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Column 587

Yemen

Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will give details of the extra aid given to the People's Democratic Republic of the Yemen as a result of the floods earlier in 1989.

Mr. Chris Patten : We gave relief assistance totalling £179,000 in response to this emergency. This aid took the form of tents, blankets, foodstuffs, water purification tablets and vehicles.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Departmental Costs

Mr. Boswell : To ask the secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement about the running cost limit for the Northern Ireland Office and Northern Ireland Department.

Mr. Ian Stewart : The running cost limit for 1989-90 for the Northern Ireland Office and the Northern Ireland Departments is being set at £543.03 million. Further details of provision for individual Departments are set out in the appropriate Estimates volumes.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Statutory Instruments

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will list the numbers of statutory instruments issued by each Government Department in each of the last five years indicating how many were subject to affirmative procedure and how many to negative procedure.

Mr. Wakeham : The information is not held centrally in the form requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Cambodia

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meetings his Department's representatives has had with (a) the Government of Kampuchea, (b) the Government of Vietnam, (c) the Khmer Rouge and (d) Prince Sihanouk.

Mr. Eggar : We have no dealings with the so-called Government of Kampuchea or with the Khmer Rouge. We have regular contact with the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam through our respective embassies. My noble Friend the Minister of State, Lord Glenarthur, paid the first ever visit by a British Minister to the SRV. from 9 to 14 April 1989. Most recently, the Vietnamese Foreign Minister called on my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State and my noble Friend the Minister of State on 28 June 1989. We have regular meetings with Prince Sihanouk and his representatives. The Prince saw my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and my right hon. and learned Friend he Secretary of State during his visit to London in October 1988.


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Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who will be the United Kingdom's representatives at the Paris conference on the future of Cambodia.

Mr. Eggar : The composition of the United Kingdom delegation to the international conference on Cambodia in Paris, to which formal invitations have yet to be issued, has not yet been decided. But we expect to be invited and to play an active part.

Nuclear Weapons (Testing)

Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if Her Majesty's Government's plan to respond to the proposal made by the Soviet Union on 24 June that a global moratorium be implemented on the testing of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Waldegrave : No. The Soviet proposal is not a new one. A moratorium would not be compatible with our policy on the testing of nuclear weapons which was set out by the then Minister of State, my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Putney (Mr. Mellor), in answer to a question on 27 June 1988.

Cyprus

Mr. Speed : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will state the number of times Ministers have had discussions about the Cyprus problem with President Vassiliou and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Mr. Raul Denktash, respectively, since the last presidential elections in Cyprus.

Mrs. Chalker : My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has discussed the Cyprus problem with President Vassiliou on five occasions since his election in February 1988. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs was present at two of those meetings and has also met Mr. Vassiliou separately on three other occasions. I attended one of those meetings and have also met the President twice separately. For reasons that are well known to the House, Mr. Denktash has not been received by Ministers during that period.

Chlorofluorocarbons

Sir Hugh Rossi : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans exist to ensure the safe disposal of both chlorofluorocarbon refrigerant material and chlorofluorocarbon II in the foam in refrigeration and air-cooling equipment under the control of his Department.

Mr. Eggar : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given today by the Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, my hon. Friend the Member for Surrey, South-West (Mrs. Bottomley).

Vietnamese Boat People

Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what finance has been made available to the Hong Kong authorities for the care and settlement of Vietnamese boat people over each of the last five years.

Mr. Eggar : The following funds have been made available to the Hong Kong Government for the care of


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the Vietnamese boat people from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)'s general programme :


               |US$ million            

---------------------------------------

1985           |4.3                    

1986           |4.8                    

1987           |4.5                    

1988           |9.2                    

1989 (to date) |7.0                    

In addition to our regular contributions to the UNHCR's general programme, we have also contributed the following funds to UNHCR for specific Hong Kong purposes :


          |£ million          

------------------------------

1988      |1.1                

1989      |7.1                

We have also pledged this year £4.5 million directly to the Hong Kong Government for emergency accommodation, and £5 million towards the cost of a planned refugee processing centre in the Philippines which would accommodate Vietnamese refugees now in Hong Kong.

Falkland Islands

Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the present permanent population of the Falkland Islands ; and what were the figures for the last five years.

Mr. Eggar : At the last census held on 16 November 1986, the population of the Falkland Islands was 1,916. At the 1980 census, the population was 1,813. No other figures are available.

Hong Kong

Mr. David Martin : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many people formerly resident in Hong Kong and all associated territories and holding British passports have been accepted for permanent settlement into the United Kingdom in each year since 1979.

Mr. Renton : I have been asked to reply :

The numbers of British dependent territory citizens from Hong Kong accepted for settlement in the United Kingdom in the years 1979-88 are published in table 22 of the 1987 and 1988 editions of the annual Command Paper "Control of Immigration : Statistics, United Kingdom" (Cm. 415 and Cm. 726), copies of which are in the Library.

DEFENCE

Toxic Waste

Mrs. Wise : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last had a meeting with the chief inspector of Her Majesty's pollution inspectorate to discuss the future programme for the existing radioactive and toxic wastes arising from the defence programme.

