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Mr. Nicholls : Separate statistics on unofficial strikes ceased to be published as a regular series in 1981. However, a limited amount of information from a special exercise was included in the Government's Green Paper "Unofficial Action and the Law", a copy of which is in the House of Commons Library.

Action Credit Scheme

Mr. Loyden : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people have taken part in the action credit scheme in each of the three pilot areas ; how many ceased claiming income support to start full-time work ; how many ceased claiming income support to start part-time work ; how many failed to secure employment after the three-month jobsearch period ; and whether he has any plans to extend the scheme.

Mr. Nicholls : The information requested will not be available until after the end of the action credit scheme pilot, which is due to finish at the end of August 1990.

SCOTLAND

NHS

Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much of the £220 million additional expenditure earmarked for the National Health Service in Scotland is new cash ; how much is from cash improvement schemes ; and how much is from income generation.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The figure is £223 million and all of it is new money. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 11 December 1989, Vol. 163, column 510 .

Training and Employment Programmes

Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the training and employment programmes run by the Department of Employment in


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Scotland ; and if he will indicate which, if any, of these programmes will not be wholly transferred to the new Scottish Enterprise Agency when it is established.

Mr. Lang : The training and employment programmes run by the Department of Employment in Scotland are set out in the table : Youth Training Scheme

Employment Training

Community Opportunities

Enterprise Allowance Scheme

Business Growth Scheme

Technical and Vocational Education Initiative

Training Access Points

Compacts

Development of Vocational Qualifications

Enterprise in Higher Education

Scottish Wider Access Programme

Employment Rehabilitation Service

Community Industry

Restart

Job Clubs

Job Start

Job Share

Disablement Advisory Service

Disablement Resettlement Service

Sheltered Employment

Travel to Interview Scheme

The programmes which will not be wholly transferred to Scottish Enterprise are :

Technical and Vocational Education Initiative

Enterprise in Higher Education

Employment Rehabilitation Service

Restart

Job Clubs

Job Start

Job Share

Disablement Advisory Service

Disablement Resettlement Service

Sheltered Employment

Travel to Interview Scheme

Earnings

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish in the Official Report tables showing the proportion of part-time employees earning less than (a) £4.16, (b) £4.32, (c) £3.12 and (d) £2.80 per hour, excluding overtime, shift and PBR premiums, for Scotland and in each regional authority and, if possible, each borough.

Mr. Lang : No information is readily available for part-time employees regionally, nor for hourly earnings excluding shift and PBR premiums as well as overtime, and could be compiled only at disproportionate cost.

Vocational Courses

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much has been spent on vocational courses in colleges of further education in Scotland each year for the past 10 years.

Mr. Lang : The information requested is not available centrally.

Capital Building Programme

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much of the capital building programme for the Scottish new towns for the next five years comes from (a) private and (b) public revenue.

Mr. Lang : The Scottish commentary on the Government's expenditure plans for the years 1989-90 to


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1991-92 (published in March 1989) indicates at tables 15.5 and 15.6 projected gross capital expenditure on the new town development corporations' housing and other environmental services programmes. Planned expenditure on these programmes for 1990-91 to 1992-93 arising from the recent public expenditure survey will be published shortly in the 1990 Scottish commentary. The Government do not hold projections of private sector capital investment in the new towns. The relative contributions of private and public capital investment in the new towns over the next five years will depend upon decisions made in future public expenditure surveys and the private sector's perception of investment opportunities.

Further Education

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much was spent by Scottish local authorities on further education provision each year for the past 10 years.

Mr. Lang : The expenditure by Scottish local authorities on further education provision for each year from 1978-79 to 1987-88 (latest available) is set out in the table.


Financial   |Scottish LA            

Year        |Expenditure            

            |£000s                  

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

1978-79     |77,120                 

1979-80     |98,961                 

1980-81     |125,149                

1981-82     |144,847                

1982-83     |166,964                

1983-84     |183,055                

1984-85     |195,262                

1985-86     |188,102                

1986-87     |193,520                

1987-88     |213,586                

Source: Local Financial Returns     

Note: Figures cover local authority 

current expenditure on further      

education.                          

New Towns

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the capital building programmes for each of the Scottish new towns for the next five years.

Mr. Lang : The capital programmes for each of the new town development corporations in 1990-91 will be the subject of discussion between my Department and each corporation following the submission of each corporation's annual budget submission later this month. The composition of the corporations' capital programmes and their financing requirements for the following four years will be determined at the same time in subsequent financial years.

Poinding Orders

Sir David Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what consultations the Lord Advocate has had with sheriff officers and messengers-at-arms as to how they will cope with poinding orders arising out of poll tax debts.

Mr. Rifkind : There has been no request for any such consultations.


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FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Immigration

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. Basaharat Ali Shakir, who was born on 14 November 1956, Ref. Imm/93660 ; HO Ref. 5725181, to join his wife in the United Kingdom ; when a report from the Home Office concerning this application was received at the post ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sainsbury : Mr. Shakir applied for entry clearance at the British High Commission in Islamabad on 18 February 1988. Following an interview on 9 January 1989 the entry clearance officer referred the application to the Home Office on 27 February 1989 for Mr. Shakir's wife to be interviewed.

Copies of the immigration service report on the interview with Mrs. Shakir were sent to Islamabad on 14 June and 13 October 1989. I regret that both copies of the report appear to have been lost in transit. The Home Office has now sent a further copy, on receipt of which the entry clearance officer hopes to reach a decision without further delay.

Vietnamese Refugees

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Vietnamese children classified as having family members in Hong Kong live in separate camps from their relations.

