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Written Answers to Questions

Friday 11 February 1994

OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT

Non-governmental Organisations

Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the annual official development assistance by calendar year, through the joint funding scheme for NGOs, from its inception to the latest year for which data are available.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Annual official development assistance through the joint funding scheme is collated by financial year. The following table illustrates funding provided to NGOs, from the first full year of its operation :


Financial year |Totals (£)                   

---------------------------------------------

1976-77        |291,407                      

1977-78        |622,234                      

1978-79        |1,331,566                    

1979-80        |1,556,267                    

1980-81        |1,411,936                    

1981-82        |2,543,199                    

1982-83        |2,359,744                    

1983-84        |2,381,731                    

1984-85        |3,794,882                    

1985-86        |4,882,584                    

1986-87        |5,812,641                    

1987-88        |7,954,000                    

1988-89        |11,686,000                   

1989-90        |16,631,000                   

1990-91        |20,061,000                   

1991-92        |23,159,000                   

1992-93        |28,000,000                   

<1>1993-94     |29,000,000                   

<1> (Estimated).                             

Colombia

Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretray of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he will take to ensure that the aid programme to Colombia meets the declared objectives of British aid and, in particular, to ensure that the aid programme addresses the specific needs of the poorest people in Colombia.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The aid programme for Colombia comprises entirely technical co-operation. We will continue to support activities aimed at aid programme priorities, including good government, renewable natural resource mangement and human resource development. The Columbia programme will therefore include projects with an indirect impact on poverty, as well as those with a more direct role, particularly those undertaken through non- governmental organisations within the joint funding scheme.


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Sudan

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent restrictions have been placed on the supply of humanitarian aid to and movement of humanitarian aid by international aid agencies within the Sudan.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : In recent months, both the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Army have restricted access by aid agencies to some areas of need. International non-governmental organisations and the UN have difficulty securing permission to travel which prevents needs assessments and monitoring missions from taking place. In addition, the Government of Sudan have failed to meet their pledged food aid contribution for 1993. We continue to press all parties to lift restrictions on the international aid effort.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Colombia

Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will raise the question of the people called disposables in Colombia with the Government of Colombia at the earliest opportunity.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : When I met the Colombia Foreign Trade Minister on 3 February, I made clear the concerns felt in Britain over this question and urged the Colombian Government to take effective measures to tackle the problem.

Yugoslavia

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library copies of communications submitted to the United Nations Security Council sanctions committee 724 on United Kingdom compliance with the United Nations embargo on arms and military equipment sales to the former Yugoslavia.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The United Kingdom has not been required to submit details of compliance to the United Nations sanctions committee established pursuant to United Nations Security Council resolution 724.

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has received from the United Nations regarding the countries of design and manufacture of shells, mortars and bullets used against citizens of cities in Bosnia designated as having special protected status by the United Nations.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : None.

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment has been made by Her Majesty's Government since the establishment of the European Community's embargo on arms and military equipment exports to the former Yugoslavia, of 5 July 1991, of the effectiveness of the embargo in regard to United Kingdom exports.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : No assessment has been made.

We believe the embargo is being applied effectively in regard to exports from the United Kingdom. The


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Department of Trade and Industry applies a rigorous export licence policy. Her Majesty's Customs and Excise, which are responsible for the control of exports, make a careful check on all exports destined for the former Republic of Yugoslavia.

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the implementation of United Nations Security Council resolution 724 of 15 December 1991 on the establishment of a sanctions committee to monitor the export embargo on military sales to the former Yugoslavia.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Following the passage of United Nations Security Council resolution 724 on 15 December 1991 a sanctions committee was established to advise on all aspects of the arms embargo against the former Republic of Yugoslavia. This committee has been empowered by subsequent resolutions to act as point of reference for all matters relating to sanctions against the former Republic of Yugoslavia. The committee meets on a weekly basis.

EU Committee of the Regions

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures he proposes to ensure close contact and liaison with the European Union Committee of the Regions.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : I met United Kingdom members and alternate members of the Committee on 8 December last year. We discussed the role of the EC Committee of the Regions and contacts between United Kingdom members and the Government. Our permanent representation in Brussels has already been in contact with United Kingdom members and will provide a regular contact point for them, as well as following the work of the Committee as a whole. The Cabinet Office will co-ordinate contacts between Committee members and home Departments and supervise any briefing requirements.

Nuclear Weapons

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the present United Kingdom nuclear explosive capability in its nuclear weapons inventory ; and what it was in 1970.

Mr. Aitken : I have been asked to reply.

