and the civil community. Foreign warship visits to the Pool of London are tangible expressions of mutual goodwill between the United Kingdom and the Governments concerned.
Ms. Gordon : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will outline the plans prepared for the possibility of a naval accident on the Thames, in particular accidents which may affect vessels carrying nuclear weapons ;
Column 474(2) what special steps he takes to reassure people living in London, particularly by the Thames, in relation to the safety implications of the mooring at Greenwich or HMS Belfast of naval ships carrying nuclear weapons.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : It has been the policy of successive British Governments neither to confirm nor to deny the presence of nuclear weapons on HM ships. There are, however, detailed contingency plans for dealing with the extremely remote possibility of an accident involving the release of radioactive material from a weapon while in the custody of the Royal Navy, and these include plans to deal with such an accident on board a warship. The plans involve similar organisational arrangements to those which would apply in the event of an accident involving a naval nuclear propulsion reactor, and are designed to enable the organisations concerned to cope with the rather different technical problems that would be faced in a weapons accident.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library details of each major publicity campaign mounted by the armed services in 1985-86 and each successive year, including in each case the objectives of the campaign, the intended audience and the outcome of the monitoring of the achievement of the intended objectives, and national research conducted for them by the Central Office of Information together with a note of the intended objectives in the campaigns in 1989- 90.
Mr. Archie Hamilton [holding answer 2 May 1989] : The armed services' publicity campaigns are primarily concerned with recruitment. They are not a series of separate campaigns but rather a continuing campaign to keep the services in the public eye and to promote them, to both parents and young people, as a potential employer.
The impact of the campaign is continuously monitored. Adjustments are made in reaction to the response from the target audience and to reflect the manpower requirements of the services. There are no plans to change this practice in the foreseeable future but, in response to the increased competition for suitable applicants which all employers are likely to experience with the onset of the demographic trough, the services do expect to increase the level of advertising over that of recent years.
In addition to their recruiting campaign, the armed services are also sponsoring the national employers liaison committee's publicity campaign, the main aim of which is to promote public awareness of the reserve forces especially amongst employers.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library details of each major publicity campaign mounted by his Department in 1985-86 and each successive year, including in each case the objectives of the campaign, the intended audience and the outcome of the monitoring of the achievement of the intended objectives, and national research conducted for him by the Central Office of Information together with a note of the intended objectives in the campaigns in 1989-90.
Mr. Archie Hamilton [holding answer 2 May 1989] : The aim of the Ministry of Defence's public information effort is to increase public awareness of defence policies and the role and achievements of the armed forces.
Column 475This is achieved by a continuous information programme of press briefings and media visits to establishments and service units, films, exhibitions, and publications. Emphasis is given in this programme from time to time to matters of particular public interest and to specific occasions. These have included the European Year of the Environment in 1988, to which the Ministry of Defence contributed, and the 40th anniversary of NATO in 1989. The latter occasion was marked by an exhibition on British defence policy held in London in April, which is also due to visit several regional events later this summer, a NATO briefing tour of public meetings in six major towns and cities, and the issue of a special postal slogan.
The Central Office of Information was commissioned to undertake a market research survey on the MOD touring defence policy exhibition in 1988 and reported most favourably on its content and on the public response.