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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 2 March 1992

ENERGY

Oil and Gas Reserves

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will give a breakdown of the oil and gas platforms, oil and gas production, and oil and gas reserves between the Scottish and English sectors of the Moray Firth, central North sea, and mid North sea high fields.


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Mr. Moynihan : Under international law, the continental shelf appertains to the United Kingdom as a whole. The reserves and production have not been divided between Scotland and England. The number of platforms presently located in the areas commonly known as the Moray Firth, the central North sea and the mid North sea high, together with my Department's provisional estimates of production in 1991 and of initial recoverable reserves discovered to date in each of these areas are shown in the table.


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                                                       |Moray    |Central  |Mid North          

                                                       |Firth    |North sea|sea high           

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

Number of oil and gas platforms                        |7        |15       |Nil                

1991 oil production (million tonnes)<1>                | 9.8     | 19.3    |Nil                

1991 gas production (billion cubic metres)<1>          |<3>-     |<3>-     |Nil                

Initial discovered oil reserves (million tonnes)<1><2> |455      |690      |Nil                

Initial discovered gas reserves (billion cubic metres)<1><2> 80   145       Nil                

<1> Provisional figures.                                                                       

<2> Central estimates at 31 December 1991.                                                     

<3> Less than one.                                                                             

Electricity Generators Licences

Mr. Moate : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received regarding the effect of the no discrimination provision in electricity generators licences on competition ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : My right hon. Friend and I have received a number of representations regarding the non-discrimination provisions in the electricity generators' licences. Licence conditions are a matter for the Director General of Electricity Supply.

Oil and Gas Unit

Mr. Stephen : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has had for and against the moving of the oil and gas industry exploration appraisal and development unit to Aberdeen.

Mr. Moynihan : I have received a number of representations from Scottish organisations, and the matter has also been raised in discussions with the oil industry.

Mr. Stephen : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what time scale he envisages for the consultancy study considering the future position of the oil and gas industry exploration appraisal and development unit ; when he expects to make a final decision ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Moynihan : The study of the case for or against relocating the Department of Energy's petroleum engineering directorate to Aberdeen is expected to take about five months. Ministers will then be in a position to make a final decision.


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OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT

Malawi

40. Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions the Minister for Overseas Development has had with her EC counterparts on linking Malawi's performance on human rights with the levels of EC development aid.

Mrs. Chalker : Following the EC Development Ministers' adoption last November of a resolution on human rights, democracy and development, agreed representations have been made to the Malawi Government. Britain and her European partners will continue to monitor Malawi's actions in all these areas and respond accordingly.

Zimbabwe

41. Mr. Hind : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on current levels of aid to Zimbabwe.

Mrs. Chalker : In 1990, the last year for which comprehensive figures are available, we spent £20.7 million including investments by the Commonwealth Development Corporation. Expenditure in 1992 will include balance of payments aid in support of Zimbabwe's economic reform.

Aid Policy

42. Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions the Minister for Overseas Development has had with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on the co-ordination of aid policy.


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Mrs. Chalker : I attended the OECD joint ministerial environment and development meeting and the OECD development assistance committee high level meeting in Paris, on 2 to 4 December 1991.

EC Aid Programmes

43. Mr. Allen McKay : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions have taken place with Britain's EC partners on EC aid programmes in the last month.

Mrs. Chalker : I last discussed development issues with all my EC colleagues at the Development Council in Brussels on 28 November 1991. My officials are in frequent contact with their opposite numbers in the Commission and other member states.

Family Planning

44. Mr. Paice : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how British aid assists the contribution to family planning in developing countries made by the non-governmental sector.

Mrs. Chalker : Population assistance has a high priority in the United Kingdom aid programme--the amount has more than tripled since 1980 to £24 million in 1990. Non-governmental organisations have a vital role to play.

We are providing substantial and increasing support to NGOs in this area through our support to the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and through our joint funding scheme and bilateral programmes.

Aid Policy

45. Mr. Dunnachie : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last met OECD development ministers to discuss the co-ordination of aid policy.

Mrs. Chalker : I last met a number of overseas development ministers at the OECD joint ministerial environment and development meeting and the OECD Development Assistance Committee high level meeting in Paris from 2 to 4 December 1991.

Development Co-ordination

46. Mr. Sedgemore : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions have taken place with Britain's EC partners on overseas development co-ordination in the last month.

Mrs. Chalker : I last discussed development issues with all my EC colleagues at the Development Council in Brussels on 28 November 1991. My officials are in frequent contact with their opposite numbers in the Commission and other members states.

Aid Programmes

47. Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the Minister for Overseas Development next intends to meet the Secretary-General of the United Nations and representatives of the World bank to discuss matters relating to the administration of multilateral aid programmes.


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Mrs. Chalker : I met the United Nations Secretary-General on 13 January and the president of the World bank on 4 February. I have regular meetings with senior officials in these and other multilateral aid agencies.

Animal Conservation

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contributions towards animal conservation are being made by the Overseas Development Administration ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Chalker : Since 1990 ODA has committed almost £20 million to wildlife conservation projects. A list of projects is available in the Library of the House.