1970 was a period of transition for the United Kingdom's nuclear weapons inventory, with one generation of weapons being withdrawn and a new generation introduced. We are now in another period of transition, as around half our nuclear free-fall bombs have been withdrawn from the operational inventory and the first Trident submarine will soon enter operational service. It has been the long-standing practice of successive Governments not to give details of operational warheads or yields, but in broad terms, the total explosive power of the United Kingdom's operational nuclear inventory is currently about half of what it was in 1970.


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DUCHY OF LANCASTER

Public Bodies

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster who are the members currently appointed to the political honours scrutiny committee.

Mr. Waldegrave : The present members of the political honours scrutiny committee are :

The Lord Pym MC DL (Chairman)

The Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos CH

The Lord Thomson of Monifieth KT DL

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster who are the members currently appointed to the Advisory Council on Science and Technology.

Mr. Waldegrave : Last year's White Paper on science, engineering and technology announced that a new Council for Science and Technology would replace the Advisory Council on Science and Technology. The members of the Council for Science and Technology are :

Professor William Stewart FRS FRSE

Professor Sushantha Bhattacharyya FEng

Professor Sir Aaron Klug FRS

Sir Robin Nicholson FRS FEng

Dr. Bridget Ogilvie FBiol

Sir Ralph Robins FEng FRAes

Dr. Alan Rudge FRS FEng

Professor Stewart Sutherland FBA

Sir Richard Sykes

Mr. John Towers

Dr. Peter Williams CBE

Public Appointments

Dr. Wright : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how often a review is undertaken of the names on the public appointments unit central list ; and how many of these names have been on the list for (a) more than five years, (b) two to five years and (c) under two years.

Mr. David Davies : The public appointments unit has completed a first review of the names on the central list, and in future aims to ensure that the information held about individuals is reviewed and updated every two years. Information about the length of time that names have been held on the list is not recorded.

Daresbury and Rutherford Appleton Laboratories

Mr. Paice : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how the Daresbury and Rutherford Appleton laboratories will be affected as a result of the planned changes to the research councils.

Mr. Waldegrave : I am currently examining the future structure and organisation of the Rutherford Appleton and Daresbury laboratories, which are at present part of the Science and Engineering Research Council. From 1 April 1994, as an interim step consequent on the splitting of SERC into the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council, the two laboratories will be run as a combined operation under the auspices of the new EPSRC. In the longer term I am looking to put the two laboratories on a more indepedent footing to enable them better to serve their customers and users from the research councils, universities and industry. Given the high regard in which the Rutherford Appleton and Daresbury laboratories are


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held, both nationally and internationally, it is important that we consider carefully what changes should be made to their status as a result of the reorganisation of the research council system. The Government have developed a standard set of tests on how Government-funded work can best be organised, known as "prior options". In the 1993 next steps review--Cm 2430--we announced new procedures to encourage those in outside organisations with innovative ideas about how such functions can best be discharged to put them forward. These procedures for "prior options" review and outside involvement apply, where appropriate, to executive non-departmental public bodies, such as the Daresbury and Rutherford Appleton laboratories.

The "prior options" tests consider whether the functions provided by the organisation continue to be needed, in whole or in part ; whether responsibility for the activity needs to remain in the public sector ; and whether some or all of the functions provided should be contracted out or market tested. The consultants KPMG have conducted a preliminary study of these issues. In common with the recent National Audit Office report, they found much to admire at the laboratories. They have advised that there is a need for the services which the laboratories provide, and that privatisation would not represent a sensible option. In considering this advice, I wish to take account of the widest possible range of views. I am therefore inviting organisations and individuals who may have ideas or proposals as to how the Daresbury and Rutherford Appleton laboratories should be organised in future to submit them to the Director General of the Research Councils in my Department. The results of this review will be taken into account in the wider scrutiny of public sector research establishments which I announced to the House on 2 February, Official Report, columns 896-97.

EMPLOYMENT

Public Bodies

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment who are the members currently appointed to each of the industrial tribunals.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : A list of the lay members of the industrial tribunals was placed in the Library in January.

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment who are the members currently appointed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The Employment Appeal Tribunal consists of both judicial and lay members. The president is the Honourable Mr. Justice Mummery, a High Court judge. A judge of the Court of Session--the Honourable Lord Coulsfield--sits at the EAT in Scotland and there are also visiting judges in England and Wales. The judges are nominated in England and Wales by the Lord Chancellor from among the judges of the High Court and the Court of Appeal and in Scotland by the Lord President of the Court of Session from among the judges of that court. The lay members are appointed by Her Majesty the Queen on the joint recommendation of the Secretary of State for Employment and the Lord Chancellor. A list of the lay members has been placed in the Library.


