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Column 308Ocle Pychard
Details of the relaxations and amendments are still under consideration by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much financial support Wales received from the European Community in the last year for which figures are available.
Mr. Peter Walker : Details of financial support from the European Community in 1987 are as follows :--
F 1987 Sources |£ million ---------------------------------------------------------------------- European Regional Development |<1>- Fund-Quota |63.658 European Investment Bank |28.900 European Coal and Steel Community |<1>- European Social Fund |5.558 European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund |67.100 <1> Information for 1987 not yet available.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish the current water quality clarifications of rivers in Wales and any changes being recommended to these clarifications by the Welsh water authority and any changes in water quality objectives that may be involved in these reclarifications.
Mr. Grist : The current water authority classifications of rivers in Wales are contained within the 1985 river quality survey, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. Any changes will be incorporated in the next survey, which is due to be carried out in 1990.
Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement as to the alleged deficiencies in the financial accounts of the Polytechnic of Wales.
Mr. Wyn Roberts : No. This is a matter for the Polytechnic of Wales' maintaining authority (Mid Glamorgan county council).
Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what information he has on the most recent resignations of members of staff at the Polytechnic of Wales.
Mr. Wyn Roberts : Mid Glamorgan county council has informed officials that two members of the Polytechnic of Wales' staff have resigned following an investigation by the authority's internal audit department.
Mr. Skinner : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next intends to meet other Foreign Ministers to discuss international debt ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Chalker : I refer the hon. Member to the written reply given him on 8 February 1989 at column 739.
Mr. Stern : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his assessment of the effect on the security of the Falkland Islands of the recent election in Argentina.
Mr. Eggar : We are satisfied that the garrison remains adequate for the present, but we keep force levels in the Falklands under constant review, particularly since Argentina has not yet declared a cessation of hostilities. We would not hesitate to increase the garrison if necessary.
Mr. Grocott : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what guidelines he follows in determining which journalists are invited to press briefings by his Department.
Mr. Eggar : The FCO has a daily press conference at 12.30 open to any bona fide journalist. We decide which journalists to invite to other press briefings in the light of the matter under discussion.
Mr. Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representation Her Majesty's Government have made at the current CSCE human rights conference in Paris about the treatment of the Turkish ethnic minorities in Bulgaria ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave : Our long-standing concern about Bulgaria's treatment of its Turkish minority has been heightened recently by the harsh reaction of the Bulgarian authorities to demonstrations in the north-east and south of the country.
I raised this question with the Bulgarian ambassador on 1 June, and the leader of our delegation to the Paris conference referred to it in his opening statement on 31 May. Our concern is shared by our EC partners, and the presidency is making representations to the Bulgarian authorities on behalf of the Twelve.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals are being considered by the European Commission for a tax on energy consumption to finance recovery of the disappearing tropical rain forests of the third world ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Chalker : The European Commission has not tabled any proposals for action to conserve rain forests.
Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will explain the differences in the categories of Hong Kong residents referred to in Government replies on 6 June as (a) 3.6 million, Official Report, column 16, (b) 3.5 million, Official Report, column 16 and (c) 3.25 million, Official Report, column 31.
Mr. Eggar : There is no exact figure for the number of British dependent territories citizens in Hong Kong. The figures quoted are all estimates.
Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many British students are studying full or part- time in China ; and what measures are being taken to ensure their safety.
Mr. Eggar : The exact number of British students in China, either full-time or part-time is not known. Prior to the outbreak of the present troubles, the British Council was aware of 135 full-time students at Chinese universities ; but there were probably more, some in the provinces.
In recent days, the British embassy in Peking, the British consulate- general in Shanghai and the British Council offices in these cities have sought to contact all those students registered with them and with others whose names were subsequently provided. They have been given the same advice as that given to other British nationals, that is, if they are in areas where there has been trouble and if they feel concerned for their safety, they should leave China as soon as possible by normal commercial means such as scheduled air services.
Many students were given refuge in the British embassy. At least 70 have left for Hong Kong, some of whom are now back in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reason the lunch between Mr. John Sergeant, chief political correspondent of the BBC, and the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the Mijanou restaurant on Thursday 25 May was brought forward at short notice.
Mr. Waldegrave : Two lunches with journalists, which had been long requested, were brought forward following the postponement at short notice of my visit to Hungary, originally scheduled for 24 and 25 May.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) when Mr. Afzal Khan, whose date of birth is 18 November 1969, and whose reference is IMM 92807, applied for entry clearance to the United Kingdom at her Majesty's embassy in Islamabad ; when his application was refused ; and when an explanatory statement setting out the detailed grounds of refusal was despatched to Mr. Khan or his representation ;
(2) when instructions were sent to the British embassy in Islamabad to issue a visa to Mr. Zahood Ahmed to enter the United Kingdom ; when Mr. Ahmed, whose date of birth is 22 July 1967 and whose Home Office reference is A412361, first applied for entry clearance ; when Mr. Ahmed's appeal against refusal to grant him a visa was upheld ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : The information is not readily available as the embassy in Islamabad is closed for the Moslem weekend. I will reply to the hon. Member in due course.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list Britain's top 20 trading partners for (a) 1979 and (b) 1988 with the value and percentage shown of exports to and imports from each.
