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Mr. Maude : EC/Israel trade relations are covered by the 1975 co- operation agreement and subsequent protocols to take account of the accession of Greece, Spain and Portugal to the Community. As a result, free trade in industrial goods between the EC and Israel came into effect on 1 January 1989. There are also specific concessions for some Israeli agricultural products.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action Her Majesty's Government have taken to enforce the provisions of the Geneva Conventions Act 1957 in relation to breaches occurring in the Israeli-occupied territories.
Mr. Waldegrave : We have frequently exercised our right as a contracting party to the fourth Geneva convention to raise with the Israeli Government breaches of the convention in the occupied territories. Questions of prosecuting under the 1957 Geneva Conventions Act are a matter for the prosecuting authorities.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make it his policy that no produce originating from the settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories is given access to the British market.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many copies of the leaflet "Twenty Questions on Defence" (second edition, published November 1988) prepared by the Central Office of Information for his Department and the Ministry of Defence, have been printed ; how many have been distributed ; to what outlets ; what has been the cost to date ; and if there are any plans to produce and distribute an updated and revised version.
Mr. Waldegrave : A total of 15,000 copies of the leaflet "Twenty Questions on Defence" (second edition) were printed when the publication was first issued in November 1988. These cost £3,035 and were distributed as follows :
Foreign and Commonwealth Office :
5,000 copies for distribution to members of the public in the United Kingdom and abroad in response to requests for information. Ministry of Defence :
5,000 copies distributed as with FCO.
Central Office of Information :
5,000 copies for distribution to addressees on the FCO Arms Control and Disarmament Department's United Kingdom, overseas and United Kingdom diplomatic posts' mailing list.
A further 60,000 copies were printed earlier this year at the Ministry of Defence's request for distribution during the Ministry's "Britain in NATO" exhibition tour of the United Kingdom. This further print-run brought the total cost of the current edition of this publication to £5,965, shared equally between the FCO and MOD. A third edition of the leaflet is planned for the end of this calendar year.
Dr. Blackburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will press the Soviet authorities for a speedy resolution of the case of the refuseniks, Emmanuel and Judith Lurie of Moscow.
Column 1166for all in line with their international commitments. I raised their case with the Soviet ambassador on 25 July. We will not let up until the family is allowed to emigrate.
Mr. Waldegrave : We have pressed the Soviet authorities about this case on a number of occasions--most recently when I saw the Soviet ambassador on 25 July. We will not let up until the Soviet Government have resolved it satisfactorily in line with their international commitments.
Mr. Lawrence : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether it remains Her Majesty's Government's policy to attend the 1991 human rights conference in Moscow provided that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics conforms to certain conditions ; and to what extent those conditions are being fulfilled.
Mr. Waldegrave : We shall attend the proposed Moscow human rights conference in 1991 only if there is a further sustained improvement in the human rights situation in the Soviet Union. While there has been progress in the past six months, significant problems remain--in particular the plight of long-term refuseniks who are still not allowed to emigrate.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further representations he has made to the Government of the People's Republic of China concerning human rights abuses in Tibet ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maude : We have made it clear to the Chinese authorities on many occasions the real concern in this country about human rights in Tibet. While we shall continue to seek suitable opportunities to make our views known, our main aim in recent weeks has been to bring home to the Chinese authorities our sense of shock and outrage at the brutality with which they suppressed those who were demonstrating for democracy in Peking.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meetings Her Majesty's ambassador has had with representatives of human rights organisations in El Salvador ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Sainsbury : In the course of their normal duties, Her Majesty's diplomatic representatives in El Salvador maintain regular and close contact with the various Salvadorean human rights organisations.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Government of Turkey concerning abuses of human rights ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 1167during her recent visit to Turkey and made clear the concern felt in this country about Turkey's human rights record and the need for Turkey to comply with the international human rights conventions to which she is a party. We shall continue to monitor the situation closely.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations Her Majesty's ambassador has made to the Government of El Salvador concerning abuse of human rights.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many prosecutions were initiated by the Hong Kong authorities in the first six months of 1989 arising from illegal imports, exports and possession of endangered species.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many restaurant inspections were carried out by the Hong Kong authorities in the first six months period of 1989 to ensure that no rare and endangered species of animals and plants were offered for sale as food ; and if any seizures were made.
Mr. Maude : To prevent rare and endangered species of animals and plants being sold and consumed in restaurants, 139 inspections were conducted during the first six months of 1989. 0.4 kg of whale meat and three giant salamanders were seized.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many seizures of illegally imported endangered species were made by the Hong Kong authorities in the first six months of 1989 ; how many seizures were made of similar categories intended for export ; and if he will give details of all seizures made including country of origin.
Mr. Maude : In the first six months of 1989, 149 seizures were made of illegally imported endangered species. Three seizures were made of similar categories intended for export. Details of all seizures are listed.
