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Column 690developments will make optimum use of a valuable military installation for the benefit of the United States, the United Kingdom and NATO.
Mr. Neubert : As my hon. Friend the Member for Kettering (Mr. Freeman) explained on 29 April 1988, col. 310, it had been decided to negotiate fair compensation for the legal extinguishment of the rights of common over land owned by the Ministry of Defence at Greenham and Crookham commons, which the Department intended to pursue under the provisions of the Defence Act 1854. There is no general right of access for the public over this land ; and the only people enjoying such rights are the 64 commoners. However, in view of the commoners' concerns about the loss of these rights, the Ministry of Defence has since been discussing with them a compromise solution which would have preserved their rights over a substantial area of the base while meeting essential legal and defence requirements. If the commoners would agree not to exercise their rights over the remainder of the area for as long as the base is required for defence purposes, my Department would be prepared only to extinguish their rights over those parts of the base upon which development for defence purposes has already taken place or might take place. This would leave a substantial area of the Ministry of Defence land in question subject to common rights.
Such an arrangement could be put into effect only if agreed by all the commoners and the Department has been anxious to give the commoners every opportunity to consider the proposal. However, more than a year has passed since the original offer was made, and the commoners were informed on 14 December 1989 that there would be no alternative but to proceed as originally proposed unless they had all signed the agreement by 5 January. On that date three of the 64 registered commoners had failed to sign the agreement and we have regrettably been forced to conclude that agreement on the basis of the compromise solution to full extinguishment will not be possible. The Ministry of Defence now, therefore, intends to proceed with the legal formalities to extinguish all rights of common over the MOD property on both commons.
This action is being taken to remove a legal obstacle to construction on MOD property. It is legally quite distinct from the question of the legality of the bye-laws at RAF Greenham Common which is being pursued separately through the courts. No decisions have yet been taken on any alternative roles for the base once the cruise missiles are withdrawn, but RAF Greenham Common has been designated as a NATO standby operating base for many years and we envisage that this role will continue.
Column 6911987-88, paragraph 6, page vi, on the safeguards arrangements for civil plutonium, he took into account the proposals set out in the closing submission by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND-5) to the Hinkley C inquiry.
Mr. Wakeham : The United Kingdom opposed the 1986 United Nations General Assembly resolution which called on the Security Council to introduce a mandatory oil embargo against South Africa and established the oil shipment monitoring organisation. Our policy is unchanged.
Mr. Wakeham : The Government have made clear to companies exporting North sea crude oil that they expect them to do so in the markets of our European Community and International Energy Agency partners, or where there is an existing pattern of trade. South Africa does not come within any of those categories. The guidelines were announced by the then Secretary of State for Energy on 31 January 1979 [ Official Report, col. 461].
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what factors have affected the time taken by his officials to investigate the alleged breach of the United Kingdom's guidelines prohibiting crude oil exports to South Africa by the tanker Almare Terza ; (2) when his officials started their investigation into the alleged breach of the United Kingdom's guidelines prohibiting crude oil exports to South Africa by the tanker Almare Terza ; and when he expects this investigation to be completed.
Mr. Wakeham : Some progress has been made in following the chain of events. Investigations into complex matters of this sort necessarily take time to complete and it is not possible to put a date on the completion of these inquiries.
Mr. Wakeham : My Department receives notification of every cargo of exported UKCS crude oil, including the name of the ship, the date of departure, and intended destination. However, it is not possible for me to monitor accurately the final destination of every barrel.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what were for each year since 1985 the volume and the value of petroleum products exported to South Africa, broken down by type of petroleum product.
United Kingdom petroleum product exports to South Africa (by volume and value) Volumes (metric tonnes) Value (£'000s; current prices) |1985 |1986 |1987 |1988 |<1>1989|1985 |1986 |1987 |1988 |<1>1989 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Motor spirits and light oils |29 |19 |157 |8 |- |13.8 |10.1 |51.2 |16.3 |1.1 Kerosenes and medium oils |14 |1 |1 |1 |- |8.5 |1.6 |1.9 |2.0 |- Gas oils |206 |324 |360 |3,932 |7,846 |76.0 |109.8 |113.2 |742.4 |1,528.9 Fuel oils |- |2 |4 |- |- |0.4 |1.0 |5.6 |- |- Lubricants |17,165 |6,885 |6,218 |579 |434 |5,863.8|2,733.5|2,305.5|517.5 |329.5 Petroleum jellies and waxes |83 |274 |1,148 |808 |402 |72.0 |192.8 |716.9 |506.5 |323.7 Mineral tars and oil derivatives |449 |706 |131 |194 |102 |152.6 |309.8 |81.2 |133.5 |81.4 Pitch and pitch coke |1 |20 |1 |- |- |0.4 |4.0 |1.9 |- |- Petroleum bitumen and bituminous mixtures |4,238 |11,777 |10,528 |109 |34 |1,830.5|3,924.0|3,053.8|75.5 |30.6 |-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|------- Totals |22,185 |20,008 |18,548 |5,631 |8,818 |8,017.9|7,286.6|6,331.2|1,993.7|2,295.2 <1> January to July only. Source: Overseas Trade Statistics.
