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Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, Official Report, 12 January, column 796, on the non -proliferation treaty, what response he has made to the proposal by Dr. Lowry to which his reply makes reference.
Mr. Waldegrave : The Department replied that it was not United Kingdom or NATO strategy to make premature reductions in defence commitments. There would therefore be no immediate diversion of manpower into tackling the problems of pollution.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information his Department has concerning the policy of (a) the Republic of South Africa and (b) Namibia towards the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
Mr. Waldegrave : The South African Government have expressed interest in acceding to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and we have made it clear that we would welcome a decision on their part to do so. With regard to the second part of the question, only independent states may accede to the treaty and it will be for Namibia, once independent, to decide its policy on this matter.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the Government's policy towards the imposition of sanctions upon countries which transgress the terms and conditions of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
Column 800in any way to assist, encourage or induce any non-nuclear weapon state to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to increase the number of British ambassadors and high commissioners who are (a) black and (b) Asian.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consultation his Department has had with the Norwegian Government about the dumping of toxic industrial waste in the North sea.
Mr. Waldegrave : None. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is in touch with the Norwegian and other interested Governments through the Oslo commission. The waste which the United Kingdom permits to be dumped in the North sea is not toxic.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on progress, and any problems encountered, in the construction of the two units for the Daya Bay nuclear power plant joint venture with the Guangdong Power Company ; when Daya Bay is expected to be commissioned and at what cost in (a) Hong Kong dollars and (b) pounds sterling ; and what safety oversight role is being carried out by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.
Mr. Maude : Construction of the Daya Bay plant is proceeding according to schedule and in compliance with the quality requirements. Units I and II of the plant are scheduled to be commissioned by October 1992 and July 1993 respectively. The project costs are not expected to exceed the budget of HK$28.7 billion or £2.7 billion. As far as we are aware the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority is not carrying out any safety oversight role in connection with the project.
Sir David Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations Her Majesty's Government have made, and intend to make, to the Government of China to end the state of martial law in Lhasa.
Mr. Maude : The Chinese Government are well aware of our hope that, following the lifting of martial law in Peking, they will take further steps to strengthen the protection of human rights in China, including the lifting of martial law in Lhasa. Together with our European Community partners, we intend to register our concerns about human rights in China, including Tibet, in the forthcoming meeting of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his Department's assessment as to whether (a) Argentina, (b) Brazil, (c) Iraq, (d) Israel, (e) Iran, (f) India, (g) Pakistan, (h) North Korea and (i) the Republic of South Africa have developed the capability to build and deliver nuclear weapons ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave : Iraq and Iran are both states party to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and, as such, have undertaken not to develop a nuclear weapons capability. North Korea, although not recognised as a state by Her Majesty's Government, is also a party to the NPT. South Africa has expressed interest in adhering to the NPT, and has held talks with the depositary powers. Argentina and Brazil have both signed the treaty of Tlatelolco, which bans nuclear weapons in Latin America. All of the countries listed in the question have always declared that their nuclear activities are exclusively for peaceful purposes. We take every suitable opportunity to stress the importance of the international non-proliferation regime and of securing universal adherence to the NPT.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the position of Her Majesty's Government at the forthcoming United Nations Human Rights Commission on the question of East Timor and abuse of human rights.
Mr. Sainsbury : East Timor is not, at present, on the agenda for the forthcoming UNCHR session. We support the role of the UN Secretary-General in encouraging a bilateral settlement between Indonesia and Portugal which fully takes into account the interests of the people of East Timor. We should also examine carefully any report of human rights abuses.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has made an assessment of the effect of his decision to release for sale ivory stocks in Hong Kong on the population of African elephants.
Mr. Maude : Hong Kong is committed to comply in full with the CITES ban. The United Kingdom reservation is designed to give the territory a reasonable period in which to adjust to this. In the meantime, Hong Kong has imposed a total ban on exports to all CITES parties and on imports, which will ensure that there is no loophole for the entry of illegal ivory onto the market. There should, therefore, be no adverse consequences for the African elephant.