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Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment who are the members currently appointed to the board of the Commissioner for the Rights of Trade Union Members.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : There is no such board.

Statutory Minimum Wage

Mr. Spellar : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his answer of 18 January, Official Report, column 548, what is the sectoral breakdown of his estimate of jobs lost as a result of a statutory minimum wage.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : There is no sectoral breakdown of that estimate. In order to calculate such a figure, reliable information is needed about the relationship between pay and employment. Information on this relationship is available for the whole economy, but not for individual industries.

Special Employment Measures

Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list each of the main United Kingdom special employment measures since 1970 ; if he will give the date when the scheme came into operation and its date of closure if it is still not running, and the annual and cumulative amount of public expenditure spent on each scheme ; and if he will detail the annual and total number of claimants helped under each scheme.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The information requested is not kept centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Unemployment Benefit

Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what has been the cost of administering unemployment benefit in the London travel-to-work area in each of the past five years.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mrs. Bridget Prentice, dated 11 February 1994 :

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question concerning the cost of administering unemployment benefit in the London travel to work area in each of the past five years. It may be helpful if I explain that the Employment Service (ES) has responsibility for delivering a number of benefits in addition to unemployment benefit, as well as a range of other services to people seeking employment and training opportunities. Therefore, the figures I have provided relate to the costs of delivering the full range of our services in London.

It has not been possible to provide the information you seek for the full five year period. For audit purposes, the ES retains financial records of running costs for the proceeding three financial years. Additionally, the organisation of the ES Region responsible for London, the London and South East Region, has undergone considerable re-organisation during this period. I am therefore only able to provide comparable figures for the financial years 1991-92, 1992-93 and 1993-94 (projected figures). These figures relate to the ten ES areas which cover London. There are currently 15 ES areas within the London and South East Region ; nine of which serve London and the remainder the Shires


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surrounding it. These figures exclude fixed premises costs, ie the costs of leasing and purchasing premises and the associated running costs, as the method of collecting this information has changed considerably over the last three years.

Given these provisions, the relevant costs, which include staff salary and other running costs such as fuel and telecommunications, are as follows :


               |£                            

---------------------------------------------

1991-92        |89,467,057                   

1992-93        |105,609,559                  

1993-94        |<1>128,646,766               

<1>Projected.                                

I must emphasise that these figures are not strictly comparable. As you may be aware, since 1990 the ES has been pursuing a policy of bringing together Unemployment Benefit Offices and Jobcentres with the aim of providing a more efficient and effective service to our clients. Individual ES staff are responsible for all aspects of ES work and it is not possible to provide accurate or meaningful breakdowns of the costs of specific activities.

I hope this is helpful.

Trade Unions

Mr. Peter Bottomley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment which trade unions have made representations to him in the last 10 years on whether campaigning on issues including pensions, health and safety, and job conditions has to be paid for out of a political fund.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : I am unaware of any such representations. A trade union does not need a political fund unless it wishes to spend money on electoral or other party political activities.

Deregulation

Mr. Barron : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many employers have been prosecuted, since April 1986, under each of the regulations identified as candidates for revocation in his press notice 154/93 of 20 July 1993.

Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 9 February 1994] : The number of employers prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive's field operations division's inspectors, since April 1986, under each of the regulations identified as candidates for revocation in the Employment Department press notice of 20 July are set out in the following tables. The aim of any repeals or revocations will be to increase the effectiveness of the regulatory regime, which will include continuing to prosecute employers who fall below acceptable standards of health and safety.


Regulations                                           |Number of              

                                                      |employers              

                                                      |prosecuted             

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Flax and Tow Spinning and Weaving Regulations                             

                                                      |1906                   

The Hemp Spinning and Weaving Regulations 1907        |<1>None                

The Cotton Cloth Factories Regulations 1929           |<1>None                

The Cotton Cloth (Record of Humidity) Regulation                              

1964                                                  |None                   

The Homework Order 1911                               |None                   

The Homework Order 1912                               |None                   

The Homework Order 1913                               |None                   

The Homework (Lampshades) Order 1929                  |None                   

The Homework Orders Variation Order 1938              |None                   

The Agriculture (Poisonous Substances) Act 1952       |None                   

The Agriculture (Ladders) Regulations 1957            |5                      

The Agriculture (Poisonous Substances) (Extension)                            

Order 1965                                            |None                   

The Agriculture (Poisonous Substance) (Extension)                             