Mr. Alan Clark : The information is in the table :
United Kingdom's top 20 trading partners Imports Exports Country |£ billion |percentage|£ billion |percentage ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1979 1. Germany |5.8 |12.0 |4.2 |9.9 2. USA |4.9 |10.1 |4.0 |9.5 3. France |4.1 |8.4 |3.1 |7.2 4. Netherlands |3.4 |7.1 |3.1 |7.2 5. Switzerland |2.6 |5.3 |2.4 |5.6 6. Belgium-Luxembourg |2.3 |4.8 |2.5 |5.8 7. Ireland |1.7 |3.5 |2.6 |6.0 8. Italy |2.5 |5.1 |1.5 |3.4 9. Sweden |1.6 |3.3 |1.5 |3.6 10. Norway |1.3 |2.7 |0.8 |1.8 11. Japan |1.5 |3.1 |0.6 |1.4 12. Denmark |1.1 |2.2 |1.0 |2.4 13. Canada |1.3 |2.6 |0.8 |1.8 14. Saudi Arabia |1.1 |2.3 |0.9 |2.1 15. Spain |0.7 |1.5 |0.6 |1.3 16. Australia |0.5 |1.0 |0.8 |2.0 17. South Africa |0.5 |1.1 |0.7 |1.7 18. Soviet Union |0.8 |1.7 |0.4 |1.0 19. Finland |0.8 |1.6 |0.4 |1.0 20. Hong Kong |0.7 |1.4 |0.4 |1.0 1988 1. Germany |17.7 |16.6 |9.5 |11.7 2. USA |10.8 |10.1 |10.5 |13.0 3. France |9.4 |8.8 |8.3 |10.2 4. Netherlands |8.3 |7.8 |5.6 |6.9 5. Italy |5.8 |5.5 |4.1 |5.0 6. Belgium-Luxembourg |5.0 |4.7 |4.3 |5.2 7. Japan |6.6 |6.1 |1.7 |2.1 8. Ireland |3.9 |3.6 |4.1 |5.0 9. Switzerland |3.8 |3.6 |1.9 |2.3 10. Sweden |3.4 |3.2 |2.2 |2.7 11. Spain |2.5 |2.3 |2.7 |3.3 12. Norway |3.1 |2.9 |1.1 |1.3 13. Canada |2.0 |1.9 |2.0 |2.5 14. Denmark |2.0 |1.9 |1.2 |1.4 15. Hong Kong |1.8 |1.7 |1.0 |1.3 16. Finland |1.8 |1.7 |0.8 |1.0 17. Australia |0.7 |0.7 |1.4 |1.7 18. South Africa |0.8 |0.8 |1.1 |1.0 19. Portugal |0.9 |0.9 |0.8 |1.0 20. Saudi Arabia |0.6 |0.6 |1.7 |2.1 Source: United Kingdom Overseas Trade Statistics.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what is the amount of trade in each direction between central America and the United Kingdom for each year since 1985.
Mr. Alan Clark : The information is given in the table :
United Kingdom trade with Central America from 1985-1988 Year |Imports|Exports -------------------------------- 1985 |315.7 |378.3 1986 |193.8 |319.1 1987 |316.8 |344.2 1988 |247.7 |315.4 Source: Overseas Trade Statistics, Table 1B Notes: <1> 1988 figures are provisional. <2> Exports fob; imports cif. Central America: Belize, Cuba, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico.
Mr. Bowis : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he has received the May 1989 publication from the Mail Users Association entitled "Deliver us from the Post Office" ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Forth : I was interested to see a copy of the Mail Users Association-Association of Mail Order Publishers report. The report's recommendations mainly cover operational matters, and so fall within the responsibility of the Post Office. The Post Office has no present plans to implement its recommendations, but keeps the situation under review.
Mr. Wray : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assessment Her Majesty's Government have made of the combined initiatives by the (a) Japanese Government and business community and (b) United States Government and business community, with regard to research and commercial development of high-definition display television technology at the level of (i) their internal and (ii) international markets ; and if he will make a statement regarding the United Kingdom's competitiveness, internal and international, in this technology.
Mr. Forth : The Japanese have been developing high-definition television technology for the last 18 years at a cost of some $700 million and are able to offer professional studio products to customers. In 1988 the state-owned broadcasting company established a demonstration satellite link feeding coverage of the Seoul Olympics to 200 high-definition displays at 50 sites including shopping malls, railway stations and leisure centres.
Until recently the United States supported the Japanese high-definition television system and had no development programme of its own, but it has now indicated its intention to develop a system more suited to its own particular requirements. The United States Defence Department has announced a $30 million programme to fund research on high-definition television related technology. A number of United States companies have presented a plan for a $1.35 billion national collaborative high-definition television project to Congress. One recent United States industry estimate has suggested that the worldwide market for high-definition television could total $40 billion by the year 2010.
The development of high-definition television for Europe is a collaborative activity under the EUREKA programme to which the United Kingdom is firmly committed. Leading organisations in the United television industry are at the forefront of many aspects of European high-definition television technology, and with Government support are making significant contributions to the EUREKA project. Equipment developed in the project was successfully demonstrated at the international broadcasting convention last September. The United Kingdom is also fully involved in European efforts to gain international acceptance for the European system.
Mr. Wray : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster which Government Departments are assisting with research and sponsorship for the high-definition display television technology.