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Haemophiliacs

Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) from whom advice was sought regarding the cost of the help likely to be needed by HIV -infected haemophiliacs and their families before the figure of £20,000 for an individual lump sum payment was decided upon ; and what advice was given ;

(2) if he will introduce legislation to ensure that the £20,000 lump sum payment to HIV-infected haemophiliacs does not affect the receipt of social security payments and legal aid by them ; (3) what advice was given by the Charity Commissioners regarding the legality of the Macfarlane trust giving equal lump sum payments to all HIV-infected haemophiliacs.

Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will explain the method to be used for parcelling out the £19 million promised to haemophiliac cases who are HIV positive ; whether they will each receive an equivalent capital sum ; and how soon he expects the payments to be made ;

(2) what discussions took place with the executors of the Mcfarlane trust about using part of the existing fund to top-up the ex gratia capital sums to be given to haemophiliacs who are HIV positive ; and whether it is intended to restore that money to meet continuous need for extras including heating and dietary requirements ;

(3) whether, as a result of the payment of £20,000 to each of the haemophiliacs who are HIV positive, they will be deemed to possess a capital sum in excess of what is allowed for claiming legal aid ; and whether this money will affect their ability to pursue their claim for compensation on legal aid.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We are firmly committed both to making equal lump sum payments of £20,000 to each haemophiliac infected with HIV through the use of blood products, or to the family of such a person who has died and to enabling the Macfarlane trust to continue on a more generous scale their help to families in particular need. Together, we believe that these measures are adequate to ensure that the special needs of the infected haemophiliacs and their families are met. Discussions are


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taking place with representatives of the Macfarlane trust, and with the Charity Commission, on how our objectives can be achieved. We hope that payments will be made as soon as possible. The payments will be disregarded for the purpose of social security as have past payments from the Macfarlane trust. Also, such payments should not prejudice the legal aid position of haemophiliacs with HIV who are, or seek to be, involved in the current litigation concerning their HIV infection.

Yorkshire Regional Health Authority

Mrs. Peacock : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he last met the chairman of the Yorkshire regional health authority ; and what matters were discussed.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health last met the chairman of the Yorkshire regional health authority on 14 November 1989 to discuss matters relating to the management of the NHS.

Basildon and Thurrock District Health Authority

Mr. Janman : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the current net annual rate bill paid by each hospital within Basildon and Thurrock district health authority to the relevant local authority.

Mr. Freeman : I regret that this information is not collected centrally. I suggest that my hon. Friend contacts Basildon and Thurrock health authority direct.

AIDS

Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the current budget for expenditure on AIDS and the related educational campaign ; and whether the budget has changed from the sums made available for the year 1988-89.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Department has made the following provision for AIDS-related health and personal social services and health education expenditure in England.


(£ millions)                                                

                                    |1988-89|1989-90        

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

Advances to health authorities      |58.74  |121.90         

AIDS support grant allocations to                           

  local authorities                 |nil    |7.00           

Section 64 grants to voluntary                              

  organisations                     |1.09   |1.67           

Allocations to the Health Education                         

  Authority (including United                               

  Kingdom mass media remit)         |10.00  |12.00          

Research (made available)           |1.60   |2.29           

Other Government Departments also spend money in response to HIV-AIDS, for example, the Department of Education and Science provides funds to the Medical Research Council for its directed programme on AIDS.

Edwards-Duromedics Heart Valve

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the class I recall, issued in the United States of America on the Edwards- Duromedics heart valve,


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reached his Department ; what action was taken as a result ; and when and what warnings were issued to general practitioners about the hazards of the valve.

Mr. Freeman : The Department became aware on 17 May 1988 that the manufacturer had arranged a voluntary recall in the USA. Urgent arrangements were made for a meeting in this country on 19 May 1988 between the manufacturer and the Department of Health medical and technical staff. This led to agreement to the company issuing a letter on 25 May 1988 to all implanting centres and known United Kingdom purchasers of the specified heart valves with instructions to inform appropriate medical staff of the need to discontinue use for new patients and ensure very careful monitoring of patients currently using them. Guidance was also given on diagnosis and treatment. After further independent evaluation of various types of valve in Sheffield the Department subsequently issued a "Dear Doctor" letter on 19 August 1988 to all consultant cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiologists in the United Kingdom, covering the question of valve failure. Since 1986 the Department has been funding a heart valve registry based at the Hammersmith hospital to monitor usage and failures in use in the United Kingdom.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Drugs

Mr. Rathbone : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what special assistance the Government are giving or planning for Colombia, Bolivia and Peru to assist them in their efforts to eliminate illicit drug production and trafficking.

