Ms Hoey : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (1) whether either or both of the parties in the case Martin v. Watson in the Court of Appeal on 21 January were in receipt of legal aid ;
(2) how much time was taken in the Court of Appeal on 21 January by the Martin v. Watson case.
Mr. John M. Taylor : In the Martin v. Watson case in the Court of Appeal on 21 January, neither party was in receipt of legal aid. The judgment, which counsel had already seen, was handed down and the question of costs was dealt with. This occupied 10 minutes of court time.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The average cost per hour of a case in the Court of Appeal is not known. However, the average hourly cost of a bench in 1993 consisting of three Lord Justices of Appeal and necessary supporting court staff is estimated at £694 per hour. It does not include the costs of accommodation and other overheads.
Mr. John M. Taylor [holding answer 3 February 1994] : The current membership of the Insolvency Rules Committee is : the hon. Mr. Justice Chadwick (Chairman), His Honour Judge Mosely QC, the Chief Bankruptcy Registrar (Mr. Registrar Pimm), M. Crystal QC, G. C. Stewart and C. G. Bird.
Mr. John M. Taylor [holding answer 3 February 1994] : The current membership of the Family Proceedings Rules Committee is : Mr. Justice Thorpe, Senior District Judge Angel, Her Honour Judge Norrie, Her Honour Judge Downey, District Judge Andrew, J. Holman QC, J. M. Appleby and D. A. Salter.
Mr. John M. Taylor [holding answer 3 February 1994] : The current membership of the County Court Rule Committee is : His Honour Judge Frank White (Chairman), His Honour Judge Neil Butter, QC, Her Honour Judge
Column 764Paling, District Judge Wilby, District Judge Vincent, Peter Birts, QC, Henrietta Manners, Edward Gee and R. J. Winstanley.
Mr. John M. Taylor [holding answer 3 February 1994] : The current membership of the Land Registration Rule Committee is : the honourable Mr. Justice Knox, J. R. Thomas, W. R. Stewart-Smith and P. Marsh.
Mr. John M. Taylor [holding answer 3 February 1994] : The current membership of the Supreme Court Rule Committee is : Lord Justice Leggatt, Mr. Justice Phillips, Mr. Justice Morritt, S. J. Sher, QC, Miss J. Ritchie, QC, J. A. Wall and K. Gibson.
Mr. John M. Taylor [holding answer 3 February 1994] : The current membership of the Crown Court Rule Committee is : Lord Justice Russell, Mr. Justice Rougier, His Honour Judge Henham, His Honour Judge Geoffrey Rivlin, QC, P. F. Guggenheim, JP, M. Kalisher, QC, D. A. Jeffreys, QC, Miss V. Garner.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the matters discussed and decisions taken at the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on 7 February.
The Foreign Affairs Council began with an open session on Presidency priorities. A copy of the intervention by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs will be placed in the Library of the House as part of the new procedure of depositing video recordings of Presidency open sessions.
The Commission introduced the draft work programme of follow up action on the growth White Paper. The Council noted that the group of personal representatives of Heads of Government, established to review work on trans -European networks, would decide on priority projects and discuss financial requirements, and would submit an interim report to ECOFIN on 8-9 April. The Council agreed the Commission's 19 nominations to the high level group on information infrastructures ; the United Kingdom representatives are Peter Bonfield (ICL) and Peter Davis (Reed Elsevier). It was agreed that ECOFIN, and other Councils which have a role to play, would monitor progress of follow up activity.
The Council approved the nominations of six members of the Court of Auditors.
A ministerial meeting of the accession negotiations with Austria, Finland, Norway and Sweden took place on 8
Column 765February. In preparation for this meeting, member states agreed a common position on agriculture and regional policy aspects of the negotiation.
The Council agreed to a decision on the ombudsman, together with the text of a letter to the President of the European Parliament outlining the Council's concerns that the EP's rules of procedure on the ombudsman go further than the treaty. The Council also agreed a short statement on the Commission's legislative programme. In order to inform the Council's review in Janaury 1995 of the application from Cyprus to join the European Union, the Council agreed to appoint a Commission official, Mr. Serge Abou, as the Union's observer on Cyprus. He will report periodically to the Council on the implications of political developments in Cyprus for this 1995 review.
Following a discussion of the latest events in the former Yugoslavia, the Council issued the following statement :
"The European Union expresses its revulsion at the renewed brutal shelling of civilians in Sarajevo which has taken place in recent days.
