Mr. Atkins [holding answer 28 January 1994] : Under our producer responsibility initiative we are asking industry to take responsibility for ensuring that a significantly higher proportion of the wastes it produces is recovered for beneficial uses. In July 1993 we challenged the packaging industry to devise a plan to secure the recovery of between 50 per cent. and 75 per cent. of all packaging waste by the year 2000, compared with 34 per cent. currently being achieved ; we also asked it to take immediate steps to safeguard the United Kingdom recycling infrastructure for waste paper and board and plastics. In November, the producer responsibility group presented an interim report which committed the industry to providing support for these sectors until its full plan is implemented. PRG submitted a draft of its full plan for official consideration before Christmas. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment expects to receive a final version of the plan shortly.
The producer responsibility concept embraces industries responsible for a wide range of waste streams. In addition to the packaging industry, the Government have asked the newspaper, tyre, battery, electronic equipment and motor vehicle industries to devise plans.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 28 January 1994] : Up to the end of December 1993, Tyne and Wear development corporation created 12,230 gross jobs. The corporation does not keep information which would enable "jobs for youth" to be separately identified.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 28 January 1994] : The total private sector investment attracted by the corporation into the urban development area, to the end of December 1993, is almost £600 million. Expenditure by companies moving into the UDA from elsewhere in the United Kingdom or overseas is estimated at £65 million.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The United Kingdom has appointed ambassadors to all the countries of the former Soviet Union, some resident and some non- resident. Our ambassador in Moscow is at present accredited to Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan as well as Russia. He will shortly be giving up his responsibilities for Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, to which our ambassadors in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan respectively will be cross-accredited. We also have resident ambassadors in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine.
Mr. Carrington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress he has made in appointing a person, under section 10(3AA) of the Asylum and Immigration Appeal Act 1993, to monitor refusals of entry clearance where there is no right of appeal by virtue of section 10(3A) of the Act ; and in what manner the person appointed will discharge his or her functions.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : I have appointed Elizabeth Anson to be the first independent monitor. Lady Anson has been appointed for a period of three years ; she took up her duties with effect from 1 December and will make her first report before 30 November 1994, which I will lay before Parliament.
The monitor will look at a random sample of refusals of entry clearance where there is no statutory right of appeal as a result of the 1993 Act. She will consider whether the standards required by legislation or administrative practice, by which decisions are reached, are being applied correctly and fairly. During the early part of each year, she will visit a number of posts to assist her understanding of practice and procedure at overseas posts.
Column 483The review will be undertaken in London and will encompass all entry clearance posts. The sample will be drawn randomly and posts will not know in advance which cases have been chosen for review. It is not intended that the review should become an alternative appeals system ; nor will it be a procedure for applicants or sponsors to seek to have their decisions reviewed in individual cases. The monitor will have no powers to overturn decisions. It will be a further check on the standards which are being applied to decisions in entry clearance posts.
Sir Michael Neubert : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussion he has had with his French, German and American counterparts to improve the cohesion and effectiveness of the world community.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : My right hon. Friend is in frequent contact with his French, German and American counterparts on issues which could contribute to this cohesion and effectiveness. One of the most important is the Uruguay round trade negotiations, the successful conclusions of which will make a major contribution to economic growth in developing and developed countries alike.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will set out the methods by which NATO intends to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction ; and what is the definition of weapons of mass destruction agreed in this strategy.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The alliance's approach to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction does not seek to duplicate traditional preventive non-proliferation policies to which the United Kingdom Government remain committed. It will review what steps are necessary for the alliance to protect against and deter any threat to it from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, which in this context, include chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what policy proposals the United Kingdom plans to put to the resumed negotiations on a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty within the framework of the United Nations committee on disarmament, beginning in Geneva on 24 January ; what is the composition of the United Kingdom delegation ; and what is the timetable for the negotiations.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : A detailed statement of our approach to the negotiations was made by Sir Michael Weston, the head of the United Kingdom delegation to the conference on disarmament, on 25 January. A copy will be placed in the Library of the House. Our aim will be to make good speed towards the conclusion of an effective treaty. The conference on disarmament proceeds by consensus, and the timetable for negotiations will therefore depend on the speed with which agreement can be reached on the key
Column 484elements of the treaty. But we continue to doubt that fixing a firm deadline for the achievement of a treaty will promote the chances of a successful outcome to the negotiations. Our delegation will be supported as necessary by officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence, and staff from the Atomic Weapons Establishment.
Mr. Butcher : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will raise with the Iranian ambassador the decision of the Iranian Government to execute Mehdi Dibaj for converting to Christianity ; and if he will strongly urge the Iranian Government to reverse this decision.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The European Union, with our full support, has raised the case of Rev. Mehdi Dibaj with the Iranian authorities in Tehran and Geneva. We have also made clear to the Iranian embassy in London our concern at the death sentence passed on him. We understand that Rev. Dibaj has been released on bail but that his case is still before the Iranian supreme court. The European Union will continue to follow his case closely.
Mr. Goodlad : None. On behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the British Council regularly organises and supports exhibitions of British photography. It has 16 such exhibitions already scheduled for this year and another five under preparation. It has also bought a large number of photographs for the British Council collection.