Import (January-June 1989) Seizures: 149 Imports |Quantity |Exporting countries ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mammal Felidae (wild cats): live/carcases/meat/skin |296 hd/pc |China, United States of America, Japan, Thailand, West Germany Elephant: ivory/skin |1,107 kg |China, United States of America, Japan, Thailand, Korea, | Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, France, Switzerland Monkeys (live) |5 hd |China Pangolin: live/stuffed/carcase parts/meat |62.1 kg+6 hd+4 pc |China, Singapore, United States of America, Thailand Bear: skin |1 pc |Canada Bird Bird of prey (owl)-live/dead/meat |30 hd+1 kg |China, Thailand Parrot |71 hd |China Reptile Reptiles: skins/live/stuffed/carcase |1,313 pc+5 hd |United States of America, Singapore, United Kingdom, China, | Thailand, Gabon, Philippine Sea turtle: live/stuffed/shell/egg |35 hd+168 pc |Thailand, Singapore, India, China, Indonesia, Philippine, Vietnam, | Malaysia Tortoise (live) |100 hd |China, Bangladesh Amphibian Giant Salamander: live/carcase/meat |5hd |China Anthozoans Corals |15 pc |Indonesia, Australia, Singapore Molluscs Giant clams |16 pc |China Plant American Ginseng (root) |0.42 kg |United States of America
Export (January-June 1989) Seizure: 3 --------------------------------------- Musk |0.1 kg Tegue lizard skins |6,658 pc Monitor lizard skins |1,996 pc
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will give details of the sale by tender by the Hong Kong authorities of confiscated items permitted for commercial trade under CITES ; what items were sold ; to whom they were sold ; and what amount was raised in each case.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made by the Hong Kong Government in introducing new measures designed to enforce their responsibilities under the convention on international trade in endangered species ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maude : New legislation was passed on 28 June 1989 which provides for significantly increasing maximum fines for contravention of the law on protection of endangered species ; tightening up transit controls ; banning the import, export and possession of medical products purporting to contain rhinoceros ingredients ; penalising persons who give false information in applying for endangered species licences ; facilitating identifications ; extending the power of search ; and empowering the Government to release or dispose of endangered species.
Rev. Martyn Smyth : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will raise with the Soviet authorities the case of George Samoilovich, currently undergoing medical treatment in the United Kingdom, whose wife and son are being refused exit visas to join him.
Mr. Waldegrave : We have underlined to the Soviet authorities on numerous occasions the urgent need to grant exit visas to the wife and son of George Samoilovich--most recently when I saw the Soviet ambassador on 25 July. We will not let up until the family is reunited outside the Soviet Union.
Column 1170with the Turkish Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister and, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the permanent
under-secretary and the political director. Later she travelled to Istanbul and Edirne where she visited the Bulgarian border and a refugee camp, and donated £300,000 to the Turkish Red Crescent for its work among refugees from Bulgaria and Iraq. The visit enabled my right hon. Friend to exchange views on a number of bilateral and regional issues.
Mr. Arbuthnot : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contribution the United Kingdom is making towards the costs of the repatriation of Vietnamese boat people from Hong Kong to Vietnam.
Parliamentary approval for this expenditure will be sought in a winter supplementary estimate for the "Foreign and Commonwealth Office : Other External Relations" vote. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £850,000 will be met by a repayable advance from the contingencies fund.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the Government will financially assist British business organisations such as chambers of commerce to attend the hearings in Geneva from 4 to 6 September held by the panel appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to examine the role of transnational companies in South Africa and Namibia.
No. The Government believe that it is for companies and British business organisations themselves to decide on the basis of their own priorities and commercial interests whether to attend the hearings.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the Government will send observers to the public hearings, on the role of transnational corporations in South Africa and Namibia, to be held by the panel appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations which meets in Geneva from 4 to 6 September ; and if the European Community will be represented in any capacity.
The United Kingdom mission to the office of the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva will follow the proceedings of these public hearings as part of its normal coverage of United Nations meetings.
The EC has observer status within the United Nations system and will therefore be entitled to send an observer to the public hearing.
Mr. Hill : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in which area of arms co-operation in the Atlantic Alliance notable progress has been registered in the last five years in efforts to increase
Column 1171the degree of standardisation and interoperability of military material ; and what progress can be attributed to Western European Union initiatives.
