Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his policy, when considering publicly releasing documents submitted to the Scott inquiry by officials or former Ministers of his Department, on consulting Lord Justice Scott.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : It is the policy of this Department that all relevant papers from FCO files are submitted to Lord Justice Scott on request from the inquiry. The Department has also volunteered additional relevant papers.
Mr. Don Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the level of fighting in and around Sarajevo during the past month ; how many breaches of the ceasefire there have been during that period ; and if he will list the identities of parties who initiated the breach of ceasefire on each occasion where such information is available.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The level of fighting in Sarajevo continues to fluctuate. Both the Bosnian Government forces and the Bosnian Serbs have initiated attacks. There are no precise details on the numbers of ceasefire breaches and which party was responsible for them.
Mr. Don Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what attempts have been made by the United Nations to maintain or repair the electricity supply installations around Sarajevo during the past fortnight ; what was the result ; what representations have been made about hindrance to the work ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The United Nations protection force and the parties to the conflict are in constant touch about repairing utilities in Sarajevo. UNPROFOR engineers work hard to repair and maintain utilities, including electricity, when local conditions permit and the warring parties allow safe access.
Mr. Don Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment is made on a daily or weekly basis of the level of fighting throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina ; which areas are currently under the most intense conflict ; which areas have been under the most intense conflict during the past month ; which of the ethnic communities are principally involved in military clashes ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 302UNPROFOR troops and the European Community monitor mission. The conflict remains widespread in many areas in Bosnia. The most intense fighting in recent months has taken place in central Bosnia between Bosnian Government forces and the Bosnian Croats. We also remain particularly concerned about continued fighting between the Bosnian Government and the Bosnian Serbs around Sarajevo and the Muslim enclaves in eastern Bosnia.
Mr. Don Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what actions are required from (a) the Belgrade Government to ensure removal, or part removal, of United Nations and European Community sanctions and (b) the Croatian Government to avoid the implementation of either United Nations or European Community sanctions ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : United Nations Security Council resolution 820 envisages a review of sanctions after the Bosnian parties have reached a peace settlement and the Bosnian Serbs are judged to be co-operating in good faith with its implementation. EC Foreign Ministers also declared on 5 April that there could be gradual lifting of sanctions if the Bosnian Serbs met these conditions. Croatia remains on notice that it faces the threat of withdrawal of preferential EC trading benefits unless it co-operates with international efforts to resolve the conflicts in Bosnia and Croatia and uses its influence with the Bosnian Croats to ensure that they also co- operate.
Mr. Don Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans have been made for a new round of peace talks in London concerning the current conflict in the fomer Yugoslavia ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed the possibility of another international conference in separate meetings with Dr. Boutros Ghali and Mr. Stoltenberg on 25 October. There was agreement that a conference, probably in Geneva, may be useful in guiding the parties towards a settlement once significant further progress has been made, but that it would be premature to hold such a conference now.
Mr. Don Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what were the circumstances surrounding the attack on United Nations aid personnel near Novi Travnik on 25 October ; what were the circumstances of the attack ; and what casualties were sustained.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Three convoys, two carrying United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees aid and one resupplying UNPROFOR, came under fire south of Novi Travnik while negotiating passage through an HVO checkpoint. One Danish UNHCR employee was killed and eight United Nations aid personnel were wounded. The United Nations is investigating the circumstances and its report will be available soon. In the meantime, the UNHCR has suspended convoys in central Bosnia.
Mr. Don Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions of the situation in the former Yugoslavia he had with the Secretary-General of the United Nations during their recent meeting ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary- General of the United Nations, Dr. Boutros Ghali, discussed a wide range of issues covering the peace prospects in Bosnia, plans to hold a further international conference, sanctions on Serbia and Montenegro and the humanitarian situation in former Yugoslavia.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish the guidelines issued to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees airlift operations cell Geneva to cover the humanitarian airlift to Sarajevo.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The policy guidelines for movement into and out of Sarajevo by air are issued by UNHCR headquarters in Geneva. I have arranged for the hon. Member to receive a copy of the latest guidelines issued by UNHCR on 12 September.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consultations he had with the authorities in Sarajevo before formulating the guidelines issued to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees airlift operations cell Geneva to cover the humanitarian airlift to Sarajevo.