Bearing in mind the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, the decisions of the North Atlantic Alliance most recently reiterated at the NATO Summit of 11 January and the recent request of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, it supports a very early meeting of the North Atlantic Council. In concert with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the aim should be to bring about the immediate lifting of the siege of Sarajevo, using all means necessary including the use of airpower.
The measures taken would be the first step in the implementation of the action plan of the European Union. The Council of the European Union reiterates its support for the efforts of the co-chairmen to place the administration of Sarajevo under the authority of the United Nations."
A co-operation council with Algeria was held in the margins. The Council agreed the EC's negotiating mandate for the mid-term review of the fourth Lome convention. The mandate contains provisions to strengthen the human rights elements of the convention, and to make the convention work more effectively. It includes a commitment to help the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries benefit more from the trading advantages available to them under the convention. Negotiations with the ACP countries will begin in May and must be finished by March of next year.
The Council agreed by qualified majority a package of measures to implement parts of its 15 December decision on trade policy instruments. The United Kingdom voted against the package, as our concerns on imports of toys and shoes from China, and on changes to certain decision-making procedures were not met. But the package included some welcome features, notably the lifting of some 6,000 member state national quantitative restrictions on imports from third countries.
The Council adopted a declaration reaffirming its desire to see Russia admitted to the Council of Europe as soon as the criteria for membership have been met.
The Council adopted a statement welcoming the Ukrainian Parliament's approval of the tripartite agreement on nuclear weapons.
The Council announced the European Union's willingness to facilitate an observer mission to the forthcoming elections in Ukraine on 27 March.
The Council approved negotiating directives for EC free trade agreements with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many visits abroad each Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, made during 1993 ; and what was (a) the cost to public funds and (b) the purpose of each visit.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Grantham (Mr. Hogg), made 20 official visits abroad to 33 countries during 1993 at a total cost of £27,667. Ten visits were for bilateral discussions, five for international conferences and five for European Community meetings.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Watford (Mr. Tristan Garel-Jones) made 11 official visits abroad to 17 countries during 1993 at a total cost of £20,550. Five visits were for bilateral discussions, three for European Community meetings, two for international conferences and one to the European Parliament. My hon. Friend the Member for Wells (Mr. Heathcoat -Amory) made 19 official visits abroad to 23 countries during 1993 at a total cost of £21,504. Ten visits were for European Community meetings, eight for bilateral discussions and one to the European Parliament. My right hon. Friend the Member for Eddisbury (Mr. Goodlad), made eight official visits abroad to 14 countries during 1993 at a total cost of £46,090. These visits were primarily for bilateral discussions but included attendance at one international conference. I made eight official visits abroad to 11 countries during 1993 at a total cost of £29,147. Six visits were for bilateral discussions and two for international conferences.
FCO Ministers are always accompanied by an official or officials whose costs are not included in these figures. Details of the overseas visits made in 1993 by my right hon. and noble Friend the Minister for Overseas Development will be given in answer to the hon. Member's separate question on that subject.
Mrs. Golding : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 8 February, Official Report, column 123, when was the last occasion that Ministers or officials of his Department discussed with members or officials of the appropriate foreign Government the problem of British paedophiles visiting (a) Sri Lanka, (b) Thailand and (c) the Philippines to abuse children.
Mr. Goodlad : We have a regular dialogue with Thailand and the Philippines on the problem of the sexual abuse of children. Most recently, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health discussed the problem when she visited Thailand in September 1993. Her Majesty's charge d'affaires in the Philippines raised the issue with the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Manila on 21 January 1994.
We last discussed the issue with the Sri Lankan authorities in 1987--the year in which the latest known case involving a British citizen occurred.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many companies were registered in the British Virgin Islands at 31 December 1993 ; and how many companies were registered there for the first time between 1 January and 31 December 1993.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : On 31 December 1993 there were approximately 110, 000 companies registered in the British Virgin Islands, of which 30, 000 were first registered between 1 January and 31 December 1993.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the main heads and amounts of the other external relations budget of his Department ; from which heads in this budget he is proposing to reduce expenditure in each of the next three years ; and what criteria he has adopted in deciding to reduce expenditure in that budget.