Mr. Wakeham : I had a most interesting and useful meeting with representatives of the National Energy Foundation. Among the topics discussed where the foundation's plans for the development of an energy rating
Column 692system for housing (which would indicate the energy efficiency of houses by means of a rating scale) and proposals for a national energy centre at Milton Keynes.
I welcomed the opportunity to discuss the foundation's plans, and look forward to a constructive working relationship between the foundation and my Energy Efficiency Office.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) how estimated electricity bills to domestic consumers are calculated ; (2) if he will give for each year since 1979 and for each area board the number of electricity bills to domestic consumers which have been estimated ;
(3) if he will give for each year since 1979 and for each area board the number of complaints from domestic consumers about estimated electricity bills ;
(4) if he will give for each year since 1979 and for each area board the number of electricity bills to domestic consumers which have recorded credits due to over-estimation in the use of electricity in previous bills.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when a decision is to be taken by the post in Islamabad on the application of Mr. Rashad Mahmood, who was born in 1968, Ref. IASP/P/40627 ; serial No. 81159, to join his wife in the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Sainsbury : In accordance with the guidelines on the handling of representations by Members of Parliament in immigration cases, issued to Members on 14 December 1988, I have referred the question to the correspondence unit of the migration and visa department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The hon. Member will receive a reply from the unit as soon as possible.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the post in Islamabad adopted a policy of expediting settlement applications in cases when DNA test results were positive and there were no other factors affecting an application being considered ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Sainsbury : In Islamabad, or at any other overseas post where a DNA test is undertaken, first-time applicants producing DNA-positive evidence are dealt with in their turn in the queue. As I stated in my letter of 21 December 1989, re-applicants producing DNA-positive evidence are fast-streamed when :
(i) there is no issue to address other than confirmation of the claimed relationship, for example, in right-of-abode cases ; or (
(ii) proof of relationship confers British nationality on other members of the same family ; in such cases, in order to keep families together, applications for entry clearance and British passports are considered at the same time.
Where, however, other requirements of the immigration rules need also to be satisfied, such as support and accommodation, re-applicants will continue to wait their turn in Q4.
These arrangements have been in force since the early part of last year.
Column 694received instructions to issue a passport to Shamim Ayaz, Ref. H 162359 ; Imm/15031, enabling him to join his father in the United Kingdom ; how many times Shamim Ayaz has been invited to call at the post in Islamabad ; why he has not, to date, been issued with a visa ; and if he will make a statement.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans there are for the disposal of radioactive waste arising from the joint Hong Kong-Guangdong nuclear power plant at Daya Bay.
Mr. Maude : These are matters for the Chinese authorities. Nevertheless, I understand that the intention is for there to be initial treatment and storage on-site followed by transfer off-site to permanent storage or disposal facilities.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what percentage of British aid for refugee camps on the Thai-Cambodian border is spent on employing protection officers under the auspices of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to prevent refugees being disturbed by political or military groups.
Mr. Sainsbury : It is not possible to identify the percentage of British aid for refugee camps spent on employing protection officers. UNHCR has responsibility for two refugee camps on the Thai-Cambodian border and employs 12 officers who carry out protection and other duties. Funding for these officers comes from the general pool of UNHCR money.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information on the human rights situation in other countries is regularly compiled by his Department ; and whether such information is made public.
We do not publish all the information that we collect. Much of its is, in any case, already publicly available.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what training on details of international human rights standards and on the monitoring and assessment of the human rights situation in the country in which they are working is given to British diplomats overseas.
Mr. Sainsbury : Before a posting overseas, diplomats are given comprehensive briefing on all aspects of life in that country, including the human rights situation. In addition, officers whose duties specifically include human rights issues get more detailed briefing, including from non- governmental organisations.
