Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many independent inspections of the magistrates courts system he estimates will be employed ; and what is his estimate of their annual pay.
4 Senior Inspectors
The inspectorate's annual salary budget in 1994-95 for these 17 individuals will be £867,492.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many magistrates' clerks committees the Lord Chancellor has met in (a) England and (b) Wales ; and if he will list each venue he has visited and organisation he has met.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The Lord Chancellor has not attended any formal meetings of magistrates courts committees, nor have all the members of any magistrates' courts committee attended a meeting with him. However, during his visits to magistrates courts, meetings with representative bodies from the service, meeting with magistrates and staff from particular areas and attendance as a speaker at gatherings of magistrates, he has met and talked to members of various magistrates courts committees.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The provision of magistrates court house accommodation is a matter for the courts committee for the area concerned in conjunction with the local paying authority. The Department has no central record of the number of magistrates courthouses that have been closed or are scheduled to be closed. A local authority that is aggrieved by a decision of a magistrates court committee to close a courthouse has the right of appeal to the Lord Chancellor. In 1993 the Lord Chancellor dealt with six appeals.
Column 454service, about how the service in their area is organised. It is likely that costs will vary between magistrates courts committee areas, according to their decisions taken in the light of local circumstances.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The objectives of the reforms set out in the White Paper "A New Framework for Local Justice" included yielding improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of the service, and securing maximum co-operation in the management of the service with other parts of the criminal justice system. The Government believe that a reduction in the number of areas from the present 105 to 50 to 60 would provide a good balance between the local character of the service and operational needs.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The Lord Chancellor has received approximately 300 letters from members of the magistrates courts service and other interested bodies, the majority of which were from serving magistrates. However, it is not possible to give an accurate figure of the number of magistrates that have written to the Lord Chancellor since this information is not recorded.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many representations he has received on the White Paper, "A New Framework for Local Justice" ; and if he will list each organisation that responded.
Mr. John M. Taylor : In addition to 964 responses to the consultation documents issued by his Department the Lord Chancellor has received in the region of 950 representations on the White Paper, comprising approximately 650 letters from honourable Members and approximately 300 letters from members of the magistrates' courts service and other interested bodies, the majority of which were from serving magistrates. He has also received personal representations from 10 magistrates. A list of the organisations that responded appears at the back of each of the consultation documents. Copies of these documents are available in the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list those persons and organisations that have protested to him concerning (a) judicial independence, (b) chief justices clerks, (c) fixed-term contracts and (d) performance-related pay.
Mr. John M. Taylor : In addition to 964 responses to the consultation documents issued by his Department the Lord Chancellor has received in the region of 950 letters about the White Paper, comprising approximately 650 from hon. Members and approximately 300 from members of the magistrates courts service and other interested bodies. However, it is not possible to break down these figures into the specific topics requested since the information has not been recorded in this form.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what assessment the Lord Chancellor has made of the extent of consultation on the White Paper, "A New Framework for Local Justice" ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John M. Taylor : Since the publication of the White Paper "A New Framework for Local Justice" in February 1992, 11 consultative documents on various aspects of the reforms have been issued. The reforms have also regularly been discussed by the Magistrates' Courts Consultative Council. The Lord Chancellor has taken careful note of respondents' comments in reaching conclusions about how the White Paper will be implemented.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The cost of establishing and of running annually the magistrates courts service inspectorate is estimated to be £1.005 million for the set-up costs in 1993-94 and £1.8 million a year in subsequent years when the inspectorate will be fully operational and undertaking a full programme of inspections. This does not include overhead costs, such as general accommodation and other charges, which are not separately identified and which are met from a central budget.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The majority of magistrates are unpaid lay volunteers, so there is no possibility that they could have fixed-term contracts or performance-related pay. There is no proposal that stipendiary magistrates should be placed on fixed-term contracts or that their pay should be linked to their performance.
Mr. John M. Taylor : Since the inspectorate is operationally independent of the Lord Chancellor's Department, the training of the inspectors is being undertaken by the chief inspector and her senior management team. It builds on the existing competencies of the inspectors who have been recruited from a wide range of backgrounds.