Mr. Sainsbury : As far as assistance to Colombia is concerned, I refer my hon. Friend to the reply that I gave on 29 November to the hon. Member for Gower (Mr. Wardell). In Bolivia, we are contributing via the United Nations fund for drug abuse control to a £2.2 million alternative development project, and have recently allocated a further £5 million of aid funds. We have also contributed some £250, 000 to drugs rehabilitation projects in Bolivia. United Kingdom assistance to Peru has included the provision of an aircraft and communications equipment. Future aid is likely to include training for the Bolivian and Peruvian customs services.

El Salvador

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if Her Majesty's Government have received any requests for assistance from the Government of El Salvador in the matter of the recent murder of six Jesuit priests.

Mr. Sainsbury : Yes. We shall, of course, do all that we reasonably can to help the Government of El Salvador bring the perpetrators of this terrible crime to justice. We welcome President Cristiani's obvious determination to establish all the facts.

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has as to the number of members of the El Salvadorean armed forces who have been prosecuted for involvement in death squads, torture and murder since the beginning of the present conflict.


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Mr. Sainsbury : The information requested is not readily available.

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations Her Majesty's ambassador to El Salvador has made to the El Salvadorean Government on the recent murder of six Jesuit priests.

Mr. Sainsbury : The following statement of our view on the killing of the six Jesuits has been passed to the Salvadorean authorities in London and San Salvador :

"We utterly condemn the cowardly and appalling murders which occurred at the Catholic university in the early hours of 16 November. The rector and his colleagues were men whose reputation for honesty and integrity stood high in the world. Words cannot express our disgust at the simultaneous killing of their cook and one or more of her children. We hope that the perpetrators of this crime will be identified and brought to justice.

In the present tense situation in San Salvador, we urge restraint on all parties. Acts of retribution will lead only to further tragedy and despair. This cannot be the way forward for El Salvador. We hope that everything will be done to facilitate the task of the Red Cross, in particular to bring the wounded to safety where they can receive treatment.

We renew our call on the FMLN to bring to an end their offensive which has caused such suffering and to return to the negotiating table."

Children

Mr. Faulds : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what position Her Majesty's Government have adopted towards the proposal for a world summit for children as suggested by UNICEF.

Mr. Sainsbury : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs joined other Commonwealth heads of Government in welcoming the proposed summit for children as a means of stimulating national and international action. I understand that preparations for this conference are in train and we await proposals from those concerned.

UN Relief and Working Agency

Mr. Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the increase of contributions to United Nations Relief and Working Agency announced by Council of Europe member states at the pledging conference of 16 November.

Mr. Sainsbury : At the pledging conference held on 16 November at the United Nations general assembly, donor countries announced contributions to UNRWA for 1990 amounting to US $76 million. Some ten pledges have yet to be quantified. Of the total announced to date, Council of Europe member states have pledged more than US $64 million (a modest increase on 1989).

Britain's contribution for 1989 was £5.25 million. This was increased at the 16 November conference to £5.5 million. In addition, we have provided a grant of £250,000 to fund an UNRWA housing and infrastructure feasibility study being carried out by British consultants. We also contribute substantially through the European Community, both to UNRWA's regular programmes and to its emergency programmes.


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Montserrat

Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many people have been made homeless in the dependent territory of Montserrat as a result of Hurricane Hugo on 17 September ; and what is the estimated cost of the damage sustained during the hurricane.

Mr. Sainsbury : A complete survey of the extent of damage to housing from Hurricane Hugo is being conducted by the Montserrat Government. Their preliminary estimates are that, of the 4,000 houses in Montserrat, perhaps as many as 30 per cent. were totally devasted and 60 per cent. rendered temporarily uninhabitable. It will clearly take time to produce an accurate assessment of the cost of the overall damage. The extent to which this figure will be met by insurance policies is also not yet known.

Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what material and financial help has been given to the Government of Montserrat since the hurricane of 17 September ; and whether he will assist financially those people who have been left homeless to rebuild their homes and those people who have lost business and crops.

