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Child Migration Scheme

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what passports were provided for children sent to Australia, Canada or Rhodesia under the orphans migration scheme from 1963 ; and what provisions now exist for people sent out under that scheme to establish their claim to British passports and British citizenship.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : I have been asked to reply.

It will take some time to establish what documentation was provided under the orphans migration scheme and I will write to the hon. Member about that in due course.

However, anyone who can establish a claim to British citizenship will be issued with a passport in the normal way under the provisions of the British Nationality Act 1981.

PRIME MINISTER

Gulf War

Mr. Tyler : To ask the Prime Minister when he expects to be able to provide a substantive reply to the letter from the hon. Member for North Cornwall dated 18 January about the cases of the three Gulf war widows, Mrs. Lyn Hicks, Mrs. Liz Weeks and Mrs. Anne Lennox.

The Prime Minister : A reply will be sent shortly.

Vietnamese Prime Minister (Visit)

Mr. Alton : To ask the Prime Minister what specific human rights issues he raised with the Prime Minister of Vietnam during his recent visit.

The Prime Minister : At my request, the Minister for Overseas Development expressed our concern about


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Vietnam's human rights record with the Vietnamese Prime Minister during his visit to the United Kingdom of 3 to 6 July. We also handed over a short list of specific human rights cases.

Child Migrants

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 14 July, Official Report, columns 506-7, if he will make available to the Child Migrant Trust personal record files relating to British child migrants for use in confidence in counselling migrants and tracing relatives in the United Kingdom.

The Prime Minister : I have asked my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health to write to the hon. Member.

Overseas Debt

Mr. Meacher : To ask the Prime Minister how many countries which qualify for relief under the Trinidad terms owe money to the United Kingdom ; what is their total debt to the United Kingdom ; what proportion of that debt could be (a) wiped-out or (b) rescheduled ; and what is the total value of debt which could be (i) wiped out and (ii) rescheduled.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 12 July 1993] : Fourteen of the 17 countries that have qualified for Trinidad terms from the Paris club have debt outstanding to the Export Credits Guarantee Department, totalling £774 million.

Countries receiving Trinidad agreements get debt reduction or debt service reduction equivalent to half the value of eligible debt due over the periods of the agreements. Some £174 million of these countries' debt to ECGD has been rescheduled under these arrangements, and the equivalent value of the reduction in those countries' debt to ECGD is therefore around half that figure.

Of the 17 countries given Trinidad terms, only Nicaragua has debt outstanding to the ODA, amounting to some £0.6 million. Seven of these countries--Tanzania, Bolivia, Uganda, Honduras, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Mozambique--have already received retrospective terms adjustment--RTA-- writing off their ODA debt. RTA has also recently been announced for Zambia and Guyana. These agreements, which are awaiting signature, will write off debt of £55.9 million and £53.4 million respectively.

There are further severely-indebted low-income countries which may qualify for Trinidad terms in future, for example once they have agreed reform programmes with the IMF. The Paris club will also consider giving countries which have Trinidad agreements the equivalent of up to 50 per cent. reduction of the remaining stock of debt, provided they establish track records of debt servicing and economic reform over the periods of the agreements. Under present rules this could produce further debt reduction up to 50 per cent. of the total debt to ECGD then outstanding. But the United Kingdon is pressing the Paris club to go futher, in line with my original Trinidad proposals, and give immediate stock of debt reduction of up to 80 per cent. for the neediest eligible countries on a case by case basis. In response to United Kingdom pressure, the recent Tokyo summit asked the


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Paris club to continue reviewing the question of debt relief for these countries, and especially to consider earlier reductions in their stock of debt.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Electricity Interconnector

Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the recent trend in the amount of electricity imported and exported via the channel interconnector, and on the prospects for the remainder of 1993.

Mr. Eggar : Net imports across the interconnector in the three months from February to April 1993 were 4.29 TWh. The future pattern of trade will depend on the operation of commercial contracts, including a contract for the export from the United Kingdom of increasing quantities of electricity at periods of peak demand in France during the winter.

Nuclear Reprocessing

Mr. Cohen : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what certificates are required for spent nuclear fuels before they may be reprocessed at Sellafield ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Eggar : Certificates are not required for spent nuclear fuels before they may be reprocessed in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment has been made of Japanese technical capacity to process spent nuclear fuel and nuclear waste.

Mr. Eggar : This is a matter for the Government of Japan and the appropriate commercial undertakings in that country, subject to compliance with Japan's relevant international agreements and regulatory requirements respectively.

