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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 16 June 1992

HOME DEPARTMENT

Dartmoor Prison

Miss Emma Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the practicability of developing HM prison Dartmoor as a community prison, or as a national resource for prisoners with special needs ; and if he will make a statement about the future of the prison.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : Dartmoor is too large to become a community prison in the way HM chief inspector of prisons has recommended. However, as the only category B prison in the south-west of England, it fulfils the needs of those prisoners from that part of the country requiring that level of security. The sex offender unit provides a national resource as an integral part of the recent initiative concerned with such prisoners. It incorporates both the assessment and treatment of sex offenders and will continue to develop as part of the national programme.

Major refurbishment is under way at a cost of £25 million and substantial efforts are being made to develop a positive regime for inmates, an example of which is the new intensive therapy unit. It is the Government's intention that Dartmoor will continue to provide secure accommodation for category B prisoners in the region.

Police Numbers

Mr. Nigel Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will review the criteria for assessing areas of urban population in calculating police manpower figures ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Charles Wardle : We shall be reviewing the allocation formula used for approving increases in police force establishments later this year in order to take account of the 1991 census data. Part of this review will involve a close scrutiny of the definition of urban areas used in the formula.

Animal Experiments

Mr. Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further plans he has to stop the use of animals for testing cosmetics.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The Government have discussed with industry how best to eliminate the testing of cosmetics on animals without putting the public at risk. There has been some progress made in developing alternatives to skin and eye irritancy tests. The Government have called on the European Community to set 1998 as the target date for the replacement of all skin and eye irritancy tests, subject to there being validated non- animal alternatives. The Government will continue to support work carried out by charitable bodies, academic institutions and industry to develop alternatives to animal testing.


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Security Service

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library a copy of the report to him by the Security Service Commissioner, pursuant to paragraph 7(3) of schedule 1 to the Security Service Act 1989 relating to retention of records.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke : No. It would not be in the interests of national security to do so.

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether records compiled by the Security Service kept in temporary files for which a permanent file is not subsequently set up are destroyed within three years.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke : I refer the hon. Member to paragraphs 22 to 24 of the Security Service Commissioner's annual report for 1991 where he describes the Security Service's policy in relation to temporary records which are not converted into permanent files. Except where no inquiries have been made since the Security Service Act 1989 came into force, such temporary records are now retained so that they can be investigated, if necessary, by the complaints tribunal. The commissioner agreed that this policy was correct in law.

Road Accidents

Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of civilian fatalities were caused by road traffic accidents involving stolen motor vehicles in the latest year for which figures are available ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jack : The information is not available centrally.

Commission for Racial Equality

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for assistance under section 66 of the Race Relations Act 1976 the Commission for Racial Equality has received during the past 12 months ; how many applications it supported by providing legal representation during that period ; and from how many applicants for whom it initially provided legal representation it later withdrew legal support or funding before the case went to industrial tribunal or county court.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The information requested for the year 1991 is as follows. The number of applications received for assistance under section 66 of the Race Relations Act 1976 received by the Commission for Racial Equality was 1,655.

The number of applications for which the commission's complaints committee agreed to provide legal representation was 388. The number of applicants for whom the Commission for Racial Equality initially provided legal representation, but from whom on review it later withdrew legal support or funding before the case went to industrial tribunal or county court or was otherwise settled or withdrawn by the complainant was 24.

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applicants who received legal representation provided through the Commission for Racial Equality or its funded solicitors were represented at tribunals or county courts in the last 12 months.


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Mr. Peter Lloyd : The number of applicants represented at tribunals or county courts who received legal representation through the CRE in 1991 was 54.

Crime Prevention

Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his response to the Morgan report on safer communities from the standing conference of crime prevention ; and what action he proposes to implement any of the recommendations.

Mr. Jack : The recommendations in the Morgan report ranged wider than had been expected under the working group's terms of reference. The consideration of the report is now being undertaken but it is taking longer than anticipated because of the additional material to be evaluated. I hope to be able to make an announcement in the near future.