Order 1966                                            |None                   

The Agriculture (Poisonous Substances) Act 1952                               

(Repeals and Modifications) Regulations 1975          |None                   

The Breathing Apparatus etc. (Report on Examination)                          

Order 1961                                            |None                   

The Shipbuilding (Reports on Breathing Apparatus)                             

Order 1961                                            |None                   

The Dangerous Machines (Training of Young Persons)                            

Order 1961                                            |None                   

The Prescribed Dangerous Machines Order 1964          |None                   

The Agriculture (Circular Saws) Regulations 1959      |<2><3>2                

The Abrasive Wheels Regulations 1970                  |<2><3>11               

The Factories Act 1961:                                                       

   Section 21                                         |<3>28                  

   Section 30                                         |<4>41                  

   Section 68                                         |1                      

   Section 133                                        |None                   

The Shipbuilding and Ship-repairing Regulations 1960:                         

   Regulations 48-52                                  |<4>1                   

   Regulations 60-65                                  |None                   

The Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act 1963:                             

   Section 19                                         |<3>None                

The Construction (General Provisions) Regulations                             

1961: regulation 21                                   |<4>None                

The Docks Regulations 1988: regulation 18             |<4>None                

Notes:                                                                        

<1> These regulations were largely revoked by the Workplaces (Health, Safety  

and Welfare) Regulations 1992. The latter apply to new workplaces immediately 

and to existing workplaces from 1 January 1996.                               

<2> These regulations were largely revoked by the Provision and Use of Work   

Equipment Regulations 1992. The revocations are effective for new equipment   

immediately and for existing work equipment from 1 January 1997. It is not    

possible to identify how many prosecutions have been taken under the parts of 

the Regulations that are revoked by the Provision and Use of Work Equipment   

Regulations.                                                                  

<3> The remaining provisions relate the training of operators. Proposals for  

their consolidation into one set of training requirements under more modern   

legislation are currently being considered by the Health and Safety           

Commission.                                                                   

<4> These provisions cover entry into confined spaces. Proposals for their    

consolidation into one set of requirements for confined spaces under more     

modern legislation are currently being considered by the Health and Safety    

Commission.                                                                   

NATIONAL FINANCE

Top Salaries Review Body

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer who are the members currently appointed to the Top Salaries Review Body.

Mr. Portillo : As announced in the Official Report, 26 July 1993, column 559, the Top Salaries Review Body was renamed the Senior Salaries Review Body last year. Its current members are :

Sir David Nickson KBE DL (Chairman)

Professor George Bain

Mrs. Louise Botting CBE

Ms Ann Burdus

Sir Peter Cazalet

Sir Cecil Clothier KCB QC

Mr. Gordon Hourston

Mr. Hugh Pigott

Sir Anthony Wilson

Members are appointed by, and the review body reports to, the Prime Minister.


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SOCIAL SECURITY

Public Bodies

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) who are the members currently appointed to each of the child support appeal tribunals ;

(2) who are the members currently appointed to each of the medical appeal tribunals ;

(3) who are the members currently appointed to each of the disability appeal tribunals ;

(4) who are the members currently appointed to each of the social security appeal tribunals ;

(5) who are the members currently appointed to each of the vaccine damage tribunals.

Mr. Burt : I have been asked to reply.

The appointment of members of all the appeal tribunals is the responsibility of the President of the Independent Tribunal Service, His Honour Judge Thorpe. The hon. Member may wish to write to him direct.

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security who are the members currently appointed to the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee.

Mr. Freeman : I have been asked to reply. The members currently appointed to the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee are : Chairman

Bob Taylor Esq. OBE

Director

Birmingham International Airport

Members

Mrs. Jill Allen-King MBE

National Federation of the Blind

Mrs. Jean Ashcroft MBE

Arthritis Care

Peter Barker Esq.

Royal National Institute for the Blind

Tony Briggs Esq.

Association of Transport Co-ordinating Officers

Bill Buchanan Esq. LVO

British Rail Advisory Group

Lewis Carter-Jones Esq.

Cliff Dallinger Esq.

Passenger Transport Executive

Mrs. Claudia Flanders OBE JP

Stanley Flett Esq.

Royal National Institute for the Blind--Scotland

Richard Gregory Esq.

Margaret Blackwood

Housing Association Ltd.

Edinburgh

Sir John Hannam Esq. MP

All-party Disablement Group

Joe Hennessy Esq. OBE

Muscular Dystrophy Group of GB

Mr. T. Kennan Esq.

Northumbria Motor Services Ltd.

Miss Valerie Lang MBE

The Spastics Society


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