Nuclear Material (Safeguards)

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what progress has been made by Euratom since July 1985 in establishing a common interpretation of safeguards on nuclear material transferred for non- nuclear uses.

Mr. Eggar : Pursuant to article 22 of regulation 3227/76, on receipt of a request from the user, the Commission may grant derogations and exemptions from reporting. This would include nuclear material which was used exclusively for non-nuclear purposes.

Supervisory Bodies

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 25 June, Official Report, column 291, on reviewing the operation of the recognised supervisory bodies, what plans he has to invite the public to comment on the operations of the bodies and to public hearings on such matters.

Mr. Neil Hamilton : The arrangements for the review have not yet been finalised.


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Company Receivers

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will propose legislation under which he will have powers to examine the fees paid to company receivers.

Mr. Neil Hamilton : I have no plans to do so.

Renewable Energy

Mr. Ainger : To ask the President of the Board of Trade when he will announce the new non-fossil fuel obligation orders for renewable energy sources.

Mr. Eggar : I hope to make an announcement soon about a further renewables order under the non-fossil fuel obligation.

Sizewell C

Mr. David Porter : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what discussions his Department has had with Nuclear Electric about plans for Sizewell C power station in Suffolk ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Eggar : I regularly meet the chairman and chief executive of Nuclear Electric to discuss a range of issues affecting the company, including the company's wish to build a twin pressurised water reactor station at Sizewell C.

Mr. David Porter : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment his Department has made of the economic and energy contributions to the national and local economies of building Sizewell C power station in Suffolk.

Mr. Eggar : No decisions about the construction of new nuclear stations beyond Sizewell B will be made before the Government review the future prospects for nuclear power. A further announcement about the review will be made in due course.

Mr. David Porter : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has received about (a) the nuclear energy review in general and (b) Sizewell C power station in Suffolk, in particular.

Mr. Eggar : I have received representations from the nuclear industry, local authorities, MPs, members of the public and other interested parties about the nuclear review, and about Nuclear Electric's proposals at Sizewell C.

Nuclear Industry

Mr. David Porter : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the future of the nuclear industry ; and when he expects to make further announcements on planning of individual power stations.

Mr. Eggar : An announcement about the review of the future prospects for nuclear power will be made in due course. No decisions about the construction of new nuclear stations beyond Sizewell B will be taken before the review has concluded.


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Company Directors

Mr. David Porter : To ask the President of the Board of Trade which statutes govern the responsibilities of administrative receivers called in to British companies, with particular reference to the realisation of the value of assets ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Neil Hamilton : The statutes which govern the responsibilities of administrative receivers are the Insolvency Act 1986, the Company Directors Disqualification Act and secondary legislation made thereunder. Certain duties including those in relation to the realisation of assets are governed by common law.

Technology Transfer

Mr. Gunnell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what funding followed the transfer of responsibility for technology transfer from the DTI to the Office of Science and Technology.

Mr. McLoughlin : There has been no movement of responsibility for technology transfer from DTI to the Office of Science and Technology--OST-- and therefore no transfer of funding.

The recent White Paper on science, engineering and technology--Cm 2250-- sets out mission statements for both the OST and DTI. Part of OST's role is to stimulate transfer of technology between the science and engineering base and industry, for example through the LINK programme. DTI continues to have a wider responsibility for technology transfer between industry and all other providers of science and technology whether based in the United Kingdom or overseas.

Regional Aid

Mr. Milburn : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to change the monitoring arrangements for firms that receive regional financial selective assistance.

Mr. Sainsbury : None.

Deregulation

Mr. Fatchett : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the membership, and where appropriate the relevant companies, of each of the working parties established under his deregulation initiative.

Mr. Neil Hamilton : A complete list of deregulation task force members is available in the Library of the House.

Mr. Fatchett : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the principles guiding the work of his Department's deregulation unit with specific reference to (a) the interests of consumers and (b) of employees.

Mr. Neil Hamilton : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Harrogate (Mr. Banks) on 7 July, Official Report, column 151.


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Assisted Areas

Mr. Fatchett : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the Industry Minister's meeting held on 8 July with the European Commissioner, Karel van Miert, on the subject of the draft United Kingdom assisted areas map.

Mr. Sainsbury : I met Vice-President van Miert on 8 July to discuss the Government's proposals for a new assisted areas map. The discussions were helpful and I hope that the Commission's clearance will be given in time for me to announce the results in the House before the summer recess.