Firearms

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences have been committed with stolen shotguns in each police force area in each year from 1985.

Mr. Jack : The information requested is not available.


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Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) shotguns, (b) firearms and (c) rounds of ammunition have been yielded as a result of each gun amnesty declared since 1962.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The information is given in the table.


Year of    |Shotguns  |Firearms  |Rounds of            

amnesty                          |ammunition           

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

1965       |2,761     |37,739    |1,694,000            

1968       |9,400     |15,688    |795,000              

1988       |11,254    |31,471    |1,511,000            

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many thefts of shotguns there have been in each police force area in each year from 1985 (a) from domestic premises and (b) from all premises.

Mr. Jack : The number of notifiable offences in which shotguns were reported to have been stolen from (a) domestic premises and (b) all premises, in each police force area in each year from 1985 to 1990 are given in the tables.


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(b) from all premises                                                                                                                            

England and Wales   Number of offences                                                                                                           

Police force area  |1985             |1986             |1987             |1988             |1989             |1990                               

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

Avon and Somerset  |14               |30               |26               |25               |10               |22                                 

Bedfordshire       |8                |11               |10               |3                |6                |14                                 

Cambridgeshire     |20               |22               |14               |10               |1                |5                                  

Cheshire           |22               |13               |10               |4                |10               |7                                  

Cleveland          |-                |1                |2                |1                |4                |3                                  

Cumbria            |3                |2                |10               |4                |3                |11                                 

Derbyshire         |9                |17               |10               |8                |10               |3                                  

Devon and Cornwall |18               |25               |19               |32               |25               |29                                 

Dorset             |6                |5                |6                |4                |3                |1                                  

Durham             |5                |18               |18               |7                |12               |5                                  

Essex              |27               |34               |39               |22               |28               |26                                 

Gloucestershire    |9                |8                |10               |8                |5                |4                                  

Greater Manchester |6                |4                |9                |7                |2                |2                                  

Hampshire          |26               |37               |24               |29               |32               |23                                 

Hertfordshire      |15               |6                |12               |6                |12               |5                                  

Humberside         |12               |17               |20               |12               |9                |11                                 

Kent               |53               |50               |61               |59               |40               |47                                 

Lancashire         |20               |30               |21               |30               |21               |13                                 

Leicestershire     |15               |14               |13               |12               |12               |10                                 

Lincolnshire       |13               |13               |16               |15               |11               |7                                  

London, City of    |-                |1                |1                |1                |-                |-                                  

Merseyside         |13               |13               |10               |7                |11               |7                                  

Metropolitan       |67               |48               |45               |27               |36               |19                                 

Norfolk            |26               |34               |37               |22               |20               |22                                 

Northamptonshire   |12               |19               |16               |9                |4                |10                                 

Northumbria        |20               |27               |13               |16               |18               |20                                 

North Yorkshire    |16               |27               |22               |16               |8                |11                                 

Nottinghamshire    |6                |8                |8                |10               |2                |7                                  

South Yorkshire    |22               |12               |13               |15               |10               |14                                 

Staffordshire      |9                |11               |5                |7                |1                |2                                  

Suffolk            |23               |16               |15               |15               |7                |12                                 

Surrey             |14               |21               |20               |23               |17               |18                                 

Sussex             |12               |19               |16               |26               |11               |15                                 

Thames Valley      |32               |56               |43               |27               |26               |22                                 

Warwickshire       |22               |11               |19               |6                |8                |5                                  

West Mercia        |28               |23               |23               |11               |10               |7                                  

West Midlands      |31               |31               |12               |11               |7                |14                                 

West Yorkshire     |20               |24               |17               |10               |16               |11                                 

Wiltshire          |3                |7                |5                |4                |3                |1                                  

                                                                                                                                                 