Column 695overseas missions are required to report regularly to his Department on the human rights situation in their country.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether military and police training given by Britain to other countries always includes training in the protection of human rights.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Chief Police Officer in Hong Kong sought permission from the Governor and Ministers of Her Majesty's Government in advance of using force and tear gas on Vietnamese on Lantau island, in the Crown Territories of Hong Kong after Christmas.
Mr. Maude : The operation was carried out only after protracted efforts by the Hong Kong Government and UNHCR and voluntary agency staff to persuade the boat people to allow the camp to be searched for weapons. When it was clear that the boat people would not co-operate, those in charge of the operation were authorised to use the minimum force necessary to ensure its success. Over 700 home-made weapons were subsequently found.
Mr. Ridley : In the past few months, I have had communications with the chairman of British Steel in connection with a number of European issues affecting the steel industry, including the Community's voluntary restraint agreement with the United States of America and about British Steel's proposed acquisition of C. Walker and Sons.
Mr. David Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress is being made in removing the barriers to British firms seeking to pursue mergers and acquisitions within the European Community.
Mr. Redwood : At the December Internal Market Council the Commission undertook to bring forward proposals by the end of March 1990 for the reduction and elimination of a range of practices that serve as barriers to takeovers. The Council undertook to examine the proposals in due course, taking particular account of the objective of completing the internal market. The DTI has commissioned and published a report by Coopers and Lybrand--which is available in the Library--which sets out the range of barriers that need to be addressed.
Sir Eldon Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many passenger liners are currently being built in the member countries of the EEC ; and if he will publish a list of the number of such vessels ranging in displacement from 3,500 tonnes upwards that are due to be launched in 1990, indicating in each case the countries where they are being built.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Twenty four passenger ships--other than ferries-- were on order books of EC shipyards at the end of the third quarter of 1989. The other information requested is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Forth : There are no official statistics available to show the extent of job creation in the engineering industry over the period in question. Since the beginning of 1986, however, a total of 944 offers of regional selective assistance have been made to engineering companies in the west midlands and those are expected to lead to the creation of 20,000 new jobs.
Mr. Redwood [holding answer 21 December 1989] : My right hon. Friend and I meet the chairman of the Securities and Investments Board as frequently as is necessary. I expect to meet him shortly when a range of topics concerning the regulation of financial services will be discussed.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the number of European Community directives issued consequent to the decisions to complete the internal market by 1992 ; and what is the number of such directives passed into the domestic law of each member state respectively as at 31 December 1989.
Mr. Redwood [holding answer 8 January] : By 31 December 1989 the Council had adopted some 140 directives in the context of the Commission's programme for completing the single market, of which 77 are required to be in force in member states. Details on the state of implementation of those 77 measures in the individual states was given in a reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Corby (Mr. Powell), Official Report, 9 January, columns 600-08.
Since publication of that answer the following directives have been implemented in the United Kingdom :
(i) Tractors and Agricultural Machines : Implementation of Dir 74/150, weight dimensions etc Dir 89/173.
(ii) Other Items : Cosmetics Dir 88/667.
|Number ------------------------------------------------------- United Kingdom registry |111 Isle of Man or Channel Island registries |43 Dependent territory registries |269
Mr. Allen : To ask the Lord President of the Council what is his estimate of the cost incurred by the House of hon. Members having to use franked envelopes to communicate with colleagues when they have reached their limit of six unposted letters on the Members' letter board ; whether he will consider establishing a more convenient and inexpensive system ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Geoffrey Howe : It is not possible to estimate the cost of postage incurred by hon. Members who wish to communicate with their colleagues other than by means of the letter board. The efficiency of the letter board system depends on a limit of acceptance of six letters daily from each hon. Member. I have asked the authorities of the House to discuss alternative distribution systems with the hon. Member.
Mr. Snape : To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will introduce a system for delivery of post for those hon. Members requesting it to a central location in the various outbuildings of the Palace of Westminster for collection on Monday to Friday.
Sir Geoffrey Howe : Mail for hon. Members may be redirected by the House of Commons post office to the parliamentary outbuildings on application to the Postmaster, but this service would result in a delivery some hours later than mail is available at the House post office. Alternatively, correspondence may be addressed direct to the oubuildings and the full addresses of individual buildings are available from the Postmaster. The policy for the distribution of mail within the precincts is a matter for consideration initially by the Accommodation and Administration Sub-Committee of the Services Committee and the hon. Member may wish to write to the Chairman about it.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Attorney-General if he has received any representations following the European Court of Justice decision on Sunday trading made on 23 November 1989 ; and if he will make a statement.