146. Mr. Stanbrook : To ask the Attorney-General how many cases of alleged over-lenient sentencing have been referred to him under the provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 ; and how many sentences have been revised upwards in consequence.
The Attorney-General : Sixty-seven cases of alleged unduly lenient sentencing have been referred to me. I have applied for leave to refer the sentencing in nine cases to the Court of Appeal. Leave has been granted in seven such cases and sentences have been increased in six of the cases. I have withdrawn two cases in the light of later information. I have referred one case to the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland : the sentence in that case was also increased.
The Attorney-General : The civil justice review consultation paper on housing cases was published in 1987. Following the publication of the civil justice review's final report (Cm. 394) in June 1988 the Lord Chancellor said that there would be further consultation with court users and others with an interest in housing matters before changes were made to the procedures for handling housing cases in the county courts. He expects the consultation to be completed before the end of this year.
Mr. John Morris : To ask the Attorney-General whether he will consult the Director of Public Prosecutions with a view to him asking a police force, other than that of Greater Manchester, to investigate what transpired necessitating the discontinuance of the Taylor prosecution and, in particular, the implications arising from the application to the judge which was wrongly based.
The Attorney-General : The Director of Public Prosecutions has referred to the chief constable of Greater Manchester certain aspects of evidence given by police witnesses for the prosecution, for the chief constable to consider whether a police investigation should be instituted. The decision whether there should be such an investigation (and, if so, by whom) is one for the chief constable.
145. Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what work permits have been issued to teachers and staff at the Ko Hsuan School at Chawleigh in North Devon ; and if he will make a statement.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will give the ethnic background data for YTS trainees, for the latest available date, separately for each youth training scheme operating in (a) each of the training agency areas of Greater London, (b) Manchester, (c) Birmingham and Solihull and (d) Coventry and Warwickshire ;
(2) if he will give the ethnic background data for YTS trainees, for the latest available date, separately for each youth training scheme operated through the YTS large companies unit.
Mr. Eggar : It will be up to key business leaders in Merseyside to prepare an application for a training and enterprise council (TEC) and to decide whether to invite a trade union representative to join the TEC board.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the newly appointed members of the Merseyside training and enterprise council together with their qualifications and experience.
Mr. Eggar : Key business leaders are now preparing an application for development funding for a Merseyside training and enterprise council. That application will set out the proposed board of directors for the TEC.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will outline the level of unemployment in the parliamentary constituency of Greenock and Port Glasgow at the most recent date for which figures are available.
There were 5,014 unemployed in the Greenock and Port Glasgow constituency in December 1989, the most recent date for which information is available.
The Prime Minister : Existing legislation, which has been greatly strengthened over the last decade, is already well co-ordinated. Wherever necessary, non-captive animals are protected in law, and the Protection of Animals Act 1911 forbids the causing of unnecessary suffering to all animals in captivity. The law has been further strengthened in recent years notably through the Protection of Animals (Penalties) Act 1987, the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1988 and the Protection Against Cruel Tethering Act 1988.
Column 805The Prime Minister : No. It is not my normal practice to release such correspondence.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Prime Minister what assessment she has made of the implications for the survival of the African elephant species of the sale of impounded poached ivory on to the world market ; and if she will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : Following the decision of the seventh conference of parties to CITES the African elephant was added to appendix I on 18 January. Conference resolution 2.15 adopted by the second conference of parties to CITES indicated that confiscated appendix I specimens
"should not be returned to commercial utilisation in any form".
The Prime Minister : Both the overall cash limit and the running costs limit for "Cabinet Office : other services" (Class XX, Vote 2) have been reduced. Cash limit has been reduced by £37,000 from £16, 461,000 to £16,424,000 and running costs by £44,000 from £17,905,000 to £17,861,000. These decreases go to offset corresponding increases in the cash limit and running costs limit of the Department of the Environment : administration (Class 10 Vote 5) of £61,000 and £68,000 respectively. This reflects a transfer of functions. In addition, the Cabinet Office is to receive a transfer of £24,000 from the Department of Trade and Industry : administration, regulation of domestic trade and industry and consumer protection (Class 5 Vote 3) which will increase both running costs and cash limit by the same amount. The reason for this increase is that the Office of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has transferred to the Cabinet Office.