Mr. Don Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what date is envisaged for the return of the British ambassador to his post in Belgrade ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : When my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and I separately met the Montenegrin Foreign Minister on 25 October he assured us that his Government were trying to promote internal democracy and support efforts to reach a peaceful settlement of the conflicts in former Yugoslavia. Mr. Lekic also asked for a limited exemption from sanctions to help relieve a shortage of humanitarian supplies in Montenegro for refugees and the needy local population. We made it clear that the sanctions regime had to be rigorously enforced. We would, however, continue to support the delivery of humanitarian aid throughout former Yugoslavia, including Montenegro, whose humanitarian problems we recognised, on the basis of need.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what conclusions he has drawn from his recent visit to the Transcaucasus about the prospect of the economic blockade of Armenia being lifted.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : During my visit to the Transcaucasus I concluded that the humanitarian suffering caused by the conflicts in the region was growing worse. This points to the urgent need to resolve all disputes by negotiation.
The blockade of Armenia is contributing to the hardship. We want to see it lifted just as we want to see the Armenian blockade of Nakichevan lifted. Both steps are essential if lasting peace is to be secured.
Mr. Jenkin : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 27 October, Official Report, column 663, if he will set out the considerations underlying the decision not to publish a list of EC directives that the Government believe should be amended or repealed as a result of the application of subsidiarity.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : In discussions with the Commission and other member states over recent months about putting the principle of subsidiarity into effect, we have put forward a number of suggestions of directives, in force or proposed, which we believe should be amended, repealed or withdrawn on subsidiarity grounds. We shall continue to develop our ideas. It would be misleading to publish a list which implied that we had reached the limit of suggestions which we have to contribute, nor would this help to achieve our negotiating objectives. Ministers regularly make clear to the House their views on particular directives and proposals.
8 November : Education Council
8-9 November : Foreign Affairs Council
11 November : Internal Market Council
15 November : Budget Council
16-17 November : Agriculture Council
18 November : Industry Council
19 November : Consumer Council
22 November : ECOFIN Council
22 November : Fisheries Council
23 November : Social Affairs Council
29-30 November : Transport Council
29-30 November : Justice Council
The following subjects are likely to be discussed :
(a) Culture Council--5 November
European City of Culture
The economic aspects of culture and its role in creating employment
Fixed book price and status of the artist : report by presidency on the informal meeting of Ministers
Centenary of the cinema
Evaluation of the media programme
Information from the presidency on the Mons seminar of audio-visual Ministers followed by an exchange of views on the audio-visual sector and the GATT negotiations
(b) Education Council/Meeting of Education Ministers--8 November Student mobility and access to higher education in the Community (9324/93)
Green Paper on European dimension in education (COM(93)457 Final)
Column 305(c) Foreign Affairs Council--8-9 November
Follow-up to 29 October European Council
Access to information
EP committees of inquiry
Access negotiations : preparation of ministerial negotiating sessions
Relations with Turkey : agreement on Community position for association council
Trade policy questions
Trade policy instruments
Relations with Switzerland
Austria : state aid (possible)
Relation with Russia : revision of negotiating mandate for partnership agreement
Relation with Bulgaria : conclusion of interim agreement Relations with Morocco : negotiating mandate
Relations with Israel : negotiating mandate (possible)
(d) Internal Market Council--11 November
Operation of the internal market (possible)
Data protection (possible)
Equipment for use in explosive atmospheres (possible)
Personal protective equipment (possible)
Motor cycle type approval directives (possible)
Trans-European networks : declarations of European interest (possible)
Directive 83/189 on technical standards and regulations (10898/92) (possible)
Resolution on small and medium-sized enterprises
European company statute (possible)
(e) Budget Council--15 November
1994 draft budget
(f) Agriculture Council--16-17 November
(g) Industry Council--18 November
Possible decision on article 95 ECSC steel state aid cases ECSC funding
Competition policy : annual competition report Commission presentation
General follow-up to resolutions--aeronautics, automobiles, textiles and IT
SPRINT--strategic programme for innovation and technology transfer (g) Consumer Council--19 November
Timeshare directive--possible common position
Distance selling directive--orientation debate
Commission consumer action plan
Amendment to directive 79/112/EEC on food labelling
Transparency of cross-frontier payments
Green Paper on access to justice (possible)
Green Paper on guarantees and after-sales service
(h) ECOFIN Council--22 November
Preparation of the Brussels European Council (possible) EMU secondary legislation :
consideration of EP opinions
establishment of common positions on privileged access and monetary financing
Commission White Paper on growth, competitiveness and employment Broad guidelines of economic policy
Community participation in the European investment fund (4382/93 COM(93)3)
Relations with central and eastern Europe
BCCI directive (8365/93 COM(93)363)
UCITS (4901/93 COM(93)37)
7th VAT directive (possible)
(i) Fisheries Council--22 November