The Attorney-General : I commonly receive representations from diverse sources on the enforcement of the legislation relating to Sunday trading, and I have continued to receive such representations since the European Court of Justice gave its judgment in case 145/88 on 23 November 1989.
The task of interpreting the judgment of the European Court of Justice now falls to the national courts both in the case in which the judgment has been given and in any other cases to which it may be relevant. I understand that a very large number of cases were adjourned to await the decision of the European Court. The way is now open for those cases to proceed to a conclusion.
A duty to enforce the Sunday trading legislation was expressly imposed on local authorities by section 71 of the Shops Act 1950. I said in my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Orpington (Mr. Stanbrook) on 17 April 1989 that in my view local authorities did not cease to be bound by that duty while the decision of the European Court was awaited, and they continue to be under that duty now that the decision of the European Court has been given.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what steps his Department is taking to help increase the net contribution to employment growth among firms with between 20 and 50 employees.
Mr. Eggar : The Government's policy is to create a beneficial climate for small businesses generally, mainly by encouraging conditions of fair competition and minimising regulation, and by providing a complementary range of fiscal, financial and advisory measures.
Within this policy, my own Department's services include the loan guarantee scheme, action to improve Government purchasing opportunities, the small firms service and a wide range of training schemes for small businesses. All these services offer particular benefits to firms with growth potential, including those with more than 20 employees.
Among the training schemes the new business growth training programme, introduced in April last year, contains a number of options which are particularly relevant to this group and which are designed to help them plan and manage their growth.
I have also taken action to alert small business organisations to recent research published by my Department showing a relatively poor job creation record by firms employing 20 to 49 staff. These firms face substantial market, management and technological challenges which they can meet more successfully with the support of the network of organisations representing or providing a service to small businesses.
Mr. David Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what estimate he has as to the amount spent overseas by United Kingdom residents during 1989 ; and what was the figure for the previous 12 months.
Column 699months of 1989, the latest period for which estimates are available. During 1988 as a whole, United Kingdom residents spent an estimated £8,228 million overseas.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of its planned programme of basic inspections the Health and Safety Executive area offices (a) 01 south-west, (b) 02 south, (c) 03 south-east, (d) 05/06 London north and south, (e) 07 East Anglia, (f) 08 northern home counties, (g) 09 east midlands, (h) 10 west midlands, (i) 11 Wales, (j) 12 Marches, (k) 13 north midlands, (l) 14 South Yorkshire and Humberside, (m) 15 West and North Yorkshire, (n) 20 Scotland east and (o) 21 Scotland west have achieved in the half year from 1 April to 31 October 1989.
Mr. Nicholls : The plan of the Health and Safety Executive's factory inspectorate is based on proportions of time to be spent on different aspects of its work. The information requested is given in the table :
Preventive inspection visits made as a percentage of the total number of visits it was estimated would be carried out in the half year 1 April 1989 to 30 September 1989 Area |Per cent. ------------------------------------------------------ 01 South West |88.6 02 South |106.4 03 South East |107.5 05/06 London North and South |79.8 07 East Anglia |93.8 08 Northern Home Counties |80.3 09 East Midlands |103.5 10 West Midlands |109.5 11 Wales |99.6 12 Marches |108.8 13 North Midlands |89.7 14 South Yorkshire and Humberside |87.5 15 West and North Yorkshire |93.9 20 Scotland East |98.1 21 Scotland West |75.1
Mr. Eggar : An application for development funding of a TEC in Hampshire was approved on 12 July 1989. The TEC board is working on the corporate plan and I expect the TEC to be fully operational in the summer of 1990.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what consideration he has given to ensuring that training and enterprise councils are not financially disadvantaged by taking on disabled people who may have greater difficulty in meeting outcome targets.
Mr. Eggar : The number of people with disabilities who have special training needs will be an important consideration when a TEC's funds are agreed. The difficulties that some people with disabilities may face in achieving outcomes will be taken into account when targets are negotiated.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what consideration he has given to the establishment of a national training and enterprise council to meet the specific needs of disabled people.
Mr. Eggar : I have no plans to establish a national training and enterprise council to meet the specific needs of people with disabilities. Every TEC will be required to set out in its plans how it intends to meet the needs of people with disabilities in its area.