Dyfed-Powys        |22               |12               |12               |5                |5                |3                                  

Gwent              |2                |5                |6                |2                |9                |4                                  

North Wales        |9                |13               |14               |8                |9                |5                                  

South Wales        |12               |9                |-                |2                |1                |1                                  

                                                                                                                                                 

England and Wales  |722              |804              |722              |578              |495              |478                                


(b) from all premises                                                                                                                            

England and Wales   Number of offences                                                                                                           

Police force area  |1985             |1986             |1987             |1988             |1989             |1990                               

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

Avon and Somerset  |14               |30               |26               |25               |10               |22                                 

Bedfordshire       |8                |11               |10               |3                |6                |14                                 

Cambridgeshire     |20               |22               |14               |10               |1                |5                                  

Cheshire           |22               |13               |10               |4                |10               |7                                  

Cleveland          |-                |1                |2                |1                |4                |3                                  

Cumbria            |3                |2                |10               |4                |3                |11                                 

Derbyshire         |9                |17               |10               |8                |10               |3                                  

Devon and Cornwall |18               |25               |19               |32               |25               |29                                 

Dorset             |6                |5                |6                |4                |3                |1                                  

Durham             |5                |18               |18               |7                |12               |5                                  

Essex              |27               |34               |39               |22               |28               |26                                 

Gloucestershire    |9                |8                |10               |8                |5                |4                                  

Greater Manchester |6                |4                |9                |7                |2                |2                                  

Hampshire          |26               |37               |24               |29               |32               |23                                 

Hertfordshire      |15               |6                |12               |6                |12               |5                                  

Humberside         |12               |17               |20               |12               |9                |11                                 

Kent               |53               |50               |61               |59               |40               |47                                 

Lancashire         |20               |30               |21               |30               |21               |13                                 

Leicestershire     |15               |14               |13               |12               |12               |10                                 

Lincolnshire       |13               |13               |16               |15               |11               |7                                  

London, City of    |-                |1                |1                |1                |-                |-                                  

Merseyside         |13               |13               |10               |7                |11               |7                                  

Metropolitan       |67               |48               |45               |27               |36               |19                                 

Norfolk            |26               |34               |37               |22               |20               |22                                 

Northamptonshire   |12               |19               |16               |9                |4                |10                                 

Northumbria        |20               |27               |13               |16               |18               |20                                 

North Yorkshire    |16               |27               |22               |16               |8                |11                                 

Nottinghamshire    |6                |8                |8                |10               |2                |7                                  

South Yorkshire    |22               |12               |13               |15               |10               |14                                 

Staffordshire      |9                |11               |5                |7                |1                |2                                  

Suffolk            |23               |16               |15               |15               |7                |12                                 

Surrey             |14               |21               |20               |23               |17               |18                                 

Sussex             |12               |19               |16               |26               |11               |15                                 

Thames Valley      |32               |56               |43               |27               |26               |22                                 

Warwickshire       |22               |11               |19               |6                |8                |5                                  

West Mercia        |28               |23               |23               |11               |10               |7                                  

West Midlands      |31               |31               |12               |11               |7                |14                                 

West Yorkshire     |20               |24               |17               |10               |16               |11                                 

Wiltshire          |3                |7                |5                |4                |3                |1                                  

                                                                                                                                                 

Dyfed-Powys        |22               |12               |12               |5                |5                |3                                  

Gwent              |2                |5                |6                |2                |9                |4                                  

North Wales        |9                |13               |14               |8                |9                |5                                  

South Wales        |12               |9                |-                |2                |1                |1                                  

                                                                                                                                                 

England and Wales  |722              |804              |722              |578              |495              |478                                

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will consider declaring a firearms amnesty ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Charles Wardle : There are no plans at present to declare a firearms amnesty. The last one was held in 1988 in conjunction with the introduction of major new legislation on firearms. We would not wish to encourage people to think that if they hold weapons illegally or use them for criminal purposes, they will be given regular opportunities to dispose of them without the risk of prosecution.

