Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information Her Majesty's Government possess on the current operational status of (a) the Al-Qaim uranium processing factory, (b) the Qa Qaa explosives factory and (c) Samarra factory 10, in Iraq.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Al-Qaim was badly damaged during the Gulf conflict and has not been repaired. The Qa Qaa explosives plant is part of the Al Qa Qaa state establishment. This is a vast enterprise covering aspects of explosives, propellant and primer production. Much of its work is not prohibited under the terms of Security Council resolution 687. The facility was extensively bombed during the Gulf conflict. Reconstruction has been taking place at the establishment which has been visited by UN inspectors on several occasions. It is believed that part of the explosives and ammunition plant was severely damaged by an explosion in late October. The Government are not aware of any facility known as Samarra factory 10.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will implement a refrigerant recycling and reclaim policy covering all departmental equipment currently using chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons ; if he will publish targets for departmental reuse and recycling ; if he will implement an equipment conversion and replacement programme for all departmental uses of CFCs and HCFCs ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Goodlad : The Foreign and Commonwealth Office already has a policy on its use of ozone-depleting substances. It commits the Department to eliminating the use of such substances where they are non-essential and where acceptable alternatives offering value for money are available. It also stipulates that when such substances are replaced they should be recycled in products where no alternatives are available.
Further policy measures, including targets for the reuse and recycling of ozone-depleting substances, will be introduced following completion of an environmental audit of the Department now being carried out by our environmental management consultants.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will introduce a leakage prevention programme for all refrigeration and air conditioning equipment owned and operated by his Department ; if he will publish targets for reductions in leakages ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 2of ozone-depleting substances by introducing a programme of regular inspection and servicing of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. In the event that such equipment was no longer serviceable, or there was a risk of leakage, the refrigerants would be extracted and returned for recycling.
Sir Russell Johnston : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether authorisation for further United Nations monitors in Kosovo has been sought ; and how many of these are British.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : None. The monitors now in Kosovo are under the auspices of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe. The mission is led by a Norwegian ambassador, with four monitors from Canada, Switzerland, France and Greece.
Mr. George Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place restrictions on the export of armaments from the United Kingdom which might end up in Kosovo.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The United Nations arms embargo, in place since 25 September 1991, prohibits the delivery of weapons and military equipment to former Yugoslavia. Defence exports to other destinations are considered case by case. All considerations, including the risk of diversion to prohibited destinations, are taken into account.
Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many members the United Kingdom will have on the proposed European Community committee of the regions ; and how many of these will represent (a) Wales, (b) Scotland and (c) Northern Ireland.
Mr. Garel-Jones : Article 198a of the Maastricht treaty allocates 24 seats on the committee of the regions to the United Kingdom. Twenty-four alternate members will also need to be appointed. The treaty makes it clear that it is for Governments of member states to nominate national candidates to the committee and to decide how seats should be allocated. No decision has yet been made about how the United Kingdom seats will be divided between the regions of the United Kingdom.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has received from the United Nations or from the United Nations Protection Force concerning violations of the no-fly zone in Bosnia ; and when that information was received.
24 from 22 October to 4 November ;
34 from 5 to 12 November ;
73 from 13 to 19 November.
There is no evidence that any of these have been combat flights.
Sir Russell Johnston : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans the European Community has to render economic assistance to the state of Macedonia ; and what further consideration is being given to formal recognition of Macedonia by European Community members.
Mr. Douglas-Hogg : The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia already benefits from humanitarian and technical assistance under the EC's PHARE programme and also receives a share of the EC's humanitarian assistance for the former Yugoslavia as a whole. Mr. Robin O'Neill, as the Foreign Secretary's personal representative, has regularly visited Athens and Skopje in his mission to establish how the republic might be recognised in conformity with the terms of the Lisbon declaration of 27 June. He will shortly report to the Foreign Secretary.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the declaration by the Falkland Islands Government on whale and dolphin sanctuaries within their waters.
"prohibits the killling, wounding or taking of marine mammals on land or in the internal waters, territorial sea or fishery waters of the Falkland Islands".
This protects all cetaceans, including whales and dolphins, within the 200- mile exclusive fisheries zones of the Falklands waters.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what advice is being issued to British overseas posts regarding the requirements, from January 1993, on British citizens, and non -EC nationals settled in the United Kingdom, to present passports on entry to EC states, other than Denmark and Eire ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Garel-Jones : Immigration procedures are a matter for the individual member states concerned. We have not been informed of any forthcoming changes in such procedures. It follows that travellers to those countries should continue to have passports, with visas where applicable for non-EC nationals, available for checking as they do now.
Mr. George Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to refuse any applications for export of British armaments to Albania ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Applications for exports of British Armaments are considered case by case. All relevant considerations are taken into account. In the case of Albania, a major consideration is that it remains a proscribed destination under the rules of the co-ordinating committee on multilateral strategic export controls--COCOM.