Price Marking Order 1991

Mr. Patrick Thompson : To ask the President of the Board of Trade when he will bring forward proposals to amend the Price Marking Order 1991.

Mr. McLoughlin : My D epartment is going out to public consultation today on a draft amendment order, guidance note and compliance cost assessment on possible amendments to the Price Marking Order 1991. We wish to deal with the concerns which traders have raised. The aims of the amendment order would be to simplify existing provisions while reflecting more closely the EC directives which the order implements. Our proposals would allow complete flexibility on how prices may be shown subject only to meeting the basic obligation of the directives. They would also deal with some more detailed points such as indicating postage and packing charges and the time allowed to adjust individual price indications to take account of changes in the rate of VAT.

Some detailed provisions now considered to be outside the scope of the directives would be removed from the order. The treatment of goods in shop windows would be clarified, as would the position on price indications for perfumes and cosmetics.

These proposals are in line with our present policy of reviewing regulations and reducing the burden on business wherever practicable. But they also aim to have due regard to our obligations under the relevant EC directives and to the interests of the consumer, and by clarifying the position to assist enforcement.

We shall welcome views from all those who have an interest in them, but we would expect to proceed further only if in the light of consultation it is clear that amending legislation would produce worthwhile gain.

Comments are sought by 29 October 1993.

OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT

Regional Development Funds

Mr. Keith Hill : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of the British contribution to the regional development banks is used for projects that (a) directly benefit the poorest people in developing countries and (b) helps meet the goals established at the world summit for children.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : United Kingdom contributions are used to support the overall operations of regional development banks. It is not possible to estimate what proportion can be attributed to projects of this kind.


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FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Lockerbie Bomb

Mr. Gapes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what classes of information concerning the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie have not yet been released (a) to the relatives of the victims and (b) into the public domain.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Information of the following nature has not been released to the relatives of victims or otherwise into the public domain :

(1) information the protection of which is necessary to ensure effective security at present and in the future in the United Kingdom;

(2) information the disclosure of which would impair the effective investigation, detection and prosecution of crime in general; (3) information which is relevant to questions of criminal responsibility which may arise in criminal proceedings and the disclosure of which might prejudice criminal proceedings.

Thailand (Heroin Cases)

Mr. Burden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the strength of evidence that heroin was planted on Karen Smith and Patricia Cahill ; and if he has had an exchange of correspondence with the Prime Minister of Thailand on the cases.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We have seen no convincing evidence that the heroin was planted on the girls. Unsupported allegations of planted evidence, corruption and miscarriage of justice are irresponsible in themselves and damaging to the prospects for the girls' release. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister wrote in February 1993 to his Thai counterpart to support the girls' royal pardon petitions. In his reply, the Thai Prime Minister acknowledged our support for the petition and gave assurances that the Thai Government are doing their best for the girls' well-being.

Mr. Burden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action Her Majesty's Government are taking on the European Parliament's resolution of October 1991 calling for a re- examination of the case of Karen Smith.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We do not support the resolution. We have no reason to believe that either Karen Smith or Patricia Cahill had an unfair trial or were unjustly convicted. Both girls have been well treated in prison. Their sentences are long but by no means harsh compared with those given to others convicted of similar offences in Thailand. We want to help Karen Smith and Patricia Cahill take advantage of every opportunity that Thai law allows them to try to bring about their early release, and to this end we shall continue to do all we can for them.

Cyprus

Dr. Spink : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contact he has had with the United Nations Secretary-General regarding the failure of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktash, to agree a limited package of confidence-building measures ; and if he will make a statement on the Cyprus problem.


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Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Tooting (Mr. Cox) on 16 July, at column 727.

Yugoslavia

Mr. Elletson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many reports he has received from United Nations personnel of alleged rapes of Muslim women by Croatian forces since the beginning of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : None.

Mr. Elletson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from Lord Owen regarding the selective lifting of sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ; what is the Government policy on this issue ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : We are in regular contact with Lord Owen about a variety of issues on the former Yugoslavia, including the question of sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro. As Heads of Government made clear at the Tokyo economic summit on 7 to 9 July, sanctions will continue to be upheld against Serbia and Montenegro until conditions in the relevant Security Council resolutions are met.

Mr. Elletson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of Muslim forces using noxious gas against Croat forces in the villages of Prosje and Busovaca in central Bosnia ; if he will raise this activity at the next meeting of the United Nations Security Council ; and what representations he plans to make to the Government of President Izetbegovic.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : We have seen media reports alleging that Muslim forces used improvised grenades containing non-lethal riot control gas against Croats in central Bosnia. We deplore the use of such weapons which we believe are held by all three parties. Regular reports about fighting on the ground are submitted by UNPROFOR to the United Nations. We are not proposing to raise specific incidents of this kind in the Security Council, but we shall consider raising them in future discussions with Bosnian Government officials.

Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many of the monitors agreed by the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe are now in place in Kosovo ; which nations have contributed ; and when the remainder are expected to be in place.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : By 30 June 1993, the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe's long-term missions in Kosovo, Sandjak and Vojvodina consisted of 20 monitors from Norway, Canada, Finland, Sweden, France, Greece, United States of America, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Turkey, Japan and the United Kingdom. At that time, there were 10 monitors in Kosovo, one of whom was British. Belgrade having refused to renew the memorandum of understanding covering the missions, their future is in doubt and, as monitors have departed on leave or completion of assignment, they have not been replaced. There are now only 11 monitors in all three areas.


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The United Kingdom had provided two monitors and we had hoped to appoint a further three. The chairman in office of the CSCE remains in contact with Belgrade. We hope that agreement will be reached on renewal of the mandate and that the mission numbers will be built up once more.

Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reservations were expressed by the Japanese Government in regard to indefinite extension of the nuclear non- proliferation treaty during discussions held with Foreign Minister Kabun held at the G7 summit in Tokyo.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Like other members of the G7, the Japanese Government agreed to the political declaration of the summit which stated :

"We reiterate the objectives of universal adherence to the NPT as well as the Treaty's indefinite extension in 1995 and nuclear arms reduction."

Bilateral Treaty Obligations

Mr. Gill : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of whether the common foreign and security implication of all bilateral treaty obligations entered into by EC member states with non-EC countries are fully consistent with Britain's national interests ; and if he will conduct a systematic review of the bilateral treaty obligations of each EC member state with non -EC countries in order to ascertain whether Britain's interests are liable to be affected by the common foreign and security policy in the light of the effect of the declaration on voting in the field of the common foreign and security policy.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Under the common foreign and security policy, member states will reach agreed common positions by unanimity. The declaration on voting in the field of common foreign and security policy attached to the treaty on European union does not undermine this requirement for unanimity. Declarations are not part of the treaty, but evidence of a political commitment undertaken by the parties to the treaty. There is no need to conduct a review of the bilateral treaty obligations of individual member states with non-EC countries. Each member state will be responsible for ensuring that it can live up to commitments it makes under the common foreign and security policy, and where there is no agreement on common positions, member states will continue to be free to pursue national policies. The unanimity requirement means that the United Kingdom can ensure that all decisions taken under the common foreign and security policy are consistent with our national interests.

Tibet

Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action is proposed to be taken by the Council of Ministers on the resolution on Tibet which was passed recently by the European Parliament, with particular reference to regulations allowing journalists and international human rights agencies access to Tibet.

Mr. Goodlad : We are deeply concerned about the situation in Tibet, including the human rights issues


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mentioned in the European Parliament resolution, and are in close contact with our European Community partners about further measures to follow up the EC statement of 1 June. We support the principle of free access by journalists and humanitarian agencies.

Entry Clearance Applications (DNA Tests)

Mr. Gerrard : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the average time for the results of DNA tests taken for the purpose of establishing relationships in cases of entry clearance applications to become available to entry clearance officers in Islamabad.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The average time for the results of DNA tests to become available to entry clearance officers in Islamabad is three months.

Iran

Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 8 July, Official Report, column 240, how many women who are United Kingdom citizens are employed in any capacity in the British diplomatic service in Iran ; and what representations he has made to the Government of Iran on the subject of their obligations towards the Islamic dress code.

Mr. Goodlad : Three female diplomatic service staff and four female locally employed staff who are United Kingdom citizens are currently employed in the British embassy in Tehran.

We have made no representation to the Iranian Government about the obligation on female British diplomats to conform to Islamic dress code. All women in Iran have to observe the Islamic dress code when in public, including the female diplomats at all embassies.

Mr. Ghazanfer Ali

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his letter of 24 June to the hon. Member for Bradford, West concerning the case of Mr. Ghazanfer Ali, what information he has obtained about the outcome of the latest court proceedings in Pakistan held on 27 and 29 June ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The cases have been further adjourned to 31 July and 19 August respectively.

South Africa

Mr. Robert Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards United Nations, Commonwealth and European Community military sanctions and non-co-operation with South Africa ; and what restrictions are imposed under the sanctions on the landing of South African air force aircraft on British soil.


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