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his estimate of the number of (a) shotguns and (b) other firearms held in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Charles Wardle : Estimates of the number of shotguns and firearms held on licence in England and


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Wales at the end of 1990 were published in Home Office statistical bulletin 23/91--paragraphs 3 and 7. A copy of this bulletin is in the Library.

The information for Scotland and Northern Ireland is the responsibility of the relevant Secretary of State.

Condoms

Mr. Eastham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) in what circumstances condoms are issued to prisoners on release from (a) women's and (b) men's prisons ;

(2) if he will make it his policy to offer condoms to all prisoners on their release from prison.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : Procedural guidelines issued to prison governors in November 1991 advised that the period leading up to release is an important time for educational measures and for individual counselling of HIV-infected


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prisoners and others with lifestyles which suggest that they may themselves be at risk or that they may be a risk to other people. The guidelines also recommended that governors consider introducing schemes under which all prisoners released--and perhaps those going on home leave--have discrete access to a small supply of free condoms. Several establishments--including at least one for women--operate such schemes. We are reviewing prisons HIV/AIDS policy generally, including policy on the issue of condoms.

West Yorkshire Police Force

Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been (a) the total funding and (b) the established number of full- time officers of the West Yorkshire police force in each of the past five years ; and what assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding to meet the public demands of this service.

Mr. Charles Wardle : Over the last five years expenditure and the police establishment of the West Yorkshire police have been increased as follows :


Year          |Expenditure  |Establishment              

              |£ million                                

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

1987-88       |129.1        |5,204                      

1988-89       |149.4        |5,227                      

1989-90       |167.0        |5,259                      

1990-91       |<1>193.7     |5,281                      

1991-92       |<2>218.5     |5,295                      

1992-93       |n/a          |5,295                      

<1>Because of change in capital financing arrangements  

in 1990, some caution should be used in comparing       

1990-91 and 1991-92 with earlier years.                 

<2>Estimated.                                           

n/a=Not available.                                      

The Government are satisfied that the West Yorkshire police authority is able to meet its obligations to provide an efficient police force.

Police Cells

Mr. Byers : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convicted prisoners were held in places other than prisons for each year since 1979.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The annual averages for convicted prisoners held in police cells, who, but for the lack of available places should otherwise have been in prison custody, for each year since figures have been available are as follows :


        |Annual         

        |average        

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

1981    |0              

1982    |0              

1983    |0              

1984    |0              

1985    |0              

1986    |0              

1987    |0              

1988    |99             

1989    |7              

1990    |213            

1991    |385            


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Iraq (Sanctions)

Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis into the investigations by the Metropolitan police into potential sanctions breaking trade between British and Danish companies and Iraq before, at the time of, or since the Gulf war ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The Metropolitan police has carried out no investigations into potential sanction-breaking trade between British and Danish companies and Iraq.

The Metropolitan and City police company fraud department was involved in discussions with the Department of Trade and Industry, HM Customs and Excise and others. It was decided that allegations of sanction breaking would be referred to HM Customs and Excise for investigation.

Public Events (Policing)

Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give a breakdown by constabulary of the amount of money raised in the last financial year by charging for a police presence at sporting, social and other functions and events.

Mr. Charles Wardle : This information is not held centrally, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement outlining his policy on the allocation of funds raised by charging for a police presence at sporting, social and other functions, indicating whether such funds must be allocated to the police budget, or whether they may be used by a local authority for other purposes.

Mr. Charles Wardle : Section 8(1) of the Police Act 1964 requires all receipts of the police authority to be paid into the police fund. It is for the police authority, subject where appropriate to the approval of the county council, to decide how the financial resources available to it should be applied.

Maxwell Pension Funds

Mr. Winnick : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to withdraw passports from British citizens under investigation in connection with the Maxwell pension funds.

Mr. Charles Wardle : Withdrawal of passport facilities would be considered in certain circumstances, for example, where a warrant for arrest has been issued in the United Kingdom or where a person was wanted by the police on suspicion of a serious crime.

The courts also have certain powers to require the surrender of a passport pending trial and in connection with certain civil actions.

Bail

Dame Jill Knight : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to ensure that bail is not available to those previously convicted of rape if they are brought before a court on a subsequent charge of a crime involving violence.


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Mr. Jack : At present we have no plans to introduce legislation for this purpose. The Bail Act 1976, as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1988, already makes special provision for cases in which a defendant is accused of murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, rape or attempted rape. It requires a court which grants bail to such a defendant in the face of prosecution objections to give its reasons for so doing. This provision is intended to ensure that the court addresses the issue fully.

PRIME MINISTER

Street Children, Brazil

Mr. Alton : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement about his meeting with Mr. Paulo Melo, the president of the Brazilian parliamentary commission inquiring into the killing of South American street children ; what representations he made to the Brazilian authorities about the killings and sale of Brazilian children into sex slavery ; and if he will take diplomatic and economic measures against Brazil until the Brazilian authorities bring the perpetrators to justice.

The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Member to my statement on 15 June 1992, Official Report, columns 649-64.

Engagements

Sir Peter Tapsell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 16 June.

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 16 June.

The Prime Minister : This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today.

Argentina (Aircraft Sales)

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his representations in Washington about the sale of United States A4s to Argentina.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 12 June 1992] : We are in close touch with the United States Government on the question of arms sales to Argentina. The United States Government understand our concerns about arms sales which might affect our security interests in the Falkland Islands as do our other allies.

Retail Prices Index

Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Prime Minister what has been the level of expenditure in each of the last 10 years on the civil list ; how the rate of change annually has compared with the annual changes in the retail prices index ; and what payments have been made and to whom in each of these years.

Mr. Newton [holding answer 11 June 1992] : I have been asked to reply.

The information on expenditure for the period 1983 to 1990 is contained in the report of the royal trustees laid before the House of Commons on 15 October 1990


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(HC629). As the report explains, the pre- 1991 system required voted supplements to be paid annually to the standing services on the Consolidated Fund. It was thought more consistent with the dignity of the Crown and better financial practice to replace that system from 1 January 1991 with a payment fixed at £7.9 million a year for 10 years to cover Her Majesty's statutory expenses ; the arrangements enable any surplus in the early years to be accumulated to meet any subsequent deficit. During the same period, the increase in the retail price, index averaged 5.8 per cent. a year.

ENVIRONMENT

Aquatic Environment

Mr. Tyler : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the responsibilities and duties of his Department and any agency which reports to his Department in relation to inshore waters, intertidal areas and maritime land ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Howard : I refer the hon. Member to the Government's memorandum on this subject which was submitted to the Environment Committee of this House in the previous Session. It has now been published by HMSO as part of the Environment Committee's report on coastal zone protection and planning, volume II, minutes of evidence and appendices.

Orimulsion

Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consideration his Department has given to the environmental implications of the disposal of the ash residue from burning orimulsion at power stations ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Maclean : Applications have been made to Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution under part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to burn orimulsion at four power stations. None of these has been determined. In determining these applications, Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution will consider the environmental implications of all releases from the process to all three media : air, water and land. Ash produced by burning orimulsion is classed as a release to land.

Local Government Finance

Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his latest estimate of the total amount of local authority capital receipts set aside which have not as yet been applied to debt redemption.

Mr. Baldry : Local authority returns indicate that their stock of unapplied capital receipts set aside as provision for credit liabilities at 31 March 1991 was £5.1 billion. It is estimated that at the same date local authorities' outstanding debt stood at around £47 billion.

Fuel Efficiency

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to set minimum standards for fuel use efficiency.

