Mr. Burden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations his Department has made to the Chilean Government concerning information relating to the arrest and imprisonment in 1974 of William Beausire ; and what future action he proposes to take to secure the release of such information.
Mr. Garel-Jones : We made repeated representations to the Chilean authorities about Mr. Beausire's disappearance until 1990. In March 1991, the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation appointed by President Aylwin's democratically elected Government concluded that Mr. Beausire was arrested in Buenos Aires on 2 November 1974 and handed over to the then Chilean intelligence organisation, DINA, in whose custody he was held until his disappearance in June 1975. The view of the Chilean authorities is that any further evidence concerning human rights abuses committed in the past should be taken up through legal channels. Our embassy in Santiago is ready to assist in any way possible, should a member of the Beausire family wish to pursue the case further.
Sir Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what basis Her Majesty's Government have offered to endeavour to secure six seats for Scotland in the proposed Committee of the Regions ; and what numbers he plans to allocate to Wales, Northern Ireland and England, respectively.
Mr. Garel-Jones : No final decisions have been taken on the allocation of seats between the different parts of the United Kingdom. However, the Government will wish to ensure that Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England are all appropriately represented on the Committee.
Sir Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement outlining the report-back procedures offered to Wales in connection with the proposed Committee of the Regions ; and what cost will be involved in these procedures.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will specify the proposed representation of the United Kingdom delegation for the Committee of the Regions for (a) each of the English standard regions, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland.
Mr. Elletson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement of his policy in regard to British-Montenegran relations ; and what conditions he will require to be satisfied before sanctions against Montenegro are lifted.
Mr. Goodlad : Sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro apply equally to the two republics. The conditions for lifting sanctions are set out in United Nations Security Council resolution 757 (1992), a copy of which is in the Library of the House. We are encouraging the leaderships of both republics to change their policies. The President of Montenegro, Mr. Bulatovic, is paying a working visit to London on 18 and 19 March and will meet my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many appointments to the public bodies listed in "Public Bodies" for his Department were made from names supplied by the public appointments unit ; and if he will list them.
Wilton Park Academic Council--
Mr. Anthony Bruce
Wilton Park Departmental Board--
Miss Ruth Watts Davies and
Miss Valerie le Moignan
In the case of the aid wing, none.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what percentage share of total departmental spending was accounted for by non-departmental public bodies in each year since 1979.
Year |Per cent. ------------------------------ 1979-80 |7.73 1980-81 |6.71 1981-82 |6.65 1982-83 |6.87 1983-84 |6.85 1984-85 |7.04 1985-86 |7.26 1986-87 |7.42 1987-88 |7.38 1988-89 |6.93 1989-90 |7.59 1990-91 |7.76 1991-92 |6.31
Mr. Burden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the approaches which have been made by his Department to the Thai authorities in the last three months regarding the application of Patricia Cahill for a royal pardon from the King of Thailand.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Our embassy in Bangkok has been in regular touch with the Thai authorities about this case, most recently on 24 February. The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Eddisbury (Mr. Goodlad), also raised it when he visited Bangkok last October.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the current queues awaiting interview in Bombay, New Delhi, Calcutta, Dhaka, Islamabad, Karachi, Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam.
Settlement |Q1 |Q2 |Q3 |Q4 |Total ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bombay |0 |124 |351 |239 |714 New Delhi |0 |298 |246 |117 |661 Dhaka |522 |1,830 |252 |293 |2,897 Islamabad |45 |844 |244 |901 |2,014
There are no queues in Karachi, Calcutta, Nairobi or Dar es Salaam.
As at 31 December 1992, the estimated waiting times--in months--were :
|Q1|Q2|Q3|Q4 ------------------------- Bombay |0 |4 |7 |10 New Delhi |0 |3 |3 |10 Dhaka |3 |6 |7 |9 Islamabad |3 |3 |6 |9
Settlement queues are organised as follows :
Q1 : Persons with a claim to the right of abode, dependent relatives over 70 years, special compassionate cases.
Q2 : All spouses, and all children under 18 years.
Q3 : Fiance (e )s and others applying for the first time for settlement.
Q4 : Re-applicants.
During periods of seasonal high demand applicants for visit visas in Islamabad requiring a full interview can expect to wait up to five days. Elsewhere, they are dealt with on the day of application.
