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Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what justification for a request for derogation in respect of a sewage discharge has been given to him by Welsh Water in each case where a derogation is in force in Wales or is currently under consideration by his Department.
Mr. Grist : In making an application for a time-limited variation to an existing discharge consent, Welsh Water must satisfactorily define its plans for investment to improve the performance of the works.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what monitoring arrangements he has made in respect of each of the derogations of sewage in force in Wales ; and what arrangements he will make for each of those currently under consideration by his Department.
Mr. Grist : There are no derogations of sewage treatment works consent conditions currently in force in the Principality. The water authority is currently responsible for monitoring all its own discharges ; subject to enactment of the Water Bill, the National Rivers Authority will assume this duty.
Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) pursuant to the reply to the hon. Member for Pontypridd of 21 June, if he will list the nature and results in terms of judgments and fines, of prosecutions brought against polluters of south Wales rivers over the past 10 years ;
(2) pursuant to the reply to the hon. Member for Pontypridd of 21 June, if he will list the recorded incidents of pollution of the rivers and streams of south Wales over the past 10 years, on a year-by-year basis, including specific dates, locations, effects and, where known, polluters.
Column 387Pontypridd of 21 June, how the Government intend to enable the National Rivers Authority to prosecute polluters of Welsh rivers, including those companies which release raw sewage into those rivers, after the privatisation of the water authorities.
Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to the reply to the hon. Member for Pontypridd of 21 June, whether the Government intend to allow the Welsh water authority to continue to discharge raw sewage into Welsh rivers after the privatisation of that company.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what arrangements he has made for monitoring by his Department or on behalf of his Department of derogations of water supplies granted by him under article 9 of the EC drinking water directives 80/778/EEC.
Mr. Snape : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if there has been any modernisation of Britain's nuclear depth bomb capability since 1980 ; and if there are any plans in existence or under consideration to modernise this capability.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : There has been no modernisation of Britain's nuclear depth bomb capability since 1980. As part of the studies related to modernising United Kingdom tactical nuclear weapons capability, consideration is being given to the replacement of the full spectrum of United Kingdom tactical nuclear weapons, including sea-based systems. However, no decisions have yet been taken.
Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether there has been any increase or decrease in Britain's stockpile of nuclear depth charges since 1980 ; and whether there is any current consideration of increasing the numbers held.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : For security reasons it is not our policy to comment on the size of the nuclear stockpile. However, it is the policy of the British Government to maintain the stockpile at the minimum level possible to provide a credible, effective deterrent.
Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether there has been any modernisation of Royal Navy helicopters capable of delivering nuclear depth bombs since 1980 ; and whether there is any current consideration of modernisation of these helicopters.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Nuclear depth bombs would be deployed from Royal Navy ASW helicopters. These helicopters have been modernised in various ways since 1980, and will continue to be modernised as required. Work carried out to date has not been directly related to the helicopters' nuclear weapon delivery capabilities.
Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will publish in the Official Report a list of those parliamentary constituencies which will benefit from contracts as a result of the Trident programme, detailing for each constituency the name of the contractor and the value and general nature of the contract.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he makes of the value which would have been put on the Royal Ordnance factory, Blackburn, when the Royal Ordnance Factory plc was sold to British Aerospace if full account had been taken of the factors listed in the recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
Mr. Sainsbury : Our surveyors took full account of all the significant factors relevant to the existing use and alternative use valuations of each site as at the date of the valuation. There are no additional factors mentioned in the Comptroller and Auditor General's report which would have affected the valuations made.
Mr. Sainsbury : As with all the sites owned by Royal Ordnance plc, ROF Blackburn was valued on both an existing use and an alternative use basis, as at 31 December 1985. These valuations were £4,400,000 and £400,000 respectively. Only the higher, existing use, valuations were made available to prospective purchasers of Royal Ordnance.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether (a) the potential development value of the site of the Royal Ordnance factory Blackburn, and (b) the proximity of the site to the extension of the M65 motorway to the M6 were included in the value placed upon the factory when Royal Ordnance Factory plc was sold to British Aerospace.