Much effort continues to be put into extending and improving international arrangements for defence equipment co-operation, within both NATO, under the auspices of the conference of national armaments directors, and the Independent European Programme Group. In the latter, for example, 15 harmonised European staff targets have been agreed ; a research and technology programme is being established ; and the European defence market is being opened up. Collaboration on specific programmes is widespread ; table 6 of the "Statement on the Defence Estimates 1989" shows the considerable number of projects in which the United Kingdom participates. The Western European Union has taken an interest in these and other areas, but progress on these issues within Europe as a whole is, and will remain, the responsibility of the IEPG.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the reasons for the increase in the budget for military aid to overseas countries from 1988-89 to 1989-90, set out in table 2.1 of the "Statement on the Defence Estimates 1989," volume two.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The funds in question are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. The reasons for the increase in the budget for military aid to overseas countries from 1988-89 to 1989-90 are : a. the uplift of the 1988- 89 provision to cover the effect of inflation ; and
b. an increase in the assistance provided by Her Majesty's Government to the front line states in Africa for the purchase of non-lethal military equipment in support of agreed military training programmes.
Sir Trevor Skeet : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs under what circumstances John Boxhall and Brian Tristram could be extradited from Peru and charged with offences in the United Kingdom.
Persons may be extradited from Peru if they are accused or convicted of offences committed within the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom which are deemed to be extraditable under the terms of the Extradition Act 1870 and the bilateral treaty of 1907 between the United Kingdom and Peru.
Mr. Maude [pursuant to the reply, 30 June 1989, c. 578] : The International Coffee Council on 3 July resolved (resolution number 347) to extend the international coffee agreement (1983) without quotas and virtually all its other
Column 1172economic provisions for a period of two years from 1 October 1989. The council also resolved to suspend the quota system with effect from 4 July. I regret that it has not been possible to publish resolution 347 of the council as a Command Paper before the parliamentary recess. I have therefore placed a copy of the text of the resolution in the Library of the House. I shall publish the resolution in the Command Paper series as soon as possible.
Mr. David Young : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonweath Affairs what discussions he has had and what action is being taken, in secondary education in Hong Kong to lay the foundations for informed participation of youth in a democratic elective system in Hong Kong.
Mr. Maude [pursuant to the reply, 25 July 1989, c.600] : It is the Hong Kong government's policy to promote an awareness in schools of the developing system of government in Hong Kong, and thereby to encourage informed participation of young people in the system. The Hong Kong Government seek to achieve this by featuring the subject in the civic education curriculum, and in seminars, training courses and workshops for teachers : and by the distribution of teaching kits and videos to schools on elections and representative government.
Sir Anthony Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many Government drivers have passed either the Institute of Advanced Drivers test or the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents driving tests ; if he will express this as a percentage of the whole ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Heddle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will initiate inquiries with the Cannock Chase district council as to the reasons for the alleged delay encountered by Mr. S. A. McConville of 27 John Till close, Rugeley, Staffordshire, since he first submitted his right -to-buy application on 8 June 1988 ; and if he will use his powers to bring the matter to a speedy conclusion.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Minister for Environment and Countryside will next see Dr. Mostafa Tolba in London, at the conference on 3 October organised by the advisory committee on pollution in the sea.
Mr. David Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions he has had with the Countryside Commission regarding the activities of the Hertfordshire Groundwork Trust, and the proposed dumping of 700,000 cu m of waste material in an area of natural beauty in Hertfordshire.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the sites referred to in his answer of 20 July, Official Report , column 344 , and indicate for each the local authority in which it is located, the price obtained and new owner.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many times his Department has issued instructions to local authorities to sell land after approaches by members of the public to his Department ; and if he will list these authorities for each year since 1979 and list for each authority how many times his Department has refused.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how much money the Nature Conservancy Council has spent on (a) grant-aiding voluntary conservation bodies land purchases, (b) Nature Conservancy Council's own land purchases, in each of the last five years at 1989 prices ; and if he will also express this as a percentage of Nature Conservancy Council total budget ;
(2) if he will report on progress in meeting the Government's obligations under the Ramsar convention and article 4 of the EC birds directive 79/409 ; how these international obligations will be administered in future ; which proposed new SPAs he is considering ; and when these will be declared.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to have produced from all the relevant services a full co-ordinated list of those bathing beaches around England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland which (a) reach and (b) do not reach the standards of water quality of directive 76/160/EEC ; and if he will list the forecast dates by which those failing to reach this standard will attain it.
Mr. Moynihan : Details of the identified bathing waters and their compliance in the 1988 bathing season were given in the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Derby, North (Mr. Knight) on 21 February and the
Column 1174answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment at the Scottish Office to my hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro) on 13 April. The water authorities are currently drawing up investment programmes with the aim of bringing all bathing waters into compliance with the directive by the mid-1990s.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for each year since 1970 the number of council dwellings, the amount of rent collected and the average amount of rent collected per dwelling, the total amount of rent rebates, rate rebates, housing allowances and so on to (a) tenants of local authorities and (b) tenants of private landlords and housing associations, together with the number of beneficiaries in each cases.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what communications he has received from the Housing Corporation concerning the assessment of the percentage of income that constitutes an affordable rent.