The Council reached a common position on the Commission's proposal of a one -year cohesion fund instrument. The European Parliament will now be consulted and it is expected that the regulation will enter into force in time to meet the 1 April deadline set at the Edinburgh Council.
Column 128Foreign Ministers signed an EC association agreement with Bulgaria. Similar agreements were signed with Poland and Hungary in December 1991, and with Romania in February 1993.
The Council agreed an additional protocol to the European economic area agreement following Switzerland's rejection of the EEA. This now opens the way to the ratification of the agreement which will create the world's largest single market, covering the Community and six European Free Trade Association countries.
Foreign Ministers discussed the Community's relations with Russia. They reaffirmed the Community's continued support for economic and political reform in Russia.
The Council continued its discussion of a Commission proposal to change the decision-making procedures for Community anti-dumping and other commercial defence measures. The Commission reported to the Council on developments concerning the general agreement on tarrifs and trade Uruguay round and EC/USA trade issues.
The Netherlands and the Commission, together with France and Italy, agreed to hold further discussions on possible trade measures in respect of rice from the Netherlands Antilles.
In a discussion of latest developments in the former Yugoslavia, Lord Owen outlined his strategy for securing the agreement of all parties to the Vance-Owen proposals. Ministers gave unanimous support to this approach and agreed that existing sanctions should be tightened.
Mr. Garel-Jones : After a tender competition, the Overseas Development Administration retained Pieda, a firm of economic and planning consultants, to help develop St. Helena's Small Industries Authority into a development agency and recommend a general manager. The consultants' nominee for this proposed position was approved by the Overseas Development Administration and the St. Helena Government. The agency has still be be set up.
Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects the report by Mr. Brian Smith on matters relating to the heritage of St. Helena to be available ; and if he will place a copy in the Library.
Mr. Garel-Jones : I expect Mr. Smith's report to be completed by the end of April 1993. The St. Helena Heritage Society and the St. Helena Government jointly commissioned the report. I hope to place a copy in the House of Commons Library.
Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will give the number of votes and the percentage they represent of the eligible population on the new electoral roll on St. Helena and the figures for the previous roll.
Mr. Garel-Jones : The new electoral roll is not yet complete. In the 1989 election the electoral roll comprised 2,532 voters, of whom 1,588 voted. This represented 63 per cent. of those registered to vote.
Column 129No figure for the eligible population in 1989 is available but the last census, in 1987, gave a figure of 3,508.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what representations he has had over the proposals for restricting the availability of legal aid in respect of redress for injuries inflicted in accidents ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The Lord Chancellor and I have received a number of such representations. The Lord Chancellor gave evidence about these matters to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 24 February 1993.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 4 March, Official Report, column 245, what level of sales was assumed to estimate the revenue forgone at £750 million, when car tax was abolished ; what proportion of the retail prices reduction has been replaced by price increases ; and if he will estimate the effects on (a) the retail prices index and (b) the tax and prices index if the £750 million is fully replaced by other taxation and also by manufacturers' price increases.
Sir John Cope : The estimated revenue loss in 1993-94 of £750 million--car tax and consequential VAT--was based on car sales of around 1.5 million. There are considerable difficulties associated with monitoring the retail price of new cars and no estimates are available on how prices have changed since the abolition of car tax was announced in November 1992. Were the revenue to be recouped wholly from an increase in the excise duty on road fuels, this would have an estimated impact effect of 0.1 per cent. on both the retail prices index and the tax and price index.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 24 February, Official Report, columns 593-94, if he will estimate the total tax forgone in each region in each year since 1988-89.
Estimated change in tax revenue at rates in excess of 40 per cent. £ million Region of residence |1988-89 |1989-90 |1990-91 of taxpayer --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- North |50 |50 |50 Yorkshire and Humberside |100 |150 |200 North West |150 |250 |250 East Midlands |100 |150 |150 West Midlands |150 |150 |250 East Anglia |100 |100 |150 South East |1,600 |1,800 |2,150 South West |200 |300 |250 Wales |50 |100 |50 Scotland |100 |100 |150 Northern Ireland |<1>- |50 |50 United Kingdom<2> |2,600 |3,200 |3,700 <1>Under £25 million. <2>Includes members of the forces and Merchant Navy and a small number of civil servants overseas who are not allocated to regions.
Mr. Sproat : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 9 February, Official Report, column 539, if he has now finished compiling and has checked for accuracy and consistency of definition the comprehensive provisional list of regulations for which his Department is responsible ; and when he intends to place this list in the Library.
