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The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Member to paragraph 17 of the declaration of the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels, 29-30 May 1989, a copy of which is in the Library of the House.
The Prime Minister : The two documents issued by last month's NATO summit meeting (the summit declaration and the comprehensive concept paper, both of which have been placed in the Library of the House) set out NATO's objectives for improving our security through arms control. As I made clear in my statement to the House on 6 June, we played a full part in drawing up these documents, and will continue to play a full part in pursuing the objectives set out in them.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister where responsibility will lie for ensuring that the terms of the new guidance on conventions on Government publicity issued by the Cabinet Office will be fully observed ; what disciplinary system has been put in place to ensure that any breaches of the guidance are effectively punished ; and whether any grades of official or specific post-holders are exempt from the requirements of the new guidance.
The Prime Minister : Responsibility for ensuring that the conventions on Government publicity are fully observed rests with individual Ministers and their Departments. Ministers are answerable to the House for the actions of their Departments in relation to publicity as to other matters. Officials are subject to the general principles of conduct governing civil servants.
The Prime Minister : This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House I shall be having further meetings later today including one with former President Reagan.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library his recent correspondence with the hon. Member for Linlithgow about the Gibraltar shootings.
Mr. Waldegrave : With his permission, I have today placed in the Library of the House a copy of my written reply of 25 May to the hon. Member for Linlithgow and also copies of other correspondence between us on the Gibraltar shootings. Hon. Members may wish to note that, in addition to these letters, the Library now has copies of the Spanish police officer's statement of 8 August 1988 on Spanish surveillance activities prior to the shootings on 6 March 1988 ; the attestation before a Malaga court on 9 August of the Spanish police officer's signature ; and the attestation before a Malaga court on 22 August of the Gibraltar coroner's officer's signature on that statement. There is also a copy of the English translation of the Spanish police officer's statement prepared by the Gibraltar coroner's officer and a professional commentary on that translation prepared by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's own translators.
Mr. Eggar : The relevant United Nations agencies do not have proper access to camps administered by the Khmer Rouge. We have taken a leading role with the Thai Government and with the United Nations agencies in attempting to secure such access. The agencies have good access to other camps.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations Her Majesty's Government have made to the United Nations about the United Nations seat for Cambodia, currently occupied by a representative of the Pol Pot regime.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement outlining the implications for the Falkland Islands of the Single European Act and related European agreements.
Mr. Eggar : The relationship between the Falkland Islands and the European Economic Community is governed by part four of the Treaty of Rome and Council decision 86/283/EEC on the association of overseas countries and territories with the EEC. These provisions are not affected by the Single European Act.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has had any meetings with representatives of the Falkland Islands administration concerning the impact upon the islands of the single European market in 1992.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what levels of grant-in-aid or research contract have been awarded in 1988-89 to (i) the Royal Institute of International Affairs, (ii) the Royal United Services Institute, (iii) the United Nation Association, (iv) Peace through NATO, (v) the Trilateral Commission, (vi) the British Atlantic Committee, (vii) the North Atlantic Assembly, (viii) the Arms Control Association, (ix) the Verification Technology Information Centre and (x) the European Proliferation Information Centre, from departmental funds.
|£ --------------------------------------------------------------------- (i) Royal Institute for International Affairs |45,390 (ii) The Royal United Services Institute |Nil (iii) The United Nations Association |24,000 (iv) Peace Through NATO |113,000 (v) The Trilateral Commission |2,250 (vi) The British Atlantic Committee |59,000 (vii) The North Atlantic Assembly |432,569 (viii) The Arms Control Association |Nil (ix) The Verification Technology Information Centre |Nil (x) The European Proliferation Information Centre |Nil
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which non-governmental organisations have received grants-in-aid in regard to their work done to explain arms control and defence issues ; how much funding each from his Department such non- governmental organisation received in 1987-88 and 1988-89 ; and if he will make a statement on the reasons for allocating departmental funds to these organisations.
Mr. Eggar : In 1987-88 and 1988-89 the following organisations received grants-in-aid from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office specifically in regard to their work done to explain arms control and defence issues :
|1987-88 |1988-89 |£ |£ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (i) |British Atlantic Committee |57,500 |59,000 (ii) |Peace Through NATO |110,000 |113,000 (iii) |The Atlantic Treaty Association|Nil |2,000 (iv) |North Atlantic Assembly |271,000 |432,569
The grants are paid to the above organisations to assist their work of fostering a greater public understanding of defence and arms control issues.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has plans to develop a public information programme to highlight issues relevant to the 1990 fourth review conference of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, in the year leading up to the conference.