Mr. Maude : We do not have figures for the number of children who fall into this category. The policy in Hong Kong is to ensure that families are not divided. As soon as any case comes to notice in which children are separated from family members they are wherever possible transferred between camps so that they can be reunited.

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will convene an international conference to seek co-operation in providing third country settlement for those Vietnamese currently in camps in Hong Kong.

Mr. Maude : An international conference on Indo-China refugees was held in Geneva in June last year. At that conference the international community pledged sufficient places to resettle all Vietnamese refugees in the South-East Asian region, including Hong Kong. It was also agreed that those who were not refugees should return to their country of origin.

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will give the reasons why no legal advice is available to Vietnamese refugees before screening in Hong Kong ; and why no representatives from independent bodies are allowed to accompany refugees to the screening interview.

Mr. Maude : The UNHCR is permitted access to Vietnamese asylum- seekers and may provide legal advice to them both before and after screening. The UNHCR is also permitted to attend any screening interview for monitoring purposes.

Under Hong Kong law there is no provision for Government legal aid to be provided for Vietnamese asylum-seekers for screening and review procedures.


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Vietnamese Prisoners

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those persons imprisoned in Vietnam for their political or religious beliefs on whose behalf Her Majesty's Government have made representations to the Government of Vietnam.

Mr. Sainsbury : We regularly raise the question of human rights with the Government of Vietnam. Both bilaterally and together with our partners in the European Community, we have in the course of 1989 raised a number of specific cases, including individuals imprisoned for their political or religious beliefs. These include :

Father Dominic Tran Ninh Thu

Tran Van Luong

Doan Quoc Sy

Pham Van Thuong

Le Manh

Thich Quang Do

Thich Huyen Quang

Thich Tue Sy

Thich Duc Nhuan

Thich Tri Sieu

Nguyen Chi Thien

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of Stae for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on (a) the incidence of cholera and (b) the availability of sufficient quantities of fresh water in the camps used for holding Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong.

Mr. Maude : In 1989 there were 23 cases of cholera in camps holding Vietnamese in Hong Kong.

Enough drinkable fresh water is available in all centres. In 1988 the average daily consumption of water per preson was about 250 litres for all purposes, and in 1989 about 235 litres. Drinking water standards in Hong Kong comply with WHO guidelines on drinking water quality.

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement regarding the practice followed in holding appeals against the findings of the screening procedure for Vietnamee refugees.

Mr. Maude : When the director of immigration refuses an asylum- seeker's claim to refugee status, the asylum-seeker has 28 days to apply to the refugee status review board (RSRB) for a review of the decision. The immigration department file on the asylum-seeker is made available to both the RSRB and the UNHCR. The asylum-seeker or the UNHCR may present additional information or documentation to the RSRB in support of the claim for refugee status. The RSRB considers the whole of the facts and submissions made by the applicants and/or by those acting on the applicant's behalf before confirming or reversing the director of immigration's decision. Where the RSRB considers it necessary, it may interview the asylum-seekers or the immigration officer before arriving at its decision. If the immigration officer is so interviewed, it is in the presence of the applicant who has the right to comment on what the immigration officer has said in answer to questions put by the board. Of the 4, 594 appeals considered so far 392 (7.9 per cent.) have been upheld. In all, including appeals and UNHCR mandate cases, 922 persons (11.3 per cent.) have been classified as refugees out of 8,167 screened so far.


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Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy not to repatriate unaccompanied Vietnamese children until their parents have been positively traced and identified.

Mr. Maude : We propose to take up this suggestion with the UNHCR's committee on unaccompanied minors in Hong Kong, which has a mandate to decide on a solution on a case-by-case basis in the best interests of each child.

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if it is his policy to subject Vietnamese unaccompanied children in camps in Hong Kong to the same screening procedures as those used for adult Vietnamese ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Maude : Guidelines for the screening of unaccompanied minors were endorsed by the international conference in Geneva in June last year. These stipulate that for children over 15 the interview procedure should be modified to take into account the special situation of each child. For those under 15, the UNHCR special committee on unaccompanied minors would be delegated to carry out the refugee status assessment. The Hong Kong authorities abide by these guidelines in their treatment of unaccompanied minors.

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs under what age the term unaccompanied minor is applied by Her Majesty's Government to Vietnamese children in the camps in Hong Kong.

Mr. Maude : This term is applied to children under the age of 18 in accordance with documentation associated with the comprehensive plan of action endorsed by the international conference on Indo-Chinese refugees in Geneva in June 1989.

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assurances he has received from the Vietnamese Government concerning passes for repatriated persons.

Mr. Maude : No assurances have been sought from the Vietnamese on this subject. We have no reason to believe that identity cards have not been issued to those who have returned. This is one of the issues to be raised in the course of monitoring.

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he intends to take to improve conditions in the camps used to house Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Maude : We can most effectively improve conditions in the camps by accelerating the rate at which people leave them, through resettlement in the case of refugees, and repatriation in the case of those who are not. Our policy is directed firmly at these aims. In addition we have contributed or pledged over £21 million since mid-1989 towards accommodation for boat people in Hong Kong.

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to complete screening and resulting appeals at the current rate for the Vietnamese boat people currently in camps in Hong Kong.


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Mr. Maude : At the current rate of screening and appeals, it is estimated that it will take about two years to complete the process for all Vietnamese boat people currently in camps in Hong Kong.

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to respond to the petition regarding the plight of the boat people in Hong Kong presented to him by the honourable Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill.

Mr. Maude : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs is studying the petition presented by the hon. Member and will be replying to him very soon on the points which are raised in it.

Vietnam

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has as to the number of places of worship recently destroyed in Vietnam ; and if he will make a statement.


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