Mr. Goodlad : The main heads and amounts of class II, vote 2 (Foreign and Commonwealth Office : Other External Relations) for 1993-94 (total provision, including supplementary estimates) are as follows :
|£ thousand --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Section A Grants and subscriptions, etc. to international organisations |303,690 Section B General expenses and grants, etc. to non- governmental and statutory organisations |7,274 Section C General expenses |37,409 Section D Military assistance |13,800 Section E Unallocated |0 Other expenditure not included in the control total: Section F Reimbursement of certain duties, taxes and licence fees |39,884 |------- Total |402,057
Against the background of increased subscriptions to international organisations and higher priority claims on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's resources, I decided that the grant-in-aid to the Commonwealth Institute should cease after 1995-96.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Our current policy on Kashmir, reiterated by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs during his visit to India in November, consists of three points on which we believe there should be simultaneous progress--a dialogue between India and Pakistan as provided for under the Simla
Column 768agreements ; an improvement in human rights in Kashmir and a genuine political process there ; and a clear cessation of external support for violence in Kashmir.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what considerations underlie the differences between the treatment of Martinique and Guadeloupe as compared with Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean in respect of imports of bananas into the EC.
Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish a list of the equipment stolen from his Department in the last three years for which information is available ; and what was the approximate value of each item.
- Items |£ --------------------------------------------- 2 keyboxes (£245 each) |490 2 answering machines (£60) |120 1 mobile telephone |200 1 lap top computer |3,500 4 standard telephones (£22 each) |88 1 Superset telephone |322 |---- Total |4,720
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what monitoring of the activities of the Economic Community of West African States ceasefire monitoring group have been undertaken by Her Majesty's Government in partnership with the United Nations, the European Commission or directly ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : ECOMOG is deployed in Liberia on behalf of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and is working in cooperation with the UN observer mission (UNOMIL). The UN Secretary General's special envoy for Liberia provides regular reports to the UN Security Council on the progress of the peace process. We support strongly all the efforts to achieve a peace settlement in Liberia.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We have given strong political support to the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations (UN) to achieve a negotiated settlement of the conflict in Liberia.
We have contributed US$1 million, earmarked for humanitarian purposes, to the trust fund which the UN has established to support the peace process. Since 1990 we have separately given some £8.8 million of humanitarian assistance to help mitigate the effects of the conflict.
representatives of Charles Taylor's forces in Liberia ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We wish to see a settlement of the appalling conflict in Liberia, and have listened to views from a number of those most concerned. The last meeting with one of Mr. Taylor's representatives was in May 1993, when his then spokesman for Defence met FCO officials in London.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Prime Minister which advisers to his office since 28 November 1990 have been seconded from other organisations ; and what were the organisations and the lengths of the secondments.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister on 4 February at column 970. In addition, Alan Rosling served on secondment in the policy unit, from Hanson plc, for the period 1991-93.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will list the representations he has made to the European Union for funds and support in each of the last four years and state (a) how much was claimed for each project, (b) the programme under which the claim was being made and (c) the amount of funds received by the business ;
(2) if he will list the names of the chairman and directors of each company on behalf of which he has made representations for funds from the European Union, in each of the last four years ;
(3) how many representations he has made to the European Union for funds (a) for England as a whole and (b) for specific projects in the past four years.
So far as I am aware, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has made no representations to the European Union in relation to the structural funds.
Five Cabinet Ministers have served in the armed forces.
Mr. Mandelson : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral answer of 1 February, Official Report, column 736, concerning children born with upper limb deformities, what discussions he has held with the Secretary of State for Health about a national study of these defects ; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's private secretary has written separately to the hon. Member on this subject, following my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's oral answer on 1 February at col. 736.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply that my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Sackville) gave to the hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Cummings) on 11 February, Official Report, columns 537-38 .
Mrs. Wise : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what will be the impact on the jurisdiction of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration of the privatisation of the assessment of benefits, Giro order book issue and national insurance contribution recording.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many visits abroad the Minister for Social Security and Disabled People made during 1993 ; and what was (a) the cost to public funds and (b the purpose of each visit.
The details are in the table :
Place |Purpose |Date |Cost (£) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- China |Visit counterpart Minister of State for Disabled. Meeting with Mr.|27 May to 6 June 1993 |13,926.30 Hong Kong | Patten. Visit to Rehabilitation Services for Disabled. Meeting |with Secretary of State for Health and Welfare of Hong Kong. Brussels |Informal meeting of Social Affairs Council. |9 to 10 November 1993 |550.62
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 8 February, Official Report, column 215, about applications to the Independent Living Fund turned down, in which local authority each of the applicants who were refused assistance reside.
Mr. Scott : I am informed by the director of the Independent Living (1993) Fund that the 11 individuals whose applications to the fund were unsuccessful on the grounds that their existing or proposed care package was valued in excess of £500, are resident in the following local authority areas (one person resident in each).