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Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Trade in endangered species is already strictly controlled within the United Kingdom under EC Regulations 3626/82 and 3418/83, which implement the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora throughout the European Community. Adequate provisions for enforcing the EC regulations already exist under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 and The Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations 1985 (SI 1985 No. 1155). There have been many prosecutions for import-export offences under the 1979 Act, most of which have been successful.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action his Department is taking to protect rare species of orchids from extinction by smuggling activities based in the United Kingdom.
Column 259and 3418/83) implementing the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora within the United Kingdom when considering applications for import/export permits. Enforcement of the import/export controls at the points of entry is the responsibility of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what international co-operation exists between Governments on the protection of endangered species of orchids ; and what steps he is taking to improve this.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : International trade in orchids is strictly controlled under the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora, to which the United Kingdom and over 100 other countries are party. The EC Regulations (3626/82 and 3418/83) implementing CITES within the European Community already impose more stringent controls on many species of orchids than the convention requires.
Mr. Wolfson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether his Department's advice to local authorities on the provision of low cost housing in rural areas is related to such areas located within the green belt.
Mr. Howard [holding answer 25 May 1989] : My February statement on 3 February at column 433 did not alter the general presumption against inappropriate development in the green belts. Green belt policy remains as stated in planning policy guidance note 2. Most green belt areas are by their nature close to the main conurbations, and conditions are not typical of the generality of rural areas to which the statement was addressed. Special considerations may, however, arise in some of the more extensive areas of green belt away from the urban fringe, particularly in areas where there are many small settlements and it may not be practicable or appropriate to define green belt boundaries around each one. In some of these areas local planning policies already recognise that very limited development within existing settlements may be acceptable and consistent with the function of the green belt. It is for local planning authorities to judge whether low-cost housing development for local community needs would fall within the scope of such policies.
The release, exceptionally, for small-scale, low-cost housing schemes of other sites, within existing settlements which would not normally be considered for development under such policies would again be a matter for the judgment of the planning authority, having regard to all material considerations, including the objectives of green belt policy and the evidence of local need. As I made clear in my previous statement, where sites are released for low cost housing as an exception to normal policies of restraint, it will be essential for the planning authority to satisfy itself as to the adequacy of arrangements to reserve the housing in question for local needs, both initially and on subsequent change of occupant.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has on statements made by Spanish Government officials concerning conflicts between British and Spanish police accounts of circumstances surrounding the Gibraltar shootings ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave : The Spanish Government have assured us that the only authentic account by a Spanish official of the events in question is that of Inspector Rayo of 8 August 1988, a copy of which was placed in the Library of the House of Commons on 9 May. No other statement by an official has any validity.
Mr. Canavan : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement about relationships between the Governments of the United Kingdom and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Mr. Waldegrave : In the last four years there has been a major improvement in Anglo-Soviet relations. We have developed a worthwhile and substantive high-level political dialogue. Contacts of all sorts have expanded rapidly, helping to break down the barriers of misunderstanding and distrust. But the recent expulsions have shown that there is still a long way to go before our relations with the Soviet Union reach the level of stability and mutual trust to which we aspire.
Mr. Eggar : In 1988, Her Majesty's diplomatic and consular posts in Spain received over 119,000 visitors and received and made over 189, 000 telephone calls. A large proportion of the visits and telephone calls were in connection with consular work.
Our records, which do not fully reflect all the assistance given to British citizens, show the following :
|Number ------------------------------------------------------ Registrations |17,695 Passports issued |6,728 Passports renewed/exended |1,876 Emergency passports issued |5,619 Thefts reported by Britons |5,061 Births/deaths registered |1,042 Repatriations |26 Official assistance with self-help |695 War Pensioners assisted |232 British prisoners visited at least once |849 Birth/death certificates issued |476
Column 261would depend greatly upon progress in that country's fulfilment of its CSCE commitments, particularly on human rights. We shall continue to encourage such progress.
Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on any diplomatic efforts his Department are pursuing to secure the release of Nelson Mandela.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what level of funding the British Broadcasting Corporation world service has received in real terms in each of the last 15 years.
|Cash terms |1988-89 prices |£ million |£ million ------------------------------------------------------------ 1975-76 |27.1 |84.9 1976-77 |30.8 |85.1 1977-78 |34.0 |82.7 1978-79 |37.2 |81.4 1979-80 |42.9 |80.7 1980-81 |54.9 |87.1 1981-82 |62.8 |90.7 1982-83 |70.9 |95.5 1983-84 |77.6 |100.0 1984-85 |81.0 |99.5 1985-86 |90.0 |104.8 1986-87 |98.9 |111.4 1987-88 |97.9 |105.0 1988-89 |114.5 |114.5 1989-90 |<1>120.1 |<1>113.9 <1> Estimate. Note: Figures for 1988-89 and 1989-90 exclude provision for FCO-BBC relay stations contract previously funded separately from grants-in-aid: £5.6 million in 1988-89, £5.9 million in 1989-90.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has received any reports of human rights violations by law enforcement officials in Egypt ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his policy towards the proliferation of ballistic missiles in Third world countries ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 262seriously destabilising effect, particularly in areas of regional tension. As a founder member of the missile technology control region (MTCR), we have adopted guidelines to control the transfer of equipment and technology. When the MTCR was established in April 1987, the partners urged all states to adopt the guidelines of the regime.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if Her Majesty's Government will express sympathy to the people of Iran on the death of their nation's spiritual leader ; and if Her Majesty's Government sought to be represented at the funeral.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will initiate talks with Polish and Soviet Governments on the Katyn massacre ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : Her Majesty's embassies, high commissions and consulates around the world make available a range of statutory and non-statutory consular services to British travellers. Statutory functions include :
the registration of births and deaths
the solemnisation and registration of marriages
the performance of notarial acts
the servicing of documents and taking of evidence
duties under the Merchant Shipping Acts.
Non-Statutory functions include :
the protection of British nationals and British institutions, including assistance in cases of death, illness, arrest, proposed deportation, etc.
the relief and repatriation of distressed British nationals, as a last resort
the maintenance of close and good relations with the British community
the issue of passports.
Mr. Eggar : Following Lee Chuk Yan's detention by police at Peking airport on 5 June, our embassy in Peking lodged an immediate inquiry with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and made considerable efforts to trace his whereabouts. The embassy subsequently established that he was unharmed in a hotel room in Peking and kept in close contact with him. We have now had confirmation that Lee Chuk Yan was evacuated safely from Peking on 8 June.
Mr. Winnick : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what criteria he selected (a) the means and (b) the timing to let it be known that the possible blackmail of hon. Members had not been in any way associated with the recent expulsion of Soviet citizens.
Sir Geoffrey Howe : The story appeared in newspapers on Friday 26 May. The Leader of the Opposition wrote to me on 26 May to seek a statement of the Government's views. I replied on 26 May, making clear that I should have
Column 264no objection if the right hon. Member for Islwyn (Mr. Kinnock) wished to publish our exchange. He did so on 27 May.
Mr. Winnick : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent statements were made by the Minister of State in his Department, the hon. Member for Bristol West (Mr. Waldegrave) to a BBC correspondent regarding possible blackmail of hon. Members by Soviet agents ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Boswell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to respond to the report of the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs on Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.