The Prime Minister : This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many inquiries he has received from hon. Members during the past six months relating to the family credit system ; and if he will make a statement on the working of this benefit.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : During the past six months over 120 letters about family credit have been received from right hon. and hon. Members ; these have mainly been concerned with individual cases rather than the system as such. Family credit is an income-related benefit and therefore it is necessary to ask for detailed information about earnings and other income in order to determine entitlement in accordance with the rules laid down in the legislation. In general, these arrangements work well, but we shall continue to be prepared to consider the need for changes in the light of practical experience.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many families in Scotland are in receipt of family credit ; and what estimated proportion these families represent of those entitled to this benefit ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The latest information is for September 1989 when the number of families receiving family credit who were living in Scotland at the time their award was made was 39,000. Information about the total number of families eligible for family credit can be obtained only for Great Britain and only
retrospectively, from family expenditure survey data.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many claims for income support have been made since 11 April 1988 at the local offices of his Department in (a) Greenock and Port Glasgow, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole ; and how many of these claims were determined.
|Number of income |Number of income |support claims made |support claims |since 11 April 1988<1>|determined since |11 April 1988<1> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (a) Greenock ILO |16,433 |16,300 (b) Port Glasgow ILO |7,148 |7,128 (c) Strathclyde |397,017 |394,571 (d) Scotland |803,789 |798,770 <1> Figures do not include claims received and determined after 29 December 1989.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many people are in receipt of income support in (a) Greenock and Port Glasgow, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole ; and what are the corresponding figures for those in receipt of supplementary benefit for each year since 1979 ;
(2) how many people were in receipt of supplementary benefit in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988 ; and how many are now in receipt of income support in (a) Greenock and Port Glasgow, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole.
------------------------------------------------ 1979 |6,317 |2,814 |166,426|294,116 1980 |6,794 |3,069 |183,629|320,260 1981 |7,999 |3,704 |221,403|385,238 1982 |9,812 |4,156 |252,679|439,419 1983 |9,720 |4,128 |265,180|461,461 1984 |10,381 |4,541 |283,600|492,775 1985 |10,705 |4,990 |295,392|508,970 1986 |12,195 |5,285 |309,578|543,025 1987 |12,338 |5,369 |315,735|548,272 1988 |11,423 |4,659 |284,381|499,890 1989 |11,652 |4,637 |284,056|505,052 Source: 100 per cent. count of cases in action, which include a number where benefit payment has ceased but other action is continuing.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the total number of staff employed in local offices of his Department in (a) Greenock and Port Glasgow, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland at the latest
Column 808available date ; if any changes are envisaged in the number of those employed therein the near future ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The total number of staff employed in the Department's local offices on 1 January 1990 in Scotland was 6,924.5 (excluding casual staff). Included in this figure are 3,634 staff employed in Strathclyde and 213.5 in Greenock and Port Glasgow local offices. No changes in staffing are envisaged in the near future. The annual recomplementing exercise will take place in April 1990.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if he will make a statement on his plans for the long-term financial arrangements to compensate hostels which have lost income as a result of the income support changes introduced in April 1989 ; (2) (a) on what date transitional payments direct to hostels will cease to be made and (b) what financial arrangements are to be brought in from the date when transitional payments cease.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Changes to income support for hostel dwellers were introduced from 9 October 1989. The temporary arrangements for protecting hostels' income will cease from April 1991. After that date, the money being paid by the central unit will be transferred to other Departments to be channelled through existing funding sources. We expect to announce the detailed financial arrangements shortly.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what number of claimants on income support were repaying a budget or crisis loan at the social security offices in (a) Caernarfon and (b) Porthmadog for each month since January 1989 ; what number of (a) one parent families, (b) sick and disabled claimants, (c) pensioners and (d) unemployed claimants on income support were repaying budget or crisis loans at (i) Caernarfon and (ii) Porthmadog for each month since January 1989.