Mr. Goodlad : The rooms of the Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office comprise his own office, his private offices and a waiting room. There are 45 paintings or prints and 21 photographs on the walls of these rooms.
Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which members of the European Union accept the British visitor's passport as a travel document for entry into their country.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : All members of the European Union currently accept the British visitor's passport for entry into their countries, except Ireland which forms part of a common travel area with the United Kingdom.
Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the kingdom of Spain about the future acceptance of the British visitor's passport ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The British embassy in Madrid expressed concern to the Spanish authorities at the time they announced their intention to withdraw recognition of the British visitor's passport. Further representations will shortly be made by Her Majesty's ambassador. I shall write to the right hon. Member when the outcome of these representations is known.
Dr. John Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish the protocol signed with the Government of Malaysia in March 1988 which included references to aid and defence equipment sales ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hurd : It is established practice that confidential documents exchanged between Governments on such matters as defence sales should not be published. The Government will co-operate fully with the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs in the inquiry which it announced on 26 January.
Dr. John Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when Her Majesty's Government began discussions with the Government of Malaysia about the construction of a military base at Mersing in Malaysia ; whether such discussions took place concurrently with talks about his Department's funding for the Pergau dam project ; and if he will make a statement.
The application from the British consortium for support from the aid and trade provision for the Pergau hydro-electric project was received in November 1988.
Discussions of the two issues were entirely independent of each other and have remained so.
British-registered companies to Azerbaijan.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe's embargo on the supply of arms to the parties to the Nagorno- Karabakh dispute still applies. We adhere to this fully and have not approved licences for the export of any military equipment to Azerbaijan or Armenia. Nor will we do so.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what policies exist over the supplying of arms and military equipment to Azerbaijan and Armenia ; when such policies were implemented ; whether there have been changes in policy ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Since February 1992, a voluntary CSCE embargo has been in place on the supply of military equipment to the parties in the Nagorno-Karabakh. We have stood by the terms of this embargo and will continue to do so.
As I made clear in my answer to the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) on 28 January, Official Report, column 468, it would be a serious matter if a British company were found to be breaking this embargo.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions have taken place with (a) United Kingdom companies and (b) persons acting as their representatives or consultants about the possible supply of arms and mercenaries to Azerbaijan ; if he will name each such company or persons ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Bournemouth, East (Mr. Atkinson) of 17 January, Official Report, columns 354-55, if he will list for each Council of Europe convention and agreement mentioned the lead Department in the British Government.
Department of the Environment
European outline convention on transfrontier co-operation between territorial communities or authorities (1980)
European charter of local self-government (1985)
Convention on civil liability for damage resulting from activities dangerous to the environment (1993)
Department for Education
European convention on the general equivalence of periods of university study (1990)
Department of Health
Agreement on the transfer of corpses (1973)
Arrangement for the application of the European agreement of 17 October 1980 concerning the provision of medical care to persons during temporary residence (1988)
Department of National Heritage
European convention on offences relating to cultural property (1985)
Department of Transport
European convention on compulsory insurance against civil liability in respect of motor vehicles (1959)
European convention on the international effects of deprivation of the right to drive a motor vehicle (1976)
Department of Trade and Industry
Agreement relating to application of the European convention on international commercial arbitration (1962)
European convention providing a uniform law of arbitration (1966) European convention on establishment of companies (1966) European convention on foreign money liabilities (1967) European convention on the place of payment of money liabilities (1972)
European convention on civil liability for damage caused by motor vehicles (1973)
European convention on products liability in regard to personal injury and death (1977)
European convention on certain international aspects of bankruptcy (1990)
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
European convention on consular functions (1967)
European convention on the supervision of conditionally sentenced or conditionally released offenders (1964)
European convention on the punishment of road traffic offences (1964)
European convention on "au pair" placement (1969)
Column 487European convention on the international validity of criminal judgments (1970)
European convention on the repatriation of minors (1970) European convention on the transfer of proceedings in criminal matters (1972)
European convention on the non-applicability of statutory limitation to crimes against humanity and war crimes (1974) European Convention on the legal status of migrant workers (1977) European convention on the control of the acquisition and possession of firearms by individuals (1978)
European convention for the protection of pet animals (1987) European charter on regional or minority languages
Convention on mutual administration assistance in tax matters (1988)
Lord Chancellor's Department
European Convention on the calculation of time limits (1972) European convention on the service abroad of documents relating to administrative matters (1977)
European convention on the obtaining abroad of information and evidence in administrative matters (1978)
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
European Convention for the protection of animals for slaughter (1979)
Department of Social Security
European convention on social security (1972)
Supplementary agreement to the European convention on social security (1972)
European code of social security (Revised) (1990)
(2) what action he has taken to express Her Majesty's Government's view about the continued military dictatorship in Nigeria ; and what international action he is urging.
The measures aimed at the Nigerian military announced then, in concert with our partners in the European Union, remain in force. We continue to consult closely with our partners and are keeping these measures under review.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost of advertising by his Department has been for each year since 1979 and for each of the last 12 months.