The Prime Minister : Records of representations from members of the public in the form of correspondence on this and other topics that have been received by my office since November 1990, and to which I or my office have replied, have been retained. No records exist prior to April 1989.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister if any request has been made by (a) Lord Justice Scott or (b) members of the public to Her Majesty's Government to permit cameras and tape recorders to be taken into and used in the Scott inquiry.
Mr. Winnick : To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has received and from whom in the last six months that the terms of reference or the workings of the Scott inquiry into arms for Iraq should be modified or changed.
The Prime Minister : In the last six months I have answered a written question from the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Smith) concerning a change to the procedures of the inquiry, and a letter from the hon. Member for Coventry, South-East (Mr. Cunningham) seeking an extension to the inquiry's terms of reference. I have received no other requests for changes.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Prime Minister how many official Christmas cards were sent out in 1993 by (a) himself, (b) civil servants and (c) staff of Government agencies working in or to his office ; and how much these cards cost (i) to buy, (ii) to post and (iii) in staff time to sign, address and place in envelopes.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister what records are held at 10 Downing street of a telephone conversation made between his predecessor and Mr. Frank Machon in regard to arms sales in January 1989.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Prime Minister if he will publish a full list of all statements he has made, and/or press notices issued by his Department, which referred to a possible completion date for the channel tunnel rail link, the dates on which each such statement was made and the possible completion date which was mentioned.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Prime Minister if he will publish a full list of all statements he has made and/or press notices issued by his Department, which referred to a possible completion date for the crossrail project, the dates on which each such statement was made and the possible completion date which was mentioned.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Prime Minister what information he has received from the Irish Republic concerning its decision not to renew section 31 of the Irish Broadcasting Act 1960 ; when he received copies of guidelines issued to the staff of Irish broadcasting organisations following the non-renewal of section 31 ; what action he proposes concerning section 10 of the Broadcasting Act 1990 ; what representations he has received concerning households in the United Kingdom receiving television and radio broadcasts originating in the Irish Republic and observing different broadcasting requirements ; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : The Irish Government's announcement of their decision was made immediately available to us, together with relevant background information. So far as the United Kingdom Broadcasting restrictions are concerned, I refer to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick) on 17 January, Official Report, column 369. I have not received any representations concerning the reception of broadcasts originating in the Irish Republic.
Mr. Goodlad : The legislation for the 1994-95 election arrangements in Hong Kong will need to be passed into law by the Hong Kong Legislative Council by the time the Council rises for its summer recess in July.
The Council is currently considering the first stage of the legislation. The timing for the introduction of the second stage has yet to be decided.
Ms Jowell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received on the cases of Salamat, Manzoor and Rehmat Masih, three Christians held in Gujiran-wala central gaol, Pakistan under the blasphemy laws ; and what action he has taken.
Column 458have often raised with the Pakistani authorities. Most recently, I expressed our concern when I visited Pakistan last November. All three Christians have now been released on bail. Dates have not yet been set for their cases to be heard.
Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish for each service that has been market tested in his Department in 1993 (a) the cost of the testing process, including consultancy costs, (b) the result of the test, (c) the name of the successful contractor, (d) the value and duration of the contract, (e) the number of staff involved, (f) estimated annual cost reductions and (g) whether the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 were deemed to apply.
Mr. Goodlad : My Department is currently analysing the outcome of the 1992-93 "Competing for Quality" programme with the efficiency unit in the Cabinet Office. Much of the information requested in the question will, once it has been finalised, be published in aggregate form in the "Citizen's Charter Second Report".
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to the German authorities about the possible prosecution of Major General Mohnke.
Ms Jowell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what preparations Her Majesty's Government have made for the 1995 World summit for social development in Copenhagen ; and what progress has been made on the UN proposals for the establishment of a national committee on the summit.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The United Kingdom intends to participate fully and constructively in preparations for the World summit for social development to ensure that it is a success. We are holding inter- departmental discussions to formulate the United Kingdom's approach to the summit, and have submitted a national report to the summit secretariat in New York to feed into the preparatory process. We have no plans at present to establish a national committee on the summit. We will review this question following the first preparatory committee of the summit in February.
