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Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what stake Her Majesty's Government have acquired in the privatisation of the Anguilla Electricity Corporation ; and how much that acquisition cost.
Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Her Majesty will be staying at the governor's mansion when she visits Anguilla ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Her Majesty did not stay at the governor's residence during her recent visit to Anguilla. The residence is currently undergoing refurbishment and is not suitable for accommodating guests overnight.
Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs why offshore banks and financial services in Anguilla were closed down by Her Majesty's Government when they took over offshore financial services.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : A number of overseas financial institutions previously registered with Anguilla's offshore sector had their licence revoked in the past, due to activities incompatible with the provisions of that licence.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Under the present constitution in Anguilla, a general election must be called every five years, with a maximum permissible extension of two months beyond the date of the first sitting of the House of Assemby after the previous election. The present sitting of the Assembly commenced on 3 April 1989, following the election in February that year. The next election must therefore take place no later than 3 June 1994.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Agreement for the construction of separate accommodation for Anguilla's House of Assembly features in the country policy plan, CPP, signed between the Government of Anguilla and ourselves in August 1993. The relevant section of the CPP calls for the drawing up of detailed plans for the building in the financial year 1994-95, with construction scheduled to commence the following year.
Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many offshore banks and insurance companies that had offices in Anguilla have been closed down since Her Majesty's Government took control of offshore financial services ; and if he will list them.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The report of Mr. Rodney Gallagher, Coopers and Lybrand, on the survey of offshore finance sectors in the Caribbean dependent territories, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 19 January 1990, details on page 10, paragraphs 16 and 17, the number of banks and insurance companies in Anguilla prior to the offshore sector becoming a reserved power of the Governor. At the beginning of 1994, three offshore banking licences had been issued to :
Barclays Bank Plc
Hansa Bank and Trust Company
Maruya Bank and Trust Company.
At the same date, there was one insