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Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards the exclusion of Cambodia from international agencies and agreements, including the World Health Organisation's international telecommunications treaties, airline agreements and trade agreements ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maude : Cambodia's participation in international agencies and agreements is a matter for the agencies and authorities concerned. The Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea currently occupies Democratic Kampuchea's United Nations seat. We have not opposed acceptance of the credentials of Democratic Kampuchea, but have made clear our abhorrence of Pol Pot and his associates.
Mr. Hurd : The British Government's objective is a sovereign and independent Cambodia whose people are free to decide their own future. We do not have diplomatic relations with the unelected regime put into power by the Vietnamese. We have consistently made plain our repugnance for the Khmer Rouge. We have never given, and will never give, support of any kind to the Khmer Rouge.
These objectives remain unchanged but we have reviewed their implementation in the light of recent events. Vietnam has withdrawn its combat units from Cambodia. The international conference at Paris failed to reach agreement on a political settlement. Fighting continues within Cambodia itself and the need for humanitarian aid has grown. In these circumstances we have decided :
(i) to build up our humanitarian aid programme. We shall continue to provide substantial help to the many thousands of Cambodians living in camps along the Thai-Cambodia border who have been made homeless by the years of fighting. We stipulate that none of our aid should reach the Khmer Rouge. We shall now increase the humanitarian aid which we give inside Cambodia itself while continuing to channel this aid through the non- governmental organisations and organisations such as UNICEF and not direct to the Phnom Penh regime. As part of this policy, I propose to offer now a further contribution of £250, 000 to UNICEF for humanitarian projects inside Cambodia. Arrangements will be made for a member of the British embassy in Bangkok to visit Phnom Penh soon to report on the situation at first hand. I am asking the heads of the NGOs to meet me to discuss details ;
(ii) to adapt our stance at the UN. The report of the UN credentials committee again recommended acceptance of credentials of Democratic Kampuchea for the Cambodian seat and was approved without a vote. That question has thus already been settled for the present session. Our long- standing position on this legal and technical matter in no way implies readiness to deal with the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea as a government, much less support for the Khmer Rouge. We have decided with our friends and partners to modify the draft resolution which we, with 74 other UN member states, are co-sponsoring at the United Nations General Assembly in the debate on 15 November. These changes are intended to make clear that the situation in Cambodia has changed and that we do not support the Khmer Rouge in any way.
We wish to see peace and stability restored to Cambodia through a comprehensive political settlement which will create the conditions in which the Cambodian people can elect a government of their choice, free from the fear of Khmer Rouge atrocities, foreign occupation or civil war. In consultation with our friends and allies, notably the ASEAN group of countries, we shall continue to work to this end.
Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he proposes to take any action in response to the recent Chinese sacking of two members of the Basic Law Drafting Committee in Hong Kong.
Mr. Maude : Members of the Basic Law drafting committee are appointed by the standing committee of the Chinese National People's Congress. The suspension of two members is a matter for the Chinese authorities and the members themselves. We hope that the Chinese Government will take full account of opinion in Hong Kong in their drafting of the Basic Law.
Mr. Butcher : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will seek to ascertain the reasons for the refusal of the Indian Government to grant entry visas to representatives of Amnesty International in January, March and December 1985, November 1986, November 1987 and March 1989.
Mr. Maude : The Indian Government have made their views on Amnesty International clear in public statements. Equally, we have made known to them that we regard Amnesty International as a serious and responsible organisation. The issuing of visas is a matter for the Indian Government.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish the changes in the totals and percentages of unemployed in (a) Wales and (b) the area covered by the valleys initiative since (i) July 1986, (ii) July 1987 and(iii) July 1988.
Mr. Peter Walker : The information requested is shown in the table. The figures used are not adjusted for seasonality and are affected by the change in benefit regulations for under 18-year-olds introduced in September 1988.
|Change in number of |<1>Change in unemployment |unemployed |rate |(Percentage points) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- July 1986-September 1989 Valleys area |-19,964 |-9.1 Wales |-84,592 |-8.1 July 1987-September 1989 Valleys area |-13,718 |-6.3 Wales |-61,535 |-6.0 July 1988-September 1989 Valleys area |-7,630 |-3.5 Wales |-35,478 |-3.3 <1> The rates used for Wales are on the "narrow base" (ie the denominator consisting of employees in employment and unemployed claimants) which provides the closest basis on which a comparison can be made with my estimates for the valleys programme area.
Since the launch of the valleys programme in June 1988, the unemployment rate in the valleys area has fallen by 3.9 percentage points compared to a fall in Wales of 3.4 percentage points.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will break down the distribution of the sum of money allocated for the implementation of the White Paper, "Working for Patients", by authority and by the sub-divisions as in his answer to the hon. Member for Alyn and Deeside of 31 October ; and what uses he expects to be made of the cash sum for health authorities' discretionary use.
Mr. Grist : The distribution of the £1.62 million allocated for the discretionary use of health authorities in meeting the costs of implementing the White Paper "Working for Patients" during the current financial year is shown in the table :
|£ million ----------------------------------------------------------- Clwyd |0.19 East Dyfed |0.13 Gwent |0.23 Gwynedd |0.13 Mid Glamorgan |0.26 Pembrokeshire |0.07 Powys |0.08 South Glamorgan |0.29 West Glamorgan |0.20 Welsh Health Common Services Authority |0.04 |-- |1.62
The funding provided recognises the need for health authorities to strengthen their systems and staffing particularly in the fields of finance and personnel in order to meet the operational requirements of the White Paper reforms. While information is not available on the precise deployment of these additional funds--since this is a matter for each health authority to decide in the light of its own local circumstances--all authorities have confirmed that they have borne in mind the following considerations :
(i) the information technology and staffing consequences of the need to introduce and maintain capital asset registers and to generate capital charges in respect of all registered assets ; (
(ii) the staffing consequences associated with the introduction of new contractual arrangements for service provision particularly in the contract negotiation, billing, paymaster and accounting function ;
Column 646(iii) the staffing consequences associated with the need for the introduction of comprehensive (computerised) manpower management systems ;
(iv) the need for district co-ordinators and supporting staff etc. (as necessary) to establish medical audit as district level. The balance of the additional £5 million which the Department has provided toward the cost of implementing the White Paper proposals in the current financial year has been reserved centrally for the various purposes outlined in the table, but it is not possible to say at the present time how much of this funding will be allocated in due course to individual health authorities.
(a) £2.34 million has been earmarked in respect of authorities' information technology and resource management initiative plans under the revised Information and Information Technology Strategy for the NHS in Wales which is to be published shortly. The distribution of these funds between health authorities will be subject of detailed discussions between health authorities and my officials ;
(b) £0.11 million has been reserved for medical audit purposes including support for some specific projects and the appointment of a clinical adviser to head a Clinical Resource User Group and to liaise with the Welsh Advisory Group on Medical Audit ;
(c) £0.18 million is required for the cost this year of the Value for Money Unit which has been established to lead the drive for cost improvements and income generation, to promote opportunities for marketing NHS expertise and to advise authorities on the commercial exploitation of innovation ;
(d) £0.14 million has been set aside for the cost of additional training at the all Wales level of health authority personnel and finance staff and for strengthening the functions undertaken by the Manpower Consultancy Service ;
(e) £0.11 million has been reserved for preparatory work to enable the implementation of the White Paper proposals relating to family practitioner services. Of this sum, £0.08 million has been allocated to the family practitioner committees in Wales and £0.3 million is being used centrally to help meet the cost of appointing general managers to FPCs in Wales ;
(f) £0.50 million is to be used in establishing treatment centres at Bridgend, Bangor and Cardiff but it is not possible at this stage to give an accurate assessment of the distribution of this funding between the managing authorities.
(2) what assessment he has made of the cost of ending the discharge of untreated sewage from Wales into the sea ;
(3) whether he will make it his policy to end the discharge of untreated sewage from Wales into the sea and into estuaries ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Grist : The Government remain to be convinced that prior treatment is always necessary or desirable where properly designed and sited long sea outfalls are available. However, a study has been commissioned, to be undertaken by Consultants in Environmental Sciences Ltd., to investigate the likely costs and benefits, both environmental and financial, of applying various treatment standards to all major discharges.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the outfalls into the sea and estuaries carrying untreated sewage from Wales which are currently being extended or for which extensions are being planned, with the cost of each project and its projected date of completion.
Mr. Grist : This is a matter for Dwr Cymru Cyfyngedig. Information is held centrally only in respect of investment on outfalls in connection with the United Kingdom's programme to achieve compliance with its obligations under the EC's bathing water directive. This was placed in the Library by my hon. and learned Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning on 20 October.
Mr. Redwood : The DTI has recorded over 260,000 inquiries for information on the single market since our Europe Open for Business' campaign was launched in March 1988, including more than 150,000 calls to our 1992 telephone hotline. The large majority of these requests have been from individual firms or business organisations. In addition, DTI Ministers and officials have spoken at more than 1, 250 single market conferences and seminars since the campaign began, mainly to business audiences.
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many single European market measures were agreed in principle, adopted or had common positions under the Spanish presidency of the European Commission ; and whether this total exceeds those under previous presidencies.
Mr. Redwood [holding answer 3 November 1989] : A record 68 measures aimed at removing barriers to trade within the Community were finally adopted, agreed in principle, or had common positions agreed for submission to the European Parliament, under the Spanish presidency of the Council of Ministers in the first half of this year. Of these 23 came from the single market White Paper. The comparable figures for earlier presidencies were :
Presidency and Date |All measures |White Paper ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Luxembourg July-December 1985 |32 |22 Netherlands January-June 1986 |13 |4 United Kingdom July-December 1986 |48 |24 Belgium January-June 1987 |23 |15 Denmark July-December 1987 |31 |8 Federal Republic of Germany January-June 1988 |56 |23 Greece July-December 1988 |54 |18 Spain January-June 1989 |68 |23 Note: The figures in the White Paper column are for adoptions, except for the Spanish Presidency, which includes three common positions awaiting final adoption.
Mr. Redwood [holding answer 3 November 1989] : Expenditure to date on the Department of Trade and Industry's "Europe Open for Business" campaign, which is the responsibility of my Department's single market unit, is around £13 million. Of this, around £8.9 million is represented by national advertising. The remaining £4.1 million has provided a detailed and comprehensive range of literature ; a national telephone inquiry service and mailing operation ; the Spearhead computer database ; video materials ; research into business preparations ; and a major series of business conferences in 1988.
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will make it his policy to hold six-monthly national conferences bringing together business men and women, trades unions and professional bodies to discuss the implications of the European single market of 1992.
Mr. Redwood [holding answer 3 November 1989] : I have no plans at present to hold regular conferences of this type. Department of Trade and Industry Ministers and officials have already spoken at over 1, 250 single market conferences and seminars, and are further committed to participating in over 100 more. In addition, my Department's extensive day- to-day contact with business and representational bodies provides ample opportunity to discuss single market issues.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : There are various restraints on imports into the United Kingdom of woven spun cotton fabrics from low-cost supplying countries under the European Community's agreements under the multi-fibre arrangement and other restraint arrangements. If it can be clearly demonstrated that unrestricted imports from a particular country subject to these arrangements are causing or threatening disruption of the United Kingdom market, my Department will consider whether it is in the United Kingdom interest to request restraint action in Brussels.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will investigate whether Messrs. Gary Gilbert and Sankey or any of its employees and employees of related companies were knowingly connnected with companies in whose shares they traded during the period 1982 to 1988.