Mr. Chris Patten : An Overseas Development Administration environmental mission, led by my chief forestry officer and including the director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, visited Brazil last month to identify proposals for a new programme of environmental assistance to the Brazilian Government, particularly in rain forest conservation. This mission was very successful and has come back with a number of specific proposals for technical co-operation projects in sustainable forest management, genetic resource exploration and conservation, and environmental monitoring which we hope can be finalised within the next few months. I shall make the details available as soon as they are settled. During my own visit to Brazil next week I hope to be able to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Brazilian Government to establish the framework for this new environmental programme. I also hope to visit Amazonia and talk to some of the Brazilian bodies actively involved in trying to protect the rain forest.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what quantities of depleted uranium owned by (a) British Nuclear Fuels Ltd, (b) United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, and (c) foreign customers are currently stored at Sellafield, Chapelcross and Dounreay sites, respectively.
Mr. Michael Spicer : Stocks of civil depleted uranium held under safeguards and resulting from the reprocessing of civil magnox fuel or the operation of enrichment plants by British Nuclear Fuels plc are held at a number of sites. The total quantities are :
|Uranium tonnes --------------------------------------------- Sellafield |100 Chapelcross |5,000 Dounreay |50
A further 18,400 tonnes u of such material are held at Capenhurst and 6,200 tonnes u at Springfields.
Some 20 per cent. of the stocks held at BNFL sites are owned by BNFL and some 5 per cent. by its overseas customers. The BNFL stocks include some 50 tonnes u owned by the authority. Almost all the material held at Dounreay is owned by the UKAEA.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will give the number of domestic customer disconnections in 1979 and for the latest date in (a) Wales and (b) each electricity board in England and Wales, and the percentage change in each case.
Mr. Michael Spicer : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Sedgefield (Mr. Blair) on 9 December 1988, at column 377, setting out the total figures for disconnections in each of the years 1979-1980 to 1987-88. The number of disconnections in England and Wales in 1988-89 was 75,230.
Detailed figures for disconnections in each area board are a matter for the electricity supply industry and I have asked the chairman of the Electricity Council to write to the hon. Member with the requested information.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether, following the removal of fuel at Berkeley nuclear power station, the cores will be vented by atmospheric air throughout the period before final dismantling ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Rost : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what targets he has set for the initial 12 months of his public sector energy efficiency campaign launched in January ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Rost : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether the office of electricity regulation staff is to be restricted entirely to personnel from the Department of Energy, and the electricity supply industry.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when a witness from his Department is next expected to appear at the Hinkley C nuclear public inquiry ; how many support officials will accompany the witness ; on what topic he will give evidence ; and whether the witness will be permitted to answer questions on the merits of Government policy.
Mr. Michael Spicer : The Department's official witness will return to the inquiry, at the inspector's request, on 20 July to give further evidence on the progress of the Electricity Bill and any other developments in Government policy relevant to the inquiry since the date of his previous appearance. He will be supported by other officials from the Department as necessary. As I told the hon. Member on 27 October 1988, at column 318, it is not customary for an official representative of a Government Department to answer questions as to the merits of Government policy and I continue to see no reason for the Department's witness to do so.
Mr. Parkinson : Apart from the special circumstances of privatisation work, the consistent practice of successive Governments has been to avoid the use of public relations firms or other companies outside Government for public relations work.
My Department has used the following companies in connection with privatisation :
Charles Barker in 1982 for Britoil
Streets Financial in 1983 for Enterprise Oil
Column 391Dewe Rogerson in 1985 for British Gas.
In addition, I appointed Lowe Bell Communications in 1988, jointly with the area boards, and Valin Pollen International in 1989, jointly with the CEGB, to draw up marketing strategies for the offers for sale of the electricity distribution companies and generating companies respectively.
The amounts paid are commercially confidential.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on progress of the United Kingdom's participation in efforts to secure a peaceful and democratic future for Cambodia.
Mr. Eggar : Both through bilateral contacts and through multilateral action in the United Nations' Security Council, and in the run-up to the Paris international conference in August, we are playing our full part in the search for a peaceful and durable settlement to the conflict in Cambodia.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what date he has had discussions with the ambassador of the People's Republic of China, with regard to the recent troubles in China and their implications for United Kingdom students in China ; and if he will make a statement.
There have been no further convictions since we suspended ministerial government in the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1986. A new constitution came into effect with the return of ministerial government in March 1988.
Sir Russell Johnston : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he is satisfied with the availability of Western European Union documents to hon. Members in view of the process of reactivation.