Mr. Dorrell : Work is proceeding as quickly as possible on checking my Department's list of regulations affecting business. A consolidated list of regulations for all Departments will be compiled by the central deregulation unit of the DTI and placed in the Library as soon as possible.
Mr. Tyler : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what monitoring is carried out of the extent to which, in the area of every local authority, council tax listing officers have fully complied with their instructions to make inquiries from local authorities as to the existence of planning restrictions limiting dwellings to occupation by persons engaged in agriculture.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 8 March 1993] : Monitoring of the major activities of council tax work was undertaken by visits to each listing office by central and regional office staff. There was no specific monitoring of the extent to which listing officers complied with the instructions referred to in the question.
Mr. Tyler : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 25 January, Official Report, column 522, if he will publish the advice given to listing officers on the approach they should take to the valuation of farmhouses for council tax purposes.
Domestic tourism trips of one night or more by British residents<1> Main mode of transport used to reach destination as a percentage of all modes Per cent. |<2>1985|<2>1986|<2>1987|<2>1988|<3>1989|<3>1990|<3>1991 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Own/friend's/firm's car |69 |69 |69 |72 |72 |72 |73 Hired car |2 |1 |1 |1 |1 |2 |2 Regular bus or coach |7 |7 |8 |6 |6 |6 |5 Coach tour |3 |3 |3 |2 |3 |3 |3 Train |11 |12 |12 |12 |10 |10 |10 Plane |1 |1 |1 |1 |2 |2 |2 Boat |<4>- |<4>- |<4>- |<4>- |1 |1 |1 Other |6 |6 |5 |5 |4 |4 |4 Notes: <1> Residents of Great Britain 1985-88; residents of the United Kingdom 1989-91. <2> Source: British Tourism Survey Monthly (BTSM). <3> Source: United Kingdom Tourism Survey (UKTS) not comparable with BTSM. <4> less than 0.5 per cent.
Column 132number and (b) the percentage of overseas visitors to the United Kingdom visiting (i) England, (ii) Scotland, (iii) Wales and (iv) Northern Ireland in each year since 1985.
Overseas visits to the United Kingdom<1>: Number of visits to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and percentage of visitors spending at least one night in the country shown<3>. England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland Total United Kingdom Year |visits (thousands) |Percentage of visits|visits (thousands) |Percentage of visits|visits (thousands) |Percentage of visits|visits (thousands) |Percentage of visits|visits (thousands) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1985 |12,427 |92.2 |1,196 |8.9 |544 |4.0 |54 |0.4 |13,482 1986 |11,655 |90.7 |1,165 |9.1 |484 |3.8 |54 |0.4 |12,861 1987 |13,191 |91.5 |1,304 |9.1 |543 |3.8 |56 |0.4 |14,413 1988 |13,074 |89.9 |1,249 |8.6 |539 |3.7 |53 |0.4 |14,548 1989 |14,320 |89.3 |1,327 |8.3 |596 |3.7 |67 |0.4 |16,037 1990 |15,052 |90.1 |1,481 |8.9 |627 |3.8 |67 |0.4 |16,705 1991 |13,538 |88.2 |1,459 |9.5 |575 |3.8 |85 |0.6 |15,352 1992<2> |11,512 |88.0 |1,405 |10.7 |502 |3.8 |70 |0.5 |13,080 <1> Excluding visits by residents of the Irish Republic. <2> January to September only. <3> Some visitors visit more than one part of the United Kingdom in a single trip and are included in the totals for each country they visit. The sum of the percentages for each year can, therefore, exceed 100 per cent. Source: International Passenger Survey.
Mr. Sproat : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage, pursuant to his answer of 4 February, Official Report, column 251, if he has now finished compiling and has checked for accuracy and consistency of definition the comprehensive provisional list of regulations for which his Department is responsible ; and when he intends to place the list in the Library.
Mr. Brooke : Work is proceeding as quickly as possible on checking my Department's list of regulations affecting business. A consolidated list of regulations for all Departments will be compiled by the central deregulation unit of the Department of Trade and Industry and placed in the Library as soon as possible.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how many appointments to the public bodies listed in "Public Bodies" for his Department were made from names supplied by the public appointments unit ; and if he will list them.
Mr. Key : The Department of National Heritage is still in the process of setting up a central database of public appointees and therefore the information to answer this question is not yet available. Until this information is held centrally, this question could be answered only at disproportionate cost.