Mr. Waldegrave : Immediately following Hurricane Hugo, Britain made an initial £1 million available to the area for emergency assistance, such as tents, blankets, roofing, medicaments, and also the services of British armed forces for immediate repairs and the airfreighting of supplies. Most of this assistance was directed to Montserrat. Subsequently, a further £3.2 million has been committed for reconstruction, mainly on Montserrat. A major use has been to finance teams of engineers, linesmen and electricians from British electricity boards to repair the electricity distribution system on Antigua and on Montserrat where over 50 men are currently working. It is also being used to purchase, for the Montserrat public works department, equipment and materials (such as galvanised sheeting, roofing shingles and nails) for public assistance housing, clinics, schools and other Government buildings.

A number of other donor Governments and agencies, including the United States, Canada and the European Community, are also providing emergency assistance.

Losses to private businesses, homes and crops are a matter for the companies and individuals concerned drawing on their private insurance cover. I understand the Montserrat Government is providing help for individuals facing particular difficulties.

British officials, including specialist advisers, from our development division in Barbados and from London, recently completed a report on Montserrat's longer-term needs. They have formulated a rebuilding strategy, which we will now be discussing with the Government of Montserrat and also with the international aid institutions and other donors. The aim will be to prepare an action plan and financing assessment.

Overseas Aid

Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will list the size of the overseas aid budget for each year since 1979 ;

(2) if he will list the size of the overseas aid budget in real terms for each year since 1979.


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Mr. Waldegrave : The figures for net public expenditure on overseas aid at current and at 1979 prices are as follows :


Year           |Current prices|1979 prices                  

               |£ million     |£ million                    

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

1979           |864           |864                          

1980           |842           |704                          

1981           |1,062         |798                          

1982           |991           |692                          

1983           |1,080         |716                          

1984           |1,200         |760                          

1985           |1,210         |726                          

1986           |1,233         |714                          

1987           |1,174         |649                          

1988           |1,540         |798                          

Vietnamese Boat People

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Vietnamese boat people he anticipates will be compulsorily removed from Hong Kong by 25 December.

Mr. Maude : As of 27 November, a total of 3,629 Vietnamese boat people in Hong Kong had been finally screened out with no alternative but return to Vietnam. Some may volunteer to return. It is therefore not possible to determine in advance how many will need to be repatriated, nor how long it will take to complete the process. But a start will need to be made soon.

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what financial assistance is to be given to each Veitnamese boat person who will be compulsorily removed from Hong Kong.

Mr. Maude : The level of reintegration assistance to be paid to the first group of Vietnamese boat people who return involuntarily to Vietnam will be the equivalent to what UNHCR pays under the voluntary repatriation scheme. It will cover such expenses as transport within Vietnam, food, domestic appliances, housing and resettlement in other places, vocational training, job placement and production tools. The level of expenditure will depend on the details of each case.

South Korea

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Government of Korea in order to bring about an end to the inhumane treatment of dogs and cats intended for human consumption in that country ; and if he will make it his policy to raise the issue at an intergovernmental level.

Mr. Sainsbury : The Korean Government are well aware of the revulsion felt by the people in the United Kingdom at the cruel treatment of animals. During the recent visit of President Roh, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs once again drew the attention of the Korean Foreign Minister to the strong concern which many people in this country feel about the way in which dogs and cats are reared and slaughtered for food in Korea.

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to initiate


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and co-ordinate action by international environmental and animal welfare organisations to bring pressure on the Government of Korea to end inhumane treatment of dogs and cats intended for human consumption in that country.

Mr. Sainsbury : The Korean Government are well aware of the strong concern in this country and elsewhere about the way in which cats and dogs are reared and slaughtered for human consumption.

Non-governmental organisations can best co-ordinate their own activities.

Ethiopia

Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are his sources of information on famine in Ethiopia ; how often this information is updated ; and what procedures are in place to consider and respond to developments as they arise.

Mr. Waldegrave : We receive continuing information from a variety of sources : in particular the emergency planning and preparedness system which we have helped the United Nations to establish in Ethiopia, our embassy in Addis Ababa, British non-governmental organisations and international agencies such as the United Nations world food programme. Information is also provided by the Ethiopian Government and the relief organisations of the Eritrean and Tigrean rebel movements.

Regular co-ordination with other donors, both in Addis Ababa and elsewhere, and close liaison with British NGOs help us in our assessments of our data. Within ODA the interdepartmental co-ordinating arrangements are such as to enable us to respond speedily and effectively with both food aid and other emergency relief to the threat of famine.