Mr. Waldegrave : Given the limitations imposed by the fact that most documents produced by the Council of the Western European Union are classified, I am satisfied with their availability to hon. Members. Documents produced by the Assembly of the Western European Union are distributed to all Members of the British delegation to the Assembly, who have not so far asked that they be made more widely available.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his latest discussions with the United Kingdom's co-signatories to the Antarctic treaty.
Mr. Eggar : The Antarctic treaty consultative parties met in Paris in May in preparation for the XV Antarctic treaty consultative meeting in October. A full agenda for the ATCM was provisionally adopted. Items for discussion will include comprehensive measures for the protection of the Antarctic environment, marine pollution, promotion of international scientific co-operation, Antarctic tourism, charting of Antarctic waters, and air safety.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his discussions with Sir Peter Walters, chairman of BP about their mining operation in the Brazilian rain forest.
Mr. Allen McKay : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action the Government are taking to stop (a) BP and (b) other British companies contributing to the destruction of rain forests around the world.
Mr. Eggar : My right hon. Friend the Minister for Overseas Development will be visiting Brazil including the Amazon region from 4-9 July. During his visit he will be discussing with Brazilian Ministers and officials our efforts to identify effective ways of helping them with a wide range of environmental problems including rainforest conservation. He will also be meeting representatives of British companies operating in Brazil with whom he hopes to discuss their role in environmental protection.
The hon. Member will be aware of recent media reports alleging involvement by United Kingdom companies in rain forest destruction. We are studying these, but I understand that the companies, including BP, claim that these press reports contain important errors of fact, and that they themselves operate significant environmental protection programmes in their projects in Brazil.
More generally, Britain is a leading supporter of the tropical forestry action plan and the International Tropical Timber Organisation which aim to help countries conserve their forests and manage them sustainably.
Mr. Bowis : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many of his officials will attend the congress of the Universal Postal Union in Washington DC in the current year ; and what percentage of these would normally be employed in Her Britannic Majesty's embassy at Washington DC.
Column 393representative from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. As this is a major international conference taking place in Washington, we expect that there will be some involvement on the part of embassy staff, depending on requirements as they arise.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many representations he has made complaining about the denial of human rights and the use of torture in the last five years in China.
Mr. Eggar : We have made a number of representations about human rights to the Chinese authorities over the last five years, but the precise information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many representations he has made complaining about the denial of human rights and the use of torture in the last five years in Brazil.
Mr. Eggar : In November 1988 I discussed allegations in Amnesty International's report entitled "Brazil, Authorized Violence in Rural Areas" with the then Brazilian Justice Minister. I refer to the answer given on this subject by my hon. Friend the Minister of State to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent North (Ms. Walley) on 21 April 1989, at columns 313-14.
We have not otherwise made any representations to the Brazilians on human rights since democracy was restored in 1985.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many representations he has made complaining about the denial of human rights and the use of torture in the last five years in the United States of America.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement setting out the powers which are available to member states if they consider that the Commission has presented directives which are outside the competence of the Commission and the Community, or if the directive is presented on the basis of majority voting without good reasons ; and if he will list the occasions on which Her Majesty's Government have made use of these powers.
Mr. Eggar : Proposals requiring unanimity may be defeated by a single vote against. Those requiring a qualified majority may be defeated by a blocking minority of 23 votes, or amended by unanimity. In addition, member states may challenge measures, after adoption, in the European Court of Justice. The United Kingdom has challenged the Council in the court over treaty base issues for hormone growth producers in animals (1986) ; minimum standards for battery hens (1986) ; youth training (1988) and COMETT II (1989).
Column 394future any of the articles of the Council of Europe's social charter which currently rejects articles 2(1), 4(3), 7(1), 7(4), 7(7), 8(2), 12(2), 12(3) and 12(4).
At the present time the Government have no plans to accept articles 2(1), 4(3), 7(1), 7(4), 7(7), 8(2), 12(2), 12(3) and 12(4) of the Council of Europe's European social charter. However, the situation is kept under review.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list in the Official Report all those programmes or schemes for research, development, co-operation or exchange of information on associated activity for which financial provision is made within the current budget of the European Economic Community, listed under the relevant Department of the United Kingdom Government with official title, or where allocated, an acronym, and showing for each project the date of its inception, the authorisation and amounts of funding and the principal participants or beneficiaries within the United Kingdom.