Column 133Report, columns 687-89, if he will list the members of the steering committee which is monitoring the investigations of the local provision of libraries, etc., by way of (a) their professional and occupational qualifications, (b) their occupations, (c) country in which they reside and (d) their remuneration ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Brooke : Nominations to the steering committee have been invited from the key library organisations, local authority associations and from the library supply trade. I will announce the names when they are known.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The organisation of Army bands has been reviewed in order to ensure that the right numbers of bandsmen, providing music to the high standard expected, are employed in proportion to the Army's total size and that the important contribution that bands make to the regimental system is retained. The results of this review are as follows.
The number, size and affiliation of the state bands of the Household Division and of the Royal Artillery will be unchanged. The size of other future bands will increase. In future all bands will have either 35 or 49 musicians, replacing present arrangements where many bands have fewer than 20 musicians. Such small bands are not musically viable and have proved difficult to recruit. The need to ensure that bands are large enough to be musically viable makes it impossible to retain the present number of bands, taking into account the number of bandsmen who will be available as the Army reduces in size. However, in bringing forward new arrangements, it has been considered highly desirable to ensure that a substantial link is retained between an infantry or cavalry regiment and an allocated band. It is possible to do this while providing fewer bands overall, by allocating a number of bands to the Royal Armoured Corps, and to each of the divisions of infantry. The precise way in which these bands will meet regimental needs will be determined in accordance with the wishes of the regiments within the infantry divisions and of the Royal Armoured Corps. Under present arrangements, many regimental bands play for their regiment on only a limited number of occasions, and under the new arrangements there will be sufficient musical capacity overall to meet all regimental needs and to do so in a manner that will be consistent with regimental ceremony and traditions.
All other arms and corps which now have bands will in future have a band of 35 bandsmen, as for the first time will the Army Air Corps. The overall organisation will be as follows :
|Bands |Size |Numbers --------------------------------------------------------- Household Cavalry |2 |35 |70 Foot Guards |5 |49 |245 Royal Armoured Corps |4 |35 |140 Infantry Divisions: Scottish |2 |35 |70 Queens |2 |35 |70 Kings |2 |35 |70 Prince of Wales |2 |35 |70 Light |1 |49 |49 Parachute Regiment |1 |35 |35 Royal Irish Regiment |1 |35 |35 Royal Artillery |1 |49 |49 Royal Engineers |1 |35 |35 Royal Signals |1 |35 |35 Army Air Corps |1 |35 |35 REME |1 |35 |35 Royal Logistic Corps |1 |35 |35 Adjutant General's Corps |1 |35 |35
In addition, we shall be establishing a central music authority for the Army, headed by an inspector of Army music, responsible for recruitment, training and appointment of Army musicians. This will help to ensure the improvement and future maintenance of musical standards throughout the Army.
The operational role of bandsmen will remain unchanged. These arrangements will ensure that the traditional role of music in support of the regimental system will continue, and that the Army as a whole will enjoy the highest standard of musical support.
Mr. Sproat : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 12 February, Official Report , column 690 , if he has now finished compiling and has checked for accuracy and consistency of definition the comprehensive provisional list of regulations for which his Department is responsible ; and when he intends to place the list in the Library.
Mr. Aitken : My Department has completed its review and check for accuracy of the provisional list of administrative requirements which impact on business. My Department is not responsible for any primary or secondary legislation under which regulations are made which impact on industry. However, there are certain forms which the Department requires or invites companies with whom we conduct business to complete. A list of these is being placed in the Library.
Mr. Nigel Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what was the cost of continuing training flights for the RAF Vulcan display flight from the end of September 1992 to date ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what was the cost, for the last year for which figures are available, of the operation of the RAF Vulcan display flight ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lidington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance his Department has sought from British manufacturers and suppliers of contraceptives in connection with the Overseas Development Administration's promotion of family planning in the developing world ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The provision of contraceptives forms a relatively modest part of our population assistance, but it is increasing. The aim is to provide contraceptives of a type relevant to the needs of developing countries and selected in consultation with local institutions. A British manufacturer, Cilag Ltd., is currently supplying delfen foam--an aerosol contraceptive--to Pakistan under an ODA project worth over £500,000. Other British manufacturers have been invited to tender for condom contracts.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed, as representing the House of Commons Commission, what are the costs of preparing for a sitting of the House over the weekend of 13-14 March.