Mr. Sainsbury : My right hon. Friend has had no recent meeting with the director of Her Majesty's inspectorate of


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pollution or his chief inspectors, but officials are in frequent contact with staff of Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution, in addition to their attendance at periodic inter departmental official meetings chaired by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution.

Mrs. Wise : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any Ministry of Defence site has ever violated environmental regulations agreed with Her Majesty's pollution inspectorate, the Department of Health and Transport, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Welsh and Scottish Offices, or the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, in regard to the storage, transport or disposal of radioactive and toxic wastes.

Mr. Sainsbury : Although the Ministry of Defence as a Crown Department has immunity from certain regulations, it seeks to observe standards which are no less stringent than those required of civil operators. Unfortunately, accidents occur from time to time and may for example lead to minor dispersals of toxic or radioactive materials in contravention of the "agreements" reached with regulatory Departments. All such incidents are reported to the regulatory authorities, fully investigated and measures taken to avoid their recurrence.

Venture Glider

Mr. Bill Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he has reached a decision on the type of motor glider selected to replace the Venture at volunteer gliding schools.

Mr. Sainsbury : No. A decision is expected very shortly.

Explosive Devices (Coastal Waters)

Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list, by geographical area, the number of second world war explosive devices which have been discovered in British coastal waters in each of the past 10 years.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : Precise records of the number of such finds in each of the past ten years are not maintained. Each year, however, some 30 or 40 mines and 100 torpedoes, bombs or large calibre shells of world war I or world war II origin are found in British coastal waters.

Tornado Crash (RAF Akrotiri)

Mr. Devlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the crash of a Tornado aircraft at RAF Akrotiri on 4 July.

Mr. Neubert : On 4 July a Tornado F3 aircraft (tail number ZE 834) of No. 23 squadron, RAF Leeming, on detachment to RAF Akrotiri, suffered a collapsed nosewheel on landing after a routine training mission. Both crew members ejected successfully sustaining only minor injuries. The aircraft came to rest just off the runway. The extent of the damage sustained in this accident has not yet been established.

Environmental Pollution

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to conduct a full environmental pollution audit of the military nuclear fuel cycle, including


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data from countries where the uranium used in the United Kingdom programme was mined and milled ; and if he will publish the results at the earliest possible date.

Mr. Sainsbury : No. The environmental impact of the processing of nuclear materials in the defence nuclear programme for which this department is responsible has been evaluated and conforms fully with United Kingdom legislative requirements. As regards standards in overseas countries, I have nothing to add to the reply I gave on 9 February at column 766 to the hon. Member for Meirionydd Nant Conwy (Dr. Thomas).

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if radioactive wastes arising from the deployment of United Kingdom's nuclear forces abroad on land or at sea is (a) disposed of in foreign countries or (b) returned to the United Kingdom for disposal ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sainsbury : I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn) on 25 January 1989 at column 653. Contingency arrangements exist for the handling of radioactive wastes arising, either on a routine or emergency basis, from United Kingdom military operations overseas. The decision between disposal abroad under locally approved arrangements and return to the United Kingdom depends on circumstances ; it would not be in the national interest to elaborate.

Low Flying

Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to deploy regularly a Skyguard fire control radar system to monitor the heights of low flying aircraft in areas of urban concentration such as Swansea ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Neubert : No.

Near-Miss (West Germany)

Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the recent incident involving an RAF Phantom based at Wildenrath in West Germany having to take evasive action to avoid collision with a Canberra aircraft.

Mr. Neubert : On 6 July, during a routine training sortie, a RAF Phantom based at RAF Wildenrath in West Germany took evasive action to avoid a RAF Canberra aircraft operating in the same area. The Phantom navigator, believing the aircraft to be in danger, ejected successfully, suffering minor injuries. Neither aircraft was damaged. The Phantom returned to land safely at RAF Wildenrath. A unit inquiry into the incident has been convened.

RAF Upper Heyford

Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Banbury (Mr. Baldry) on 13 June, Official Report, column 689 he will give details of the assessment made following design work carried out at Royal Air Force Upper Heyford.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave the hon. Member for Leyton (Mr. Cohen) on 18 April 1989 at column 111. No decisions have


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been taken to proceed with these projects but preliminary design work commissioned from the PSA in August 1988 indicates that the estimated costs of modifying the facilities at RAF Upper Heyford would be as follows :


                                           |£ million          

---------------------------------------------------------------

Additions to the flight simulator facility |1.0                

                                                               

Additions to the engine shop               |1.2                

                                                               

Additions to the avionics maintenance shop |1.7                

Birkbeck College

Sir Barney Hayhoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence why inaccurate information about Birkbeck college was given to the Sunday Times and the Mail on Sunday on Saturday 1 July by officials of his Department ; what action is being taken against those responsible ; what arrangements are being made to help repair the potential damage done to Birkbeck's reputation ; and what changes are being made in the personnel and organisation of his Department's press office.