Mr. Waldegrave : Issues relevant to the review conference are widely discussed in the media and we make our views known as appropriate. We are of course working for a successful outcome to the conference.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs why it is not his Department's policy to subsidise the attendance of non-governmental organisations at the 1990 fourth review conference of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
Mr. Waldegrave : The amount of money available to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to assist non-governmental organisations is inevitably limited, and requests for funds exceed the total amount available. We therefore face difficult decisions on allocations every year. It has not been our policy in the past to finance the attendance of non-governmental organisations at NPT review conferences and, in the light of other commitments and our overall policy objectives, we are unable to make new funds available for this purpose in 1990.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff are available at the British post in Dusseldorf to interview those applying for visas to visit the United Kingdom ; and whether he proposes to increase staffing at the post to reduce current waiting times for interview.
Mr. Eggar : The consulate-general at Dusseldorf normally has four entry clearance officers, of whom three are used to conduct interviews and one to deal with postal applications. In addition, two relief entry clearance officers have recently arrived to assist with the normal increase in applications during the summer months and the expected demand for visas from Turkish nationals resident in the Federal Republic. It is known that the posts are under considerable pressure and the question of deploying further entry clearance staff at Dusseldorf is being kept under review.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when Mr. Mohammad Asif Gill, whose date of birth is 30 September 1964 and whose serial number is SN 65460, applied to the post in Islamabad to enter the United Kingdom ; and when a decision on his application is to be taken.
Mr. Eggar : In accordance with the recent guidelines on the handling of representations by Members of Parliament in immigration cases, issued to Members on 14 December 1988, I have referred the question to the correspondence unit of the migration and visa department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The hon. Member will receive a reply from the unit in due course.
Mr. Wakeham : Since 1979, 504 reports and 193 special reports have been published by departmentally-related Select Committees. Seven have been debated in the House on substantive motions. Numerous other reports have been debated on other occasions, including debates on motions for the adjournment of the House, and on Estimates days.
Mr. Riddick : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what would be the estimated payment in the area covered by Kirklees council for (a) a man on average male earnings and (b) a woman on average female earnings in 1990-91 under a system of local income tax.
Column 359expenditure undertaken by Kirklees council and the amount of support available from Government grants and business rates. Such figures for 1990-91 are not known. However, figures were placed in the Library on 23 June 1988 showing the level of income tax needed to fund local authority expenditure in 1988-89. On this basis the figures sought by my hon. Friend are estimated as follows. a man on average male earnings would pay £775 and woman £445.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the implications for the operation of the right- to-buy provisions of the Housing Act of the purchase by Trent Valley Housing Company from elderly council tenants of their recently purchased council houses.
Mr. Trippier : I understand that Trent Valley Housing is in certain cases willing to finance the exercise of the right to buy by tenants aged 55 or over on condition that the former tenant sells to the company after three years, retaining the right to remain in the home rent-free for life. The company recommends prospective clients to take independent legal advice. Tenants may finance a purchase under the right to buy from whatever source they choose and, once they have bought, may sell their home to whomever they choose, subject to the requirement to repay discount in the event of early disposal.
Mr. William Powell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give the numbers of local authority housing stock in (a) Corby and (b) East Northamptonshire as at 1 April 1979 and the latest convenient date.
Mr. Trippier : The information for April 1979 and April 1988 was reported by local authorities in their annual housing investment programme returns (HIP1) and appears in column B11 of "HIP1 All Items Print (1979)" and column All of "HIP1 All Items Print (1988)". Copies of both documents are in the Library.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment why it has taken 11 weeks for him to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for South Hams of 22 March about the boundary fence around HMS Cambridge at Wembury, South Devon ; what further information is he awaiting before he can give a substantive reply ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Chope : I regret that I have not been able to send my hon. Friend a substantive reply to his letter of 22 March 1989. The PSA, which is acting as agent for the erection of the proposed fence, await instructions from the Ministry of Defence. I am told that these will be issued shortly ; I will then write to my hon. Friend.
Column 360land at St. Anne's road, Brislington, Bristol, which is currently in the ownership of the Bristol city council, into the area of the urban development corporation ; and if he will make a statement ; (2) if he will take steps to prevent land gifted to Bristol city council to be retained as a children's play area from being vested in the urban development corporation ; and if he will make a statement ;
(3) on what date the meeting of the Bristol urban development corporation was held at which the decision was made to request that land at St. Anne's road, Brislington be included in the area of the urban development corporation ;
(4) what information he has received on the use the Bristol urban development corporation proposes for the land it wishes to have vested from the Bristol city council at St. Anne's road, Brislington ; and if he will make a statement ;
(5) what procedure has been adopted by the Bristol urban development corporation to obtain land at St. Anne's road, Brislington, from the Bristol city council ; if he has approved the procedure ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Trippier : The land in question is already within the Bristol urban development area as designated by The Bristol Development Corporation (Area and Constitution) Order 1988 dated 10 May 1988 and the amendment order dated 8 December 1988. The corporation decided at its first meeting on 2 February 1989 to ask my right hon. Friend to vest 0.63 Ha of open land at St. Anne's road, Bristol which they anticipate will be needed for a road junction improvement scheme. The timing of any scheme has yet to be determined. My right hon. Friend has decided not to include this site in the vesting orders he will shortly be laying before the House, but to allow an opportunity for further negotiation to see whether the land can be acquired by agreement from Bristol city council.
