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Column 42Birmingham--St. John Wall Comp, Hansworth
Brent--St. Gregory's High, Kenton
Cleveland--English Martyrs, Hartlepool
Hackney--Skinner's Company Upper Girls
Haringey--St. David and St. Katherine
Humberside--St. Bede's, Scunthorpe
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has on the number of people who are refugees from the war in Croatia and how they are being cared for ; and whether the United Kingdom will be providing any financial or other assistance to them.
UNHCR has a budget of US$2.9 million to provide assistance for 15, 000 refugees for the period October to December 1991. The League of Red Cross Societies is also contributing and has just launched a new appeal to cover the needs of some 20,000 people over a further three-month period. Some 40 per cent. of the UNHCR budget is spent on food allowances, the remainder on
Column 43domestic items, heating allowances, sanitation and registration equipment. The 1992 UNHCR budget is currently being finalised. I also refer the hon. Member to the replies given to the hon. Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill (Mr. Alton) on 3 December at columns 96-97, to the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber (Sir R. Johnston) on 21 November at column 292 and to the hon. Member for Lancashire, West (Mr. Hind) on 9 December at column 277.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he received a copy of the United Nations conference on trade and development report 1991 ; and what contribution was made to the report by his Department's Overseas Development Administration.
Mrs. Chalker : Copies of the 1991 report on the United Nations conference on trade and development were received by the Government in September. While the report is produced by the UNCTAD secretariat on its own responsibility, it also reflects discussion in UNCTAD's trade and development board. Officials from the Overseas Development Administration regularly attend sessions of the board and contribute to the discussion on a whole range of issues, including debt and sustainable development, as well as the crucial question of good government.
Sir Russell Johnston : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the position of Gibraltar in the proposed European Community convention on external frontiers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from the Hong Kong Legislative Council on the proposed court of appeal ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : On 4 December, the Legislative Council passed a motion calling for greater flexibility about the number of overseas judges who might sit on the court of final appeal. My noble Friend the Minister of State discussed this matter with OMELCO members during his recent visit to Hong Kong. Our policy remains as stated in the reply I gave to the hon. Member on 4 December, Vol. 200, c. 155.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's current policy towards the remit and powers of the European Parliament.
Mr. Garel-Jones : The treaty on European union agreed at Maastricht includes a package of measures to extend the European Parliament's non- legislative powers, particularly to enable it to monitor the Commission more effectively. We also accepted a new procedure giving the EP a right to block legislation in a number of specified areas. A declaration attached to the treaty calls for closer contacts between the European Parliament and national Parliaments.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will obtain for his departmental library a copy of the recent report, "Options and Opportunities : The N.P.T. Extension Conference of 1995" by G. Bunn, C. N. Van Doren and D. Fisher.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what resources were committed by Her Majesty's Government to supporting the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe apparatus and secretariat in 1991 ; and what resources are earmarked for the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe support in 1992.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The United Kingdom contribution to the costs of CSCE institutions and meetings is set at 9.1 per cent. of the total. In 1991 the United Kingdom contributed £46,416 each to the costs of the CSCE secretariat and conflict prevention centre and £28,654 to the cost of the office of free elections.
We have estimated that the United Kingdom's share of the costs of the above institutions in 1992 will be approximately £200,000.
Mr. Alexander : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the total expenditure of all English local highway authorities for each year between 1980-81 and 1991-92 on (a) new construction and improvement, (b) structural maintenance and (c) current maintenence.
Mr. Chope : For the years 1983-84 to 1989-90 the information is published in tables in part 1 of successive editions of "Transport Statistics Great Britain", copies of which are held in the library. Information for 1980-81 to 1982-83 is not readily available in the form requested. Information for 1990-91 and 1991-92 is not yet available.
Mr. Chope : My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has met representatives of the motor industry a number of times, most recently on 11 December, to discuss a wide range of matters relating to car crime including the immobilisation of vehicles to prevent theft.
Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what surveys have been carried out in the air purity and quality in the Severn tunnel ; what system of continuous monitoring is in operation ; what surveys have been carried out into the chemicals present in the deposits in the Severn tunnel ; what chemicals were found and in what quantity ; whether any of the chemicals and diesel fumes found to be present have been identified as a cause of cancer in humans ; what was the last date on which environmental health officers carried out tests on the air and chemical content of the tunnel ; what is the frequency of such environmental health tests ; and if he will place in the Library copies of such reports on deposits, chemicals and air.
Mr. Freeman : The tunnel is equipped with a force ventilation system which gives a 5 to 12 mph wind speed throughout. The last extensive survey of air quality in the tunnel was carried out by British Rail Research, Scientific Services, in 1969. The survey report concluded that under normal running conditions no hazard existed if the fan stopped for short periods. Even under worse conditions, in which locomotives stopped in the tunnel, but with the forced ventilation running, conditions were not considered hazardous.
The Health and Safety Executive undertook a survey in 1979 which found that the level of fumes in the tunnel did not constitute a hazard. Further surveys by BR between 1978 and 1980 reached a similar conclusion. There is no continuous monitoring, but British Rail tells me that a monitoring exercise, which has been planned for some time, is due to start next month.
No hazardous chemical deposits have been found. I understand that the tunnel is drier now than at any previous time due to remedial works.
Health and safety matters which arise within the Severn tunnel are the responsibility of the Health and Safety Executive's railway inspectorate which carries out periodic inspections. Environmental health officers have no jurisdiction in the tunnel.
Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many trains carrying various fuel oils and chemicals pass through the Severn tunnel in the opposite or same direction during the time period that passenger services are operating each week and each day ; and when it is proposed to change service times and timetables so that freight does not dovetail with passenger services in the tunnel.
Mr. Freeman : These are operational matters for British Rail. BR's operating procedures do not allow more than one train at a time travelling in the same direction to use the Severn tunnel. No train carrying dangerous goods is permitted to be in the tunnel at the same time as a passenger train. HSE's railway inspectorate sees no need to restrict further the passage of trains conveying non-dangerous goods.
Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any plans to require British Rail passenger trains to provide positive pressure breathing air in passenger carriages when passing through or stuck in tunnels.
Mr. McLoughlin : The Department does not know of any recent studies that have been conducted into the use of the River Thames as a mass transit system, other than some confidential market research carried out by the private sector.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will investigate the number of occasions on which passengers' unaccompanied luggage has been loaded on to aircraft at Scottish airports in the last 12 months ; what steps he intends to take to stop this practice ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. McLoughlin : Airlines are required to identify instances where passengers fail to join their flight, and to ensure that any bags checked in by those passengers are not carried without first being subjected to security controls. No useful purpose would be served by establishing the number of occasions on which such bags have been carried from Scottish airports in the last 12 months, nor in placing a total prohibition of the carriage of such bags.
Recent press articles relate not to the above procedure but to a more sophisticated one involving identifying bags which are travelling unaccompanied because, for example, they have been misrouted. The technology necessary to achieve this satisfactorily in the complex environment of a major airport is only now becoming available. A number of promising systems are under development, but they have not yet reached the stage where it would be reasonable for us to set a firm date by which they must be in use.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will invite the European Commission to proceed with the proposed directive 4315/91 under article 75 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give the details and address of the section and directorate within the European Commission concerned with the exclusion of non-workers from the proposed directive (4315/91) on transport of workers with reduced mobility.
Column 47Mr. Peter Bottomley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if taxi cabs are to be covered by the proposed directive 4315/91.
Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring forward proposals to provide for legal sanctions to be invoked against a civilian pilot incapacitated by alcohol from flying safely and to define on whose responsibility such a person may be denied the right to take over the controls of an aircraft.
"a person shall not, when acting as a member of the crew of any aircraft be under the influence of drink or a drug to such an extent as to impair his capacity so to act."
The penalty for contravening that provision can be a fine, or imprisonment for up to two years, or both.
Article 95(1) of the order empowers the Civil Aviation Authority or an authorised person to direct the operator or commander of an aircraft not to make a flight, and to detain the aircraft, if it appears that the flight would be in contravention of the order and be a cause of danger. An "authorised person" is defined as a constable or a person authorised by the Civil Aviation Authority. In addition, article 54 of the order requires that "all lawful commands" given by an aircraft's commander for safety reasons should be obeyed ; this may be of relevance to my hon. Friend's question if the aircraft has two pilots on board.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is considering legal provisions for compulsory testing of flight crew for alcohol in certain circumstances- -such as after an accident--with associated penalties ; he is advised that primary legislation would be needed.
Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information is collected by the Civil Aviation Authority on the number of civil aviation pilots and aircrew flying with British airlines who were disciplined for drunken behaviour in 1985 and in 1990.
Mr. McLoughlin : Disciplinary action against pilots or aircrew is a matter for the airline concerned. All flight crew licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority must hold a valid medical certificate ; I am advised by the authority that in 1990 two professional pilots were refused a certificate for alcohol-related reasons and five had their certificates suspended. Figures for 1985 are not available.
Mr. Chope : A study carried out when compulsory helmet wearing was introduced in 1973 indicated that it would result in a substantial reduction in casualties. The number of motor cyclists killed in 1990 was lower than in 1973, but it is not possible to isolate the contribution made by helmet wearing. Comprehensive studies carried out in the United States have indicated that the fatality rate for motor cyclists is twice as high in those States which do not require helmets to be worn--or require wearing only by young riders--as in those states where helmets were required to be worn by all riders.
Mr. Chope : Appropriate environmental matters are being taken into account in considering the alignment of the proposed A65 Ilkley bypass. Specialist environmental consultants have been employed to work with the designers of the scheme and those national and local bodies having an environmental interest have been consulted.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what account he has taken of the effect on the proposed Nidderdale area of outstanding natural beauty when considering the alignment of the proposed A65 Ilkley bypass.
Mr. Chope : When developing options for the proposed A65 Ilkley bypass, the Department of Transport was aware of the proposal to create a Nidderdale area of outstanding natural beauty. The Department was formally consulted by the Countryside Commission about this proposal.
Mr. Chope : Responses to the public consultation including technical and environmental aspects are still being considered. I shall not be able to announce a preferred route until this work has been completed.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consultations he has had with representatives of (a) the city of Bradford metropolitan district council, (b) Harrogate district council, and (c) North Yorkshire county council over the proposed A65 Ilkley bypass.
Column 49Mr. Chope : The Department of Transport received more than 4,000 responses to the public consultation on Ilkley bypass. These included representations from national and local bodies.
Mr. John Browne : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will require British Rail to install an electronic warning device in railway signals that would sound an alarm horn in the train driver's cab if the engine were to pass a signal set at red.
Mr. Freeman : Most of the BR network is already fitted with an automatic warning system--AWS--which sounds a warning horn every time the train approaches a signal showing a restrictive aspect--double yellow, yellow or red. When the train approaches such a signal, the driver has to acknowledge the AWS by pressing a button which silences the warning horn and causes an indicator disc to display black and yellow segments as a reminder to the driver. If he does not acknowledge the warning within three seconds, the brakes of the train will be applied automatically. The AWS does not distinguish between the different restrictive aspects.
BR is also evaluating two automatic train protection--ATP--systems which will automatically slow a train which passes a double yellow or yellow, to a speed which will enable it to stop at the next red signal. ATP will also automatically impose any speed restriction required, including temporary ones required for track maintenance.
Sir Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 13 November, Official Report, column 521, if he is yet in a position to make a statement on the findings of the most recent survey of the wreck of the vessel Richard Montgomery.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consultations he has had with representatives from highway authorities concerning the feasibility of installing the multicriteria analysis of scheme options in transport systems into the highway assessment programme.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport from what time the Severn bridge and the M4 were closed on Sunday 8 December ; what stretch of the M4 was involved in total ; at what time each was re-opened ; and what was the cause of the closure.
Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the maximum salary payable to the chief executive of each of his Department's executive agencies, including performance-related element, and the length of time of the chief executive's contract in each case.
His salary is £55,000 plus an annual non-pensionable
performance-related bonus of up to £7,000.
The chief executive of the Medicines Control Agency was appointed as from 10 April 1989 for a fixed term of five years. His appointment for the remainder of his contract was confirmed when the MCA became a "next steps" agency on 11 July 1991.
His salary is £65,993 plus an annual non-pensionable
performance-related bonus of up to £13,150.
Mrs. Wise : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has commissioned into the living standards and health of pregnant girls under 18 years of age and into the outcomes of such pregnancies.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Department commissioned a wider study from the Institute for Social Studies in Medical Care. The findings were published by HMSO in 1986 in "Teenage Mothers and their Partners", a copy of which is available in the Library, and in a series of articles in professional journals.
The Department has provided core funding to the national perinatal epidemiology unit since 1978. The unit continuously monitors and analyses data which are routinely collected by the Government Statistical Service and the national health service, to assess how the outcome of pregnancy and social, economic and medical factors thought to be associated with it vary both over time and from place to place within England and Wales. Analysis of the outcome of pregnancies in girls under 18 years of age is encompassed within this work.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what restrictions exist on the freedom of a regional health authority, where a district health authority accepts an outside tender for architectural, ancillary or computer and training services at lower cost than the same services provided by the regional health authority, to penalise the district health authority financially by withholding other moneys or by continuing to charge for the overheads associated with the services concerned.
Column 51Mr. Dorrell : There are a wide variety of circumstances in which a regional health authority could reasonably withhold money from a district health authority or charge for overhead costs properly incurred for the benefit of districts within the region. A regional health authority would not, however, wish to penalise a district health authority for contracting out a service at lower cost. On the contrary, in line with the Government's policy as set out in "Competing for Quality", a regional health authority would wish to facilitate such developments.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list by specialty the waiting times for referrals by general practitioners to consultants in the Yorkshire regional health authority before a patient is seen.