Mr. Redwood : The concept of being knowingly connected with a company is one contained in the Company Securities (Insider Dealing) Act 1985. Investigations into possible contraventions of that Act are not normally announced. If the hon. Member has information suggesting that there may have been such a contravention he should draw it to my right hon. Friend's attention.
|£ million ------------------------------------------------------- Underwriting |21.3 Selling and broking commission |1.7 Receiving banks |4.3 Marketing |11.6 Advisers' fees |5.6 Other costs (excluding stamp duty) |0.2 Overseas costs |2.8 |-- |47.5
This represents less than 2 per cent. of the gross proceeds of the sale.
Mr. Robert G. Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether any decisions have been made as a result of the recommendations from the Director General of Telecommunications about the further liberalisation of telecommunication services ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ridley [pursuant to the reply, 15 June 1989,c. 481-82] : I can now inform the House that I have signed the new branch systems general licence under the Telecommunications Act 1984. The licence enters into force today.
The new licence provides for significant further liberalisation in a number of areas. In particular, it allows "simple resale" whereby companies and others can sell on to third parties any spare capacity they have on the private lines they lease from British Telecom and Mercury. The licence thus gives operators of private networks complete freedom in their use within the United Kingdom.
The licence also contains a condition designed to limit the intrusion caused by unsolicited telephone and fax sales calls. Under it, users will be able to request that a particular company ceases such calls and if the company continues to make them, it will be in breach of the licence.
Since the licence will govern the operation of the overwhelming majority of private networks and branch systems in the country, as well as the provision of telecommunications services, we have been particularly careful to produce a document which will put into practice the measures announced by my hon. Friend in the simplest and most effective way.
We have also taken the opportunity to simplify further some of the conditions, particularly those relating to the provision of international data services.
We have also added a requirement that specially adapted telephones for the hard of hearing located in lifts to which the public have access should be clearly signposted. We hope these further changes will bring additional benefits to the users of telecommunications in the United Kingdom.
In preparing the new licence, my Department has received detailed advice from the Office of Telecommunications. I am grateful to the Director
Column 650General of Telecommunications for this advice and for his recommendations, which have formed the basis for the further liberalisations that are contained in the licence.
Copies of the new licence will be generally available at a cost of £5 from the Office of Telecommunications, and I will ensure that they are placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list the post-1980 NATO exercises in which the NATO Wartime Oil Organisation's United Kingdom headquarters and the United Kingdom National Oil Board have been exercised.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what arrangements for airport facilities British Nuclear Fuels plc. has made to transport plutonium from Sellafield to Dounreay and Europe in the light of the forthcoming closure of Carlisle airport.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what arrangements have been made in the event of a nuclear accident occurring in the United Kingdom larger than the so-called reference accident.
Mr. Michael Spicer : I refer the hon. Member to the Prime Minister's statement on 12 December 1988. She said that extensive consultations with the emergency services and local authorities have "confirmed the availability of contingency plans which would permit an effective response to be made to any nuclear accident, including those with more widespread effects than the specific site and off-site plans are designed to cater for".--[ Official Report, 12 December 1988 ; Vol. 143, c. 388. ]
Off-site emergency exercises are regularly based on an assumed radioactive release going significantly beyond that which could arise from the reference accident to ensure this wider capability is tested.
Mr. Michael Spicer : Annual percentage changes in electricity prices in current terms, that is, with no adjustment for inflation, are given in the table. Separate figures are given for domestic and industrial consumers.
Change in prices over previous year per cent. Year |Domestic |Industrial -------------------------------------------- 1979 |8.5 |11.1 1980 |27.3 |23.3 1981 |20.2 |15.8 1982 |9.8 |9.5 1983 |3.7 |0.4 1984 |1.4 |-0.2 1985 |3.2 |3.9 1986 |2.2 |0.9 1987 |-0.5 |-2.9 1988 |5.4 |5.5 Source: Fuel price indices, Energy Trends.
Mr. Peter Morrison : Annual percentage changes in gas prices in current terms, that is, with no adjustment for inflation, are given in the table. Separate figures are given for domestic and industrial consumers.