Mr. O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on what date the Bristol urban development corporation was formally established ; when and where the first meeting was held ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Trippier : The Department has today issued a consultation paper to the local authority associations proposing ways in which these disposal costs might be phased in certain particular circumstances. Subject to the responses to that, we will come forward with the necessary amendment to the Local Government and Housing Bill.
I am delighted to report that, after exhaustive negotiations in which the United Kingdom played a leading role, the Council agreed a directive on the second stage of exhaust emission standards for small cars. This now produces clear guidelines for the motor industry to follow in planning its future car production.
The agreement contains strict standards requiring under present technology three-way catalysts to be introduced on 1 July 1992 for new models and on 31 December 1992 for all new registrations. These are tough targets and the challenge they present to industry should not be underestimated. Nevertheless we believe them to be attainable. They are greatly to the advantage of the European environment, but do not control all the emissions from cars that cause concern. Thus, at United Kingdom insistence the Commission has undertaken to come forward with proposals to reduce these, not least of which is carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas. The present agreement does not limit the emission of this gas and if any will tend to increase it.
The unity of the market will be protected by an article in the directive which circumscribes the fiscal incentives that can be introduced by member states and requires all proposed incentives to be notified to the Commission.
As the House knows, the United Kingdom urged an indefinite ban on the import of harp and hooded seal pup skins and their products in 1985, when EC directive 23/129 was extended for four years. Now I am delighted to announce that the Council has unanimously agreed that the directive should be extended indefinitely. This is a significant step towards ensuring the conservation of these species.
The Community will support the case for listing the African elephant on appendix I of the convention on trade in endangered species, but of course recognises the need to listen to the arguments from all sides on the best long-term measures to protect this species. Meanwhile, as a precautionary measure I am also pleased to report that the Council strongly supported the United Kingdom proposal for an immediate ban on the import into the Community of raw and worked ivory. The Commission will now bring forward proposals to impose a ban throughout the Community. Member states were invited to take their own action in advance of these proposals, and we have immediately imposed a ban on imports of ivory into the United Kingdom.
The Council adopted a resolution on the greenhouse effect which recognises the importance of the issue and the importance of the Community and all member states contributing fully to the wider international efforts to improve the understanding of climate change and develop policy responses to it.
I am pleased to report that agreement was reached on a directive requiring the up-grading of existing municipal waste incinerators according to specific timetables. The Council also adopted a directive setting standards for new municipal waste incineration plants, following the agreement which was reached on 2 March. The Council agreed an amendment to directive 80/779 on air pollution from smoke and sulphur dioxide. The amendment concerns short-term methods of measurement
Column 362which do not affect the United Kingdom. It also provides for a general review of the directive in which we shall be closely involved.
Agreement was reached on a directive which establishes a regulatory structure for laboratory and industrial processes working with genetically modified micro-organisms within containment. The directive lays down certain procedures for the notification of work and standards to be followed to protect human and environmental safety, which procedures are broadly compatible with existing domestic safety arrangements. The Council voted unanimously to change the legal base from article 100A to article 130S, recognising that the predominant objective of the directive is one of environmental protection.
The Council adopted a directive leading to the elimination of pollution caused by wastes from the titanium dioxide industry and agreed unanimously that the legal base should be article 130S. A proposal to introduce controls over discharges of four dangerous substances of water was also discussed.
The Commission presented progress reports on a proposal concerning the protection of waters pollution by nitrates and on a proposal concerning the protection of natural and semi-natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora.
Mr. Jim Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what changes have taken place in the process of admission to Carrick House since it became the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive ; why such changes have taken place ; and what have been the effects on the hostel of the changes.
Mr. Needham : This is a matter for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and I am advised by the chairman that the Executive has decided not to accept new admissions other than former residents who left the hostel within the last 12 months. This is because the Housing Executive in carrying out its responsibilities under the Housing Order (NI) 1988 considers that the hostel which had become, under previous management, a long-stay hostel for homeless men is unsuitable to meet the short-term requirements of the homeless. This policy which has been in operation since 1 April has had little effect on the hostel to date.
Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on how many occasions in the current year he has answered questions from the right hon. Member for Strangford relating to the future of Short Brothers plc.
Mr. Needham [holding answer 12 June 1989] : The water service of the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland is the sole water authority in Northern Ireland. Another division of the Department--the Environmental Protection division (EPD)--is responsible for setting standards for discharges from water and sewage treatment works. In the current year EPD will be reviewing the discharge standards of 100 sewage treatment works in a continuing programme of review of all significant discharges from sewage works.