Mr. Garel-Jones : Feral cat culling programmes continue. An eradication programme may lead to an increased bird population. We wish to assess a survey carried out in 1992 by the United States Air Force bird strike team on the likely effect of this on aircraft activity. Once we have received the team's report we shall discuss the conclusions with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and other interested parties.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the uses currently being made of the underground facilities pending their disposal as a result of the ending of the cold war.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what alterations in fire cover including fire-fighting personnel, appliances and response time have been made in the town of Windsor over the past 10 years.
Wholetime Retained (part-time) |Firefighters |Pumping appliances|Special appliances|Firefighters |Pumping appliances|Special appliances -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 January 1982 |29 |1 |- |12 |1 |- 6 April 1983<1> |37 |1 |1 |12 |1 |- 1 July 1985<2> |41 |1 |1 |12 |1 |- 1 February 1987<3> |29 |1 |- |12 |1 |- 31 March 1988 |29 |1 |- |- |- |- 1 January 1992 |29 |1 |- |- |- |- <1>Turnable ladder and crew transferred from Langley fire station to Windsor fire station. <2>Improvement to the crew available to mobilise the turntable ladder. <3>Turntable ladder and crew transferred from Windsor fire station to Slough fire station.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what aproaches and representations he has received from the emergency services and police authorities over the future management of 999 calls.
Mr. Jack : The Government are committed to strengthening the protection which the law gives to people whose property is occupied by squatters. We are currently considering how best this should be done, in the light of the responses received to a discussion paper on this subject. It is not possible to say, at this stage, when legislation might be brought before the House.
Policy relating to the rehousing of those displaced as a result of changes in the law is a matter for the Department of the Environment. But consideration of individual cases will fall to be carried out in exactly the same way as those who are evicted under the law as it stands.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether it is the practice of his Department to publish all reports of Her Majesty's inspector of constabulary as soon as practical after any inspection has taken place ; and in under what circumstances no report would be issued following an inspection by Her Majesty's inspector of constabulary.
Mr. Charles Wardle : It is the practice to publish all reports of inspections in England and Wales by HM inspectorate of constabulary except for any which are withheld on security grounds. The reports are made public as soon as possible after the inspection.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will implement a refrigerant recycling and reclaim policy covering all departmental equipment currently using chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons ; if he will publish targets for departmental reuse and recycling ; if he will implement an
Column 6equipment conversion and replacement programme for all departmental uses of CFCs and HCFCs ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : In accordance with the principlesset out in the White Paper "This Common Inheritance", Cm. 1200, my right hon. and learned Friend has set in hand a review of the Department's policy on the purchase and use of ozone-depleting chemicals and of goods manufactured with these substances. The Department does not presently have sufficient information to publish targets for reuse and recycling.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce a leakage prevention programme for all refrigeration and air conditioning equipment owned and operated by his Department ; if he will publish targets for reductions in leakages ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nigel Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration is being given to allowing betting offices (a) to open during evening hours and (b) to issue and receive pools coupons.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : We have been considering the options for evening opening of licensed betting offices following the consultation document issued last year and will announce our conclusions as soon as possible. Proposals to amend the law on the distribution and collection of pools coupons are now being considered in the light of representations received in response to the Government's White Paper, "A National Lottery Raising Money for Good Causes", Cm. 1861.
Mr. Jack : The term "joyriding" is generally taken to relate to the aggravated offences created by the Aggravated Vehicle-Taking Act 1992. This includes circumstances in which, following the taking and driving of a vehicle, an accident occurs causing death or injury of any person. Between the commencement of the Act on 1 April 1992 and June, police records show that three people have been killed as a result of accidents occurring in such circumstances. No information is held centrally on the number of persons injured in such circumstances. Full information about prosecutions resulting from the Aggravated Vehicle-Taking Act 1992 will become available in the autumn of 1993.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library copies of all submissions made by the United Kingdom delegation to the Ministers Deputies conference of the Council of Europe on the subject of the European convention on minority languages.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultations have taken place since the responses to the Green Paper "Summer Time-A Consultation Document", Cm. 722, 1990 ; and when it is intended to bring forward proposals on this matter.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The Green Paper consulted on certain options for future summer time arrangements, and revealed deep differences of opinion on them ; national consultation on those options has not been repeated. As I explained in the Standing Committee debate on the draft Summer Time Order 1992 on 7 July, the European Commission is reviewing its position on summer time and that may affect the options. We shall bring forward our own proposals when the Commission's approach is clear.
Column 8making a statement regarding his Department's records relating to the wartime Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke [holding answer 27 November 1992] : The review of files relating to this period has been completed and most of the files will now be opened to public scrutiny. The Ministry of Defence will continue to hold a small number of files on extended closure under section 5(1) of the Public Record Act 1958 on the grounds of personal sensitivity. The Home Office will also hold a few records on extended closures. Other records being released by the Home Office will be available for public inspection at the Public Record Office, Kew, from Tuesday, 1 December.
Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 17 November 1992] : Countries of birth outside the British Isles are no longer separately identified. The only information readily available, which relates to nationality, is given in the table.
|c|Female population<1> of Prison Service establishments in England and|c| |c|Wales on 30 June 1992: by nationality|c| Number of persons Nationals of |Number --------------------------------------------------- Colombia |19 Ghana |12 India |10 Irish Republic |14 Jamaica |50 Netherlands |10 Nigeria |77 United Kingdom |1,053 United States of America |13 Other<2> |78 Nationality not recorded |200 |--- All nationalities |1,536 <1> Provisional figures. <2> With fewer than five prisoners.
Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 17 November 1992] : Information by type of drug offence is not readily available separately for foreign women prisoners. The available information for foreign women prisoners is given in the table. Out of a total of 300 female prisoners on 30 June 1990 who had been sentenced for drugs offences, it is estimated that 250 had been sentenced for unlawful import-export.
|c|Sentenced females<1> in Prison Service establishments in England and Wales on 30 June 1992: by nationality and type of offence|c| Nationality United Kingdom Foreign Not recorded All Offence |Number |Percentage|Number |Percentage|Number |Percentage|Number |Percentage ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Drugs offences |120 |15 |125 |57 |13 |9 |258 |22 Other offences |570 |70 |85 |38 |60 |42 |715 |61 Offences not recorded |120 |15 |11 |5 |71 |49 |202 |17 |--- |--- |--- |--- |--- |--- |--- |--- All offences |810 |100 |221 |100 |144 |100 |1,175 |100 <1>Including those committed to custody in default of payment of a fine. Provisional figures.
Column 10on remand and (b) as convicted prisoners in British prisons at the latest available date ; and how many were held in each category for each of the last three years.
|c|Female population<1> in Prison Service establishments in England and Wales on 30 June: by type of prisoner and nationality, 1989-92|c| Type of prisoner and |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992<2> nationality -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Untried: United Kingdom<3> |- |- |184 |171 Foreign<3> |- |- |57 |51 Not recorded<3> |- |- |45 |44 All nationalities |378 |280 |286 |266 Convicted unsentenced: United Kingdom<3> |- |- |79 |70 Foreign<3> |- |- |7 |9 Not recorded<3> |- |- |15 |14 All nationalities |98 |77 |101 |93 Sentenced:<4> United Kingdom |876 |784 |719 |810 Foreign |269 |291 |257 |221 Not recorded |134 |178 |172 |144 All nationalities |1,279 |1,253 |1,148 |1,175 <1>Excluding two non-criminal prisoners. <2>Provisional figures. <3>Nationality was not recorded for untried and convicted unsentenced prisoners prior to 1991. <4>Including those committed to custody in default of payment of a fine.
Mr. Sproat : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the main measures increasing regulation in any area of which his Department has responsibility, which his Department has caused to be put into effect since the last general election.
The main areas in which new regulations have been made include emission standards for new vehicles ; changes in axle and gross weights for heavy goods vehicles ; the introduction of new drink and drugs offences relating to railways, tramways and prescribed systems of guided transport ; the introduction of the extended driving test for certain disqualified drivers ; and the packaging of some categories of dangerous goods. Four sets of regulations have been introduced following recommendations in the marine accident investigation branch report into the loss of the Marchioness, setting out requirements for improved standards of bridge visibility, stability and construction, life-saving appliances and fire protection on passenger craft.
Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : The sum of £42.7 million was allocated to local safety schemes for 1992-93 as part of the transport supplementary grant settlement announced to Parliament on 19 December 1991 by the Secretary of State for Transport.
This represents an increase of 38 per cent. in the amount of £31.2 million earmarked for such schemes for 1991-92 and reflects the importance which the Government attach to their target of reducing road casualties by a third by the year 2000, and their belief that local safety schemes can make a significant contribution to achieving this.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what measures have been taken to ensure that only chemicals that cause the least depletion to the earth's ozone layer are used in the cooling system of the channel tunnel ; and if he will intervene to halt the use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons for this purpose.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the effects on British Rail timetables of (a) the reductions to the railway maintenance programme recently announced and (b) the citizens charter.
Mr. Freeman : The Government have provided BR with an extra £239 million external finance over the next two years. Allocation to specific programmes, including maintenance, is for BR, although I understand no final decisions have been made. It will doubtless take due account of any implications its decisions might have for its timetable.
The standards and compensation provisions set out in the charter give BR a greater incentive to deliver the published service.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what specific targets have been set by his Department to modify the rail infrastructure to ensure that continental gauge freight traffic can be transported through the United Kingdom rail network ; and if he will make a statement on the progress to date.
Mr. Freeman : British Rail is currently upgrading its lines between the channel tunnel and nine regional freight terminals. This work will enable over 90 per cent of European containers and all standard European swapbodies to be carried between the tunnel and the regional terminals.
The Department has recently produced a paper "Moving Freight By Rail : Loading Gauge" which sets out the practical and other problems associated with further upgrading. Copies are available in the House Library.
Mr. Byers : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to ensure that existing pension rights and travel facilities will be protected for employees and former employees after British Rail is privatised.
Mr. Freeman : Detailed arrangements to implement the policy in the White Paper "New Opportunities for the Railways", Cm 2012, on pension rights and travel facilities are currently under consideration. A consultation paper on pension arrangements will be published soon.
Mr. Burden : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what response he has made to the representations received from the Labour and Conservative leaders of the West Midlands passenger transport authority concerning funding for an early go-ahead for the midland metro line 1 project.