Mr. Maclean : It is already the Government's policy to press for agreement in the European Community on


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minimum efficiency standards for a wide range of equipment. A directive setting minimum standards of energy efficiency for gas and oil-fired boilers has already been adopted.

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to set standards for acceptable loss of energy or fuel in distribution, and to ensure that losses above test standard be charged against the profits of the industry.

Mr. Maclean : No. We have created a competitive environment for fuel suppliers and it is in their own interest to reduce losses in transmission.

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to set standards of fuel use efficiency for the energy-generating industry.

Mr. Maclean : No. We have created a competitive environment for energy generators such that it is in their own interest to use fuel more efficiently. An indication of this is the electricity industry's plans for new electricity generating stations of considerably higher efficiency.

Combined Heat and Power

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps are being undertaken by his Department to promote the co-generation of heat and power.

Mr. Maclean : The Government fully recognise the environmental and energy efficiency benefits of combined heat and

power--co-generation--and seek to ensure that CHP faces no unnecessary legislative or institutional barriers to its implementation. The Energy Efficiency Office--EEO--of the Department, in conjunction with technical staff at energy technology support unit and building research energy conservation support unit, is responsible for promoting the wider use of the technology, in cost-effective locations. It manages this through the best practice programme which provides independent and authoritative advice and information on energy use and efficiency in industry and commerce as well as in the public sector and in housing. In addition to the project profiles and publications produced, there is a continuing programme of CHP seminars and site visits.

The EEO also works closely with the Combined Heat and Power Association, the representative body of the CHP industry.

Energy Conservation

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what public information campaigns are currently being undertaken by his Department to promote energy conservation among the general public ; and how much funding has been allocated to each information campaign.

Mr. Maclean : The Department is currently running the "Helping the Earth Begins at Home" campaign, launched last November and expected to operate for a minimum of three years. The campaign, which has a budget of at least £10 million, aims to encourage householders to make their homes more energy efficient and thereby help combat global warming.


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Carbon Dioxide

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what specific changes will be implemented on energy policy by his Department in the light of the policy to stabilise carbon dioxide emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000.

Mr. Maclean : I refer the hon. Member to the replies that I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. Carrington) on 13 May at column 136 and to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Hall Green (Mr. Hargreaves) on 15 May at column 237.

Marine Conservation

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what efforts are currently undertaken by his Department to deal with the conservation and sustainable management of shared seas.

Mr. Maclean : The United Kingdom plays a very active role in the work of the Oslo and Paris conventions, the London dumping convention, the North sea and Irish sea conferences, the International North Sea task force, the Irish Sea co-ordination group, the International Maritime Organisation, the European Community as it bears on maritime matters such as the common fisheries policy, and the small cetaceans agreement under the Bonn convention on migratory species. Most recently, it has participated actively in the drafting of the oceans chapter of Agenda 21 for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, and has, jointly with the Republic of Ireland, appointed a scientific co-ordinator for work to review the state of knowledge of the Irish sea.

Energy Efficiency

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will bring forward proposals to oblige manufacturers to monitor and publish the energy efficiency levels of their processes and the energy costs of their products.

Mr. Maclean : I have no plans to bring forward proposals to oblige manufacturers, either of imported or home produced goods, to publish the energy efficiency levels of their processes or the energy costs of their products. Although gathering meaningful information for comparative purposes is possible and is done in certain processes, for the majority of finished products the complications and cost of obtaining the data outweigh the benefits.

However, my Energy Efficiency Office through its best practice programme publishes energy consumption guides, where these are meaningful, on specific processing steps. The best practice programme also promotes energy efficiency at all steps of manufacture.

Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the contribution of energy efficiency measures over the next seven years in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Mr. Maclean : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 14 May to the hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn), column 200.


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Community Environmental Programmes

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to issue low interest loans to urban and rural community organisations, small businesses and individuals involved in community environmental action programmes.


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