The Community's 1987-91 framework programme for research and development covers several areas of R and D. The Cabinet Office is responsible for overall co-ordination of the United Kingdom's interests in the framework programme, while individual Departments are responsible for United Kingdom interest in specific sub-programmes. I represent Her Majesty's Government at meetings of the Community Council of Ministers (Research) at which the implementation of the framework programme is agreed. A wide range of research co-operation, exchanges of information and associated activity also takes place outside the framework programme. The information requested is therefore not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
A breakdown of R and D programmes within the framework programme is as follows. Of the programmes listed, seven (radiation protection, FLAIR, MAST, DOSES, MONITOR, VALUE and an extension to EUROTRA) were adopted at the most recent Research Council on 20 June. The Council also adopted common positions on a further four programmes (which will probably be formally adopted before the end of the year) : --STEP (science and technology for environmental protection) and EPOCH (European programme on climatology and natural hazards) are two programmes intended to improve the scientific base of environmental policy. Over a period of four years STEP will receive funding of 75 million ecu (£50 million) and EPOCH 40 million ecu (£27 million). --BRIDGE (biotechnology research for innovation, development and growth in Europe) will receive Community funding of 100 million ecu (£67 million) over four years
--The research and technological development programme in the field of raw materials and recycling will receive Community funding of 45 million ecu (£30 million) over three years.
The Research Council also adopted a resolution reaffirming its support for the COST framework for European collaboration in R and D involving both EC and non-EC countries, and held a preliminary policy debate on the mid-term review of the 1987-91 framework programme.
Name of Programme |United Kingdom lead |Duration of programme |Department ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical and Health Research |Department of Health |1987-1991 Radiation Protection |Department of Health |1990-1991 ESPRIT II (European Strategic Programme for |Department of Trade and |1987-1992 Research and Development in Information | Industry Technologies) RACE (Research and Development in |Department of Trade and |1987-1992 Advanced Communications technologies in | Industry Europe) DELTA (Development of European Learning |Department of Employment |1988-1990 through Technological Advance) DRIVE (Dedicated Road Infrastructure for |Department of Transport |1988-1991 Vehicle safety in Europe) AIM (Advanced Informatics in Medicine in |Department of Health |1988-1990 Europe) BRITE/EURAM (Basic Research in Industrial |Department of Trade and |1989-1992 Technology/Advanced Materials) | Industry BCR (Community Bureau of Reference) |Department of Trade and |1988-1992 Industry |29 June 1988 ECLAIR (European Collaborative Linkage of |Ministry of Agriculture, |1988-1993 Agriculture and Industry through Research) |Fisheries and Food FLAIR (Food linked agro-industrial research) |Ministry of Agriculture, |1989-1993 | Fisheries and Food Controlled Thermonuclear fusion -JET and |Department of Energy |1988-1992 general programme Joint Research Centre's programme of |Cabinet Office |1988-1991 activities for 1988-1991 (covering Quality of Life, modernisation of industrial sectors and energy) JOULE (Joint Opportunities for |Department of Energy |1989-1992 Unconventional or Long-Term Energy supply) Science and Technology for Development |Overseas Development |1987-1991 Administration |14 December 1987 Fisheries programme |Ministry of Agriculture, |1988-1992 Fisheries and Food |19 December 1987 SCIENCE (Co-operation and exchanges |Department of Education |1988-1992 between scientists and laboratories) | and Science SPES (Stimulation Plan for Economic Science) |Department of Education |1989-1992 | and Science Large Scale Scientific Facilities (Community |Department of Education |1988-1992 support plan to facilitate access to large- |and Science scale scientific facilities of European interest) MONITOR (strategic analysis, forcasting and |Department of Trade and |1988-1992 evaluation in science and technology) | Industry Extension to EUROTRA (machine translation |Department of Trade and Industry|1989-1990 (£4.6 million) DOSES (Development of Statistical Expert systems) |Department of Trade and |1989-1992 system) | Industry VALUE (dissemination and utilisation of S & |Department of Trade and |1989-1992 T results) | Industry 20 June 1989 |(£25 million)
Mr. Knox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research projects have been initiated by his Department in line with the recommendations in the road traffic law review which he accepted.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The Home Office is undertaking a study of how traffic policing resources are organised and targeted. We hope to undertake a research project on the level of driving while disqualified later this year or early next year.