Mr. Robert Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his estimate of the total number of people killed in former Yugoslavia since the break-up of that country.
Ms Abbott : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards the occupation of Tibet by China and to the reported human rights abuses there.
Mr. Goodlad : The situation in Tibet is a matter of serious concern. We and our European Union partners regularly raise human rights with the Chinese authorities, urging them to conform to internationally recognised standards of behaviour. We also encourage the Chinese authorities to enter, without pre-conditions, into a real dialogue with the Tibetans, including the Dalai Lama, as the best means of achieving greater autonomy for the people of Tibet.
Mr. Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 17 December 1993 to the hon. Member for High Peak (Mr. Hendry), Official Report , columns 968-69 , if he will place in the Library copies of (a) the Council's code of conduct governing public access to public documents and (b) the Council's code of conduct on the publication of formal votes.
The code of conduct concerning public access to Council and Commission documents agreed by the Council on 6 December ; The Council decision on public access to Council documents, adopted on 20 December ;
The amendments to articles 5(1) and 7(5) of the Rules of Procedure, on making votes public, agreed by the Council on 6 December, together with the code of conduct for the implementation of those articles by the Council.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answers of 16 December 1993, Official Report , column 769 , what progress there has been in obtaining a response from the Turkish authorities to the representations made by Her Majesty's Government regarding the maltreatment of Manchester United supporters by Turkish police officers and others.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : In his reply to the letter of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of 2 December the Turkish ambassador reported that details of the main allegations made by Manchester United supporters have been passed to the Ministry of the Interior in Ankara for an inquiry. The ambassador has promised to let my right hon. Friend have the results of the inquiry as soon as they are known.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he will make arrangements for the Data Protection Registrar to inspect relevant contracts with suppliers of IT services that involve the use of personal data held by his Department in order to check whether all
Column 460appropriate arrangements in relation to the Data Protection Act 1984 have been made, and whether such contracts make provisions for the registrar to make random inspections in order to check the suppliers' compliance with the eighth data protection principle.
Mr. Waldegrave : The Data Protection Registrar's powers are such that I do not consider such arrangements are necessary. Should he so wish, the registrar may inspect the one contract we have with an IT services supplier that involves the use of personal data held by my Department.
This relates to the "Charterline" service run on the citizens charter units behalf by IBM (UK) Ltd. at its Havant offices ; this service was registered under the Data Protection Act 1984 in June 1993.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on progress made in the European Community in setting a target date after which the use of wild-caught primates in research will be prohibited ; and when the group of national competent authorities established under directive 86/609 will make a statement on this subject.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The group of national competent authorities established under directive 86/609 has been giving active consideration to the problems associated with the elimination of the use of wild-caught primates in research, but I cannot at this stage predict what the outcome of their deliberations will be.
Ms Lynne : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made as to the possibility of the EU becoming self- sufficient in breeding primates for its research purposes within the next five years ; what resources are available for this purpose ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The European Commission is now collating statistics on animal use and the availability of breeding stock but it is unlikely that the EU will be self-sufficient within the next five years.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the projects now under (a) development and (b) consideration at Her Majesty's prison Ford, West Sussex, the cost of each project and if funding for each project has been approved and granted.
Column 461Letter from Mr. A. Butler to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 18 January 1994 :
HM Prison Ford
The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about the projects under development and consideration at HM Prison Ford. Work is currently being carried out to lay a new floor in the kitchen at an overall cost of £260,000. The sanitary recesses in A Wing are being refurbished at a cost of £10,000 per recess. Projects under consideration include a new kitchen and dining facility, the options for which are currently being examined ; the replacement of the sewage works at a cost of around £1 million ; and the upgrading of the hutted accommodation. Design work has also been completed on a new sportshall, the estimated cost of which is £1.1 million. No funding has as yet been allocated for any of these schemes.
Mr. Maclean : In reaching a judgment about the productivity and efficiency of the probation service I shall have regard to the service's key performance indicators, as set out in the three year plan for 1994-97, a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. Shore : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if nationals of the European Union and of the European Economic Area have the right to enter the United Kingdom (a) without an offer of employment but with the intention of looking for employment, (b) without the