Mr. Sainsbury : On the evening of Friday 30 June officials were asked to check the facts concerning any Ministry of Defence contracts with Birkbeck college. In an effort to be helpful, and in the limited time available, they did their best to do so. Nothing that was said confirmed the assertions made in the subsequent press reports. Changes in the MOD press office are neither called for nor planned. My noble Friend Lord Trefgarne wrote to the noble Baroness, Lady Blackstone, Master of Birkbeck College, on 6 July explaining that the MOD was entirely satisfied with the work that the college was doing and that no papers had been recalled on security grounds.

Chlorofluorocarbons

Sir Hugh Rossi : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans exist to ensure the safe disposal of both chlorofluorocarbon refrigerant materials and chlorofluorocarbon II in the foam in refrigeration and air-cooling equipment under the control of his Department.

Mr. Sainsbury : I refer the hon. Member to the answer given today by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment.

Headquarter Contracts

Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list in the Official Report the total amounts paid by his Department in respect of headquarter contracts to United Kingdom-based contractors in each of the six years up to 31 March.

Mr. Sainsbury [holding answer 6 July 1989] : Total payments made in respect of headquarters contracts to United Kingdom-based contractors in each of the six years to 31 March 1989 were as follows :


          |£ million          

------------------------------

1983-84   |6,212              

1984-85   |6,879              

1985-86   |7,260              

1986-87   |7,501              

1987-88   |8,316              

1988-89   |8,041              

PRIME MINISTER

Local Government

Q11. Mr. Fishburn : To ask the Prime Minister if she has received recent representations regarding local government.

Mr. Wakeham : I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has received

representations about a number of matters relating to local government.

Nuclear Energy

Q19. Mr. Alexander : To ask the Prime Minister if she has received any recent representations regarding nuclear energy.

Mr. Wakeham : I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has received a number of letters from members of the public about various aspects of nuclear energy.

National Heritage

Q32. Sir Hugh Rossi : To ask the Prime Minister if she has received recent representations regarding the national heritage.

Mr. Wakeham : I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister receives representations frequently. The national heritage is vital to the quality of life. Since 1979 Government expenditure on the national heritage has increased by more than 75 per cent. in real terms.

Legal Reform

Q53. Mr. Malins : To ask the Prime Minister if she has received recent representations regarding the new proposals for reform of the legal profession.

Mr. Wakeham : I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has received a number of representations on the Government's consultation papers, which were published with a view to seeing that the public has the best possible access to legal services of sound quality.

NHS Reform

Q58. Mrs. Maureen Hicks : To ask the Prime Minister what representations she has had on the National Health Service White Paper.

Mr. Wakeham : I have been asked to reply.

I understand that my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health has received some 8,500 representations on the White Paper ; many correspondents give strong support for its objectives and endorse its proposals.


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Part-time Work

Q75. Mr. Marland : To ask the Prime Minister if she has received recent representations regarding part-time work.

Mr. Wakeham : I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister receives representations about part -time working from time to time.

I know that the Select Committee on Employment is currently undertaking an inquiry into part-time working and I look forward to its report when it becomes available.

Human Rights (USSR)

Q108. Sir Anthony Grant : To ask the Prime Minister if she has received recent representations regarding human rights in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Mr. Wakeham : I have been asked to reply.

We receive many representations which reflect the deep concern in this country about human rights in the Soviet Union. We are continuing to press the Soviet authorities over a range of individual cases, and over the wider need for institutionalised reform. These efforts do bear fruit. In the past year, 68 refusenik cases which we have raised have been resolved satisfactorily.

Human Rights (China)

Q115. Mr. Leigh : To ask the Prime Minister if she has received recent representations regarding human rights in China.

Mr. Wakeham : I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister received a delegation of Chinese students on 28 June. My right hon. Friend has also received a number of representations expressing shock and outrage at recent events in China. These are, of course, sentiments that the British Government share.

Rural Housing

Q127. Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Prime Minister if she has received recent representations regarding rural housing policy.

Mr. Wakeham : I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister receives representations on rural housing policy from time to time.

Water Privatisation

Q134. Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Prime Minister what representations she has had on water privatisation.

Q145. Mr. Kirkhope : To ask the Prime Minister what representations she has had on water privatisation.

Mr. Wakeham : I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister receives many representations about water privatisation, which provides the best framework and conditions for achieving even higher standards of water quality.

Channel Tunnel

Q141. Mr. Cyril Townsend : To ask the Prime Minister if she has received recent representations regarding the Channel tunnel.


Column 595

Mr. Wakeham : I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister frequently receives representations about various aspects of the Channel tunnel.

Disabled People

Q152. Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Prime Minister when Her Majesty's Government expect to publish a plain person's guide to the Disabled Persons (Services, Representation and Consultation) Act 1986.

Mr. Wakeham : I have been asked to reply.

We have no plans to do so. Local authorities have a statutory duty to publish information about the welfare services they provide and, as a matter of good practice, we would expect them to produce this in a form which is readily understandable.

World Trade

Q170. Mr. Boswell : To ask the Prime Minister what recent representations she has received in connection with world trade.

Mr. Wakeham : I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has received a number of representations about world trade. The Government will continue to combat protectionism and to work for open world markets which are of benefit to our exporters and the world economy as a whole.


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