Baltic States

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what conditions he intends to place on future know-how and other funds offered to the states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.

Mrs. Chalker [holding answer 27 February 1992] : The Government have designated the following four sectors as priorities for the delivery of technical assistance to the Baltic states : food processing and distribution, financial services, small business creation, and energy. This does not prevent us from responding to specific requests made by the Baltic authorities in other areas.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the British economic assistance that has been extended to the three Baltic states since independence.

Mrs. Chalker [holding answer 27 February 1992] : The following projects for technical assistance to the Baltic states under the know-how fund have now been approved :

Know-How Fund : Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

Country Programme ProjectsAs at 28 February 1992

Small Business Creation Mitaline Technology (Estonia)Preparation of training programme for use by Estonian Small Business Association. Approved at a cost to KHF of £4,820.

Financial Services Ports Privatisation ConferenceDirector of Estonian Maritime Board enabled to attend Privatisation Conference. Approved at cost to KHF of £900.

Transcend Technology (Lithuania)To provide assistance to the Association of Light Industry Enterprises of Lithuania to prepare individual state enterprises for privatisation. Approved at a cost to KHF of £9,800.

Lithuanian Association of AccountantsStudy Visit by representative of the Association to United Kingdom to examine accountancy practices. Approved at a cost to KHF of £8,000.

Political and Cultural Restructuring Ministries of Foreign AffairsSenior retired United Kingdom diplomats on short attachments to Ministries of Foreign Affairs in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. To provide advice on restructuring in a democratic society. Approved at a cost to KHF of £15,000.


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Police TrainingSenior officers from Strathclyde police on short missions to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to advise on police training needs and restructuring. Approved at a cost to KHF of £20, 000.

Low Cost Book SchemeSubsidies for text books for retailers and individuals in the three Baltic states in co-operation with International Books Development Ltd. Approved at a cost to KHF of £66,000.

Short Term ScholarshipsOne year scholarships for postgraduates and young professionals in the three Baltic states. Target areas are economics, finance and management. In co-operation with higher education institutions. Approved at a cost to KHF of £120,000. Bradford Baltic UnitAttachment of students from the three Baltic states to the Baltic Unit of Bradford University. Approved at a cost to KHF of £70,900.

Books for ParliamentProvision of text books in key areas to libraries of the Parliaments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Approved at a cost to the KHF of £15,000.

Seminar for Parliamentary LibrariansTraining seminar for parliamentary librarians from three Baltic states. In co-operation with the Library of the House of Commons. Approved at a cost to the KHF of £8,000.

Legal AttachmentsAttachments of young lawyers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to the Law Society of Scotland and Scottish legal practices. Approved at a cost to KHF of £40,000.

Legal Concepts for Translators

Training in legal concepts in English for translators attached to the office of the Lithuanian Supreme Council. In co-operation with the University of Edinburgh. Approved at a cost to KHF of £10,000. Television Training Project

Instructing trainees from the three Baltic states in British television production procedures. In co-operation with the Soros Foundation. Approved at a cost to the KHF of £26,000.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Protocol Training

Visit to UK by Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Chief of Protocol. Approved at a cost to KHF of £2,000.

Publisher Training

Seminar on publishing and the book trade in Lithuania. In co-operation with the Open Society Foundation of Lithuania. Approved at a cost to KHF of £30,000.

Re-integration Conference

Conference on the re-integration of the Baltic states into the world community. In co-operation with the Royal Institute of International Affairs. Approved at a cost to KHF of £6,000. Voluntary Organisations Legislation

Visit of legal experts to advise on framing voluntary organisation legislation in Lithuania. Approved at a cost to KHF of £5,000. Estonian Maritime Board

Visit of delegation to UK to study hydrography, search and rescue methods. Approved at cost to KHF of £5,000.

Missions--

Banking, Finance and Privatisation Mission

Short mission to Baltic states to identify potential projects and terms of reference by Know How Fund Adviser. Approved at cost to KHF of £11,000.

Insurance Mission

Mission to the Baltic states to identify potential projects and terms of reference by Know How Fund Adviser. Approved at cost to KHF of £6,000.


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Energy Audit Mission

Assessment missions to Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia to prepare terms of reference in co-operation with Ministries of Energy for National Energy Audit and other energy sector technical assistance projects by Know How Fund consultant. Approved at cost to KHF of £15, 500.

Joint Exchanges Committee Mission

Mission to advise on the establishment of a physical commodity exchange. Approved at a cost to KHF of £4,000.

Training and Academic Link Projects--

University of Stirling

Exploratory visit in association with the Estonian Academy of Sciences. Cost to KHF to be finalised.

Leicester Polytechnic

Exploratory visit in association with Riga Technical University. Cost to KHF of £1,000.

Investment Schemes Projects--

Michael Abakhan Ltd.