Sikh Human Rights

Sir Dudley Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he sought to raise the question of Sikh human rights at the recent Commonwealth conference.

Mr. Sainsbury : No.

Sir Dudley Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will ask for the question of Sikh human rights to be placed on the agenda of the next Commonwealth conference.

Mr. Sainsbury : No.

Cyprus

Sir Dudley Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has on arms build-up on the Greek side of Cyprus ; and what efforts he is making, in the interests of preserving peace, to counter such moves.

Mr. Maude : The Government of Cyprus are pursuing a substantial arms purchasing programme for the Greek Cypriot national guard. We have made clear our view that such measures do nothing to help create the right climate for resuming the intercommunal talks, which have been stalled since last June.


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Secure Office Automation

Mr. Devlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress there has been on the secure office automation project in the diplomatic wing.

Mr. Sainsbury : A review of the project was conducted following announcements by the contractor, SD-Scicon, of significant delays in the delivery of future stages. The FCO and SD-Scicon have agreed that the project be halted on terms whereby the FCO pays only for what it has received, retaining equipment, documentation and the use of software. SD- Scicon will provide maintenance cover at no charge for a period of two years, refund payments totalling £1.57 million, and acquire full rights to the software developed under the contract. In total, the cost to the FCO of the FOLIOS contract, including staff costs, was £3.4 million. The value to the FCO of the settlement, in equipment, services and returned money, is £3.3 million.

Hong Kong

Mr. Ian Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will reply to the second report of the Foreign Affairs Committee on Hong Kong.

Mr. Maude : We shall publish our observations on the report at noon on 1 December 1989.

NATIONAL FINANCE

Jacques Delors

10. Mr. Rogers : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he last had discussions with Mr. Jacques Delors.

Mr. Major : I last met Mr. Delors on 13 November.

38. Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he last had discussions with Mr. Jacques Delors.

Mr. Rooker : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he last had discussions with Mr. Jacques Delors.

Mr. Lilley : Mr. Delors attended the Council of Economic and Finance Ministers on 13 November, a report of which my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave to the House on 15 November, Official Report, column 315-16.

Inflation

14. Mr. Leadbitter : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his forecast for inflation in the fourth quarter of 1989.

57. Mr. Litherland : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his forecast for inflation in the fourth quarter of 1989.

Mr. Ryder : Inflation is expected to average 7 per cent. in the fourth quarter of 1989, as outlined in the Autumn Statement forecast.

18. Mr. McAllion : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the current inflation rates in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) other Group of Seven countries.


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Mr. McFall : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the current inflation rates in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) other Group of Seven countries.

Mr. Lilley : The underlying inflation rate in the United Kingdom is 6.1 per cent. ; the inflation rates in other G7 countries range from 2.6 per cent. in Japan to 6.8 per cent. in Italy.

74. Mr. Moate : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the peak inflation rate for 1989 ; and what was the peak rate reached between 1974 and 1979.

Mr. Ryder : The all-items RPI inflation rate for 1989 probably peaked in May and June of this year at a rate of 8.3 per cent., far lower than the peak rate of 26.9 per cent. in August 1975 under the last Labour Government.

33. Mr. Viggers : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on current policies to contain inflation.

Mr. Ryder : The Government's tight monetary and fiscal policies are working. Demand is slowing and lower inflation will follow.

Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures he is taking to control inflation ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ryder : The Government's tight monetary and fiscal policies are working. Demand is slowing and lower inflation will follow.

Interest Rates

16. Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many letters he has received from small businesses about the level of interest rates.

Mr. Ryder : Over the last year we have received a small number each month.

26. Mr. Latham : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received from the Confederation of British Industry about the level of interest rates ; and what reply he has sent.

Mr. Ryder : My right hon. Friend has received one, to which he replied on 24 November.

28. Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what organisations have made representations to him about the present level of interest rates.

Mr. Ryder : My right hon. Friend and I have received a number of such representations.

72. Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the main guide to interest rate policy ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ryder : In formulating their monetary policy, the Government will continue to be guided by movements in narrow and broad money (especially the movement of MO in relation to its target range) and the behaviour of other financial indicators, in particular the exchange rate.

76. Mr. Knox : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the current level of interest rates.


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Mr. Ryder : Bank base rates are 15 per cent.

77. Mr. Salmond : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received about high interest rates from business groups in Scotland.

78. Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received about high interest rates from business groups in Scotland.


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