Change in prices over previous year ( Percentage) Year |Domestic |Industrial -------------------------------------------- 1979 |3.7 |14.1 1980 |16.6 |36.0 1981 |26.0 |21.2 1982 |24.7 |6.3 1983 |12.0 |1.7 1984 |3.7 |3.3 1985 |4.1 |6.8 1986 |1.8 |-12.8 1987 |-1.0 |-5.8 1988 |0.8 |-4.8 Source: Fuel price indices, Energy Trends.
Mr. Michael Spicer : There are no EC directives on eliminating subsidies to the British coal mining industry. The Government already comply with the EC directive on coal state aids under which member states can provide specified financial support to their coal industries subject to either the approval of, or prior notification to, the Commission.
Mr. Peter Morrison : Energy efficiency is primarily a matter for individual consumers. The Energy Efficiency Office will continue to provide help and guidance to consumers, to improve their energy management and to encourage the energy efficiency industry. For Government Departments, where the Government have direct responsibility for energy use, we announced a framework for securing energy savings rising to £45 million per year, equivalent to 15 per cent. of their energy bills, over five years.
Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if provision will be made to make available to independent electricity generators the portfolio of redundant power stations currently held by National Power and PowerGen.
Mr. Michael Spicer : The Electricity Act 1989 includes, in schedule 3, a provision which could enable one electricity licence holder to make a compulsory purchase order covering surplus land held by another.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many YTS starts and how many leavers were recorded by each payment type, by male and female, and by one or two-year training entitlement by standard training agency in the Yorkshire and Humberside region, for each of the last three months.
Mr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, (1) pursuant to the answer of the hon. Member for Teignbridge (Mr. Nicholls) of 31 October, Official Report, column 160, what are the criteria for the 1990 target number of factory inspectors ; (2) what was the target number of factory inspectors for 1 April 1988 and April 1989 ; and what it is for 1 April 1990.
d |Total factory inspectors|Inspectors in HM Factory |in HSE<1> |Inspectorate ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 April 1988 |634 |574 1 April 1989 |<2>649 |588 1 April 1990 |640 |590 <1> Includes inspectors on non-inspection duties eg those contributing to policy or technical standards. <2> Following an unexpectedly high rate of resignations during 1987-88, this "target" was reduced in October 1988 by HSE to 638.
The criteria for HSE's 1990 target for factory inspectors were set out in the Health and Safety Commission's plan of work for 1989-90 and beyond.
Mr. Eggar : The Council agreed some important items in the field of health and safety at work. They reached common positions on a directive to improve the minimum health and safety requirements for workers handling heavy loads, and on a directive covering health and safety requirements for workers working with visual display units.
Column 653The Council continued its discussion of a revised draft of the charter of social rights. The presidency conclusions on the draft charter will now go forward with a view to a decision on adoption, to the European Council in December.
A report on a comparative study on working conditions in member states, drawn up by the Commission, was also discussed and welcomed. The Commission was invited to continue the work in consultation with member states.
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the various grants for which employers may apply in order to facilitate the employment of disabled people ; and if he will indicate in each case (a) the amounts allocated by his Department and (b) the amounts taken up by employers, in each of the last 10 years.
Mr. Eggar [holding answer 6 November 1989] : My Department provides a variety of help to facilitate the employment of people with disabilities, including six special schemes to help overcome specific barriers to work. Two of these offer grants to employers : (a) the Job Introduction Scheme--grants towards an individual's wages during a trial period.
(b) the Adaptations to Premises and Equipment Scheme--grants to employers to adapt their premises or equipment to enable a specific disabled employee to work more effectively and productively. The other four offer help directly to individuals. Money is allocated to the special schemes as a bloc, and expenditure on any one scheme is not constrained by estimates for that scheme ; these are based each year on previous take-up and other evidence of likely demand.
Between 1979-80 and 1988-89, total expenditure on all the special schemes for the disabled rose from £743,000 per annum to £5,669,000 per annum.
The financial information requested about the two schemes is as follows :