Training for personnel in partly British owned investment in Estonia. Approved at cost to KHF of £15,600.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

South Africa

Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make further representations to the South African authorities to secure the release of all South African political prisoners in accordance with the UN declaration on South Africa adopted by consensus in December 1989 ; and if he will approach his partners in the European Community to do likewise.

Mrs. Chalker : We have repeatedly urged the South African Government to release all political prisoners throughout South Africa. The issue is complicated by the late submission of thousands of indemnity applications from prisoners claiming political status. A demarche on political prisoners was handed to the South African Government by the Dutch ambassador, representing the European Community, in October 1991.

St. Helena

Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has any plans to try and increase the number of entries on the electoral roll in St. Helena.

Mr. Garel-Jones : The registers of electors are up-dated during a period of 28 days at the beginning of each calendar year. During this period and throughout the year the public are urged by radio news and the weekly newspaper to register. This coverage, which extends to Ascension island, is supplemented by the work of registration officers and councillors who urge their constituents to register on the electoral roll. The preliminary lists for 1992 show 27 new claims.

Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will give the latest available figures for the population of St. Helena 18 years old or over, the number of St. Helenians eligible to be entered on the electoral roll and entitled to vote at an election for the legislative council ; and the number at present entered.

Mr. Garel-Jones : The latest available figure for the population of St. Helena 18 years old and over is 3,508.


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The same number are entitled to be entered on the electoral roll and entitled to vote at an election for the legislative council. A total of 2,532 persons are presently entered on the electoral roll.

Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the prospects for the St. Helena olive ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Garel-Jones : The St. Helena Government are collaborating with the royal botanic gardens in an attempt to propagate the St. Helena olive. There is only a single specimen which is now old and producing only a few seeds from which propagation is being attempted both on St. Helena and at the royal botanic gardens at Kew. There is optimism that the St. Helena olive can be saved and eventually propagated in larger numbers.

Western Sahara

Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will provide details of the United Kingdom financial contribution to the UN peace plan for the western Sahara ; and if he will state how many United Kingdom personnel are currently in the western Saraha to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire and peace plan.

Dr. Douglas Hogg : Our assessed contribution to the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in the Western Sahara (MINURSO) amounts to US$8,265,226 so far. In addition, we have provided 15 military observers.

Nuclear Proliferation

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list (a) all measures taken by his Department in the last 12 months to prevent nuclear proliferation, (b) the number of personnel in his Department working to prevent nuclear proliferation and (c) his Department's total expenditure on control of nuclear proliferation in each of the last three years for which figures are available.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Following is the reply :

(a) Preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is one of the FCO's departmental objectives. To that end we have been consistently active in promoting the nuclear non-proliferation regime in a wide range of international fora, including the UN, the IAEA, the EC, the nuclear suppliers group, the Zangger committee and in support of the UN Special Commission's activities in Iraq. We have undertaken regular bilateral lobbying to increase support for the NPT. In co-operation with other Departments we have provided advice to the DTI on export licensing matters.

(b) Ten FCO staff in London are engaged directly in work to prevent nuclear proliferation. But a much larger number of staff, at home and overseas, were involved in activities in support of this objective at some time in 1991.

(c) It is not possible to identify separately departmental expenditure specifically on the control of nuclear proliferation.


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HEALTH

Children at Risk

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children are currently categorised as at risk in (a) London and (b) nationally.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The information collected centrally relates to children on the child protection registers. The provisional figures for March 1991 show about 7,630 children on registers for London authorities and 45,200 for England. These figures may be adjusted slightly when the final publication is released in the next few months.

Induced Births

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list by year for the last five years, the number of induced births carried out by each (a) regional health authority and (b) district health authority, and if he will show in his answer the age of the mothers in the following age ranges (i) under 16, (ii) 16 to 19, (iii) 20 to 24, (iv) 25 to 29, (v) 30 to 39 and (vi) over 40 years.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The information is not available in the form requested. The table shows the estimated percentages of induced deliveries by regional health authority for 1985, the last year of the hospital in-patient enquiry (HIPE) and for 1989-90, the first full year of the collection of maternity items in the hospital episode statistics system (HES). The 1989-90 figures are the latest available centrally.


Induced deliveries as estimated percentages of all 

deliveries                                         

                  |1985<1>   |1989-90<2>           

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

England           |18        |18                   

Northern          |18        |22                   

Yorkshire         |17        |21                   

Trent             |18        |17                   

East Anglia       |15        |17                   

North West Thames |24        |12                   

North East Thames |16        |18                   

South East Thames |15        |22                   

South West Thames |18        |15                   

Wessex            |19        |n.a.                 

Oxford            |19        |19                   

South Western     |15        |17                   

West Midlands     |17        |21                   

North Western     |18        |24                   

n.a. Not Available                                 

Source:                                            

<1>Hospital In-Patient Enquiry (HIPE)              

<2>Hospital Episode Statistic (HES)                

Diabetics

Mr. Kennedy : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make available finger-pricking devices free of charge for diabetics ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We are aware of the potential benefits of these devices : new additions to the list of prescribable items must be subject to the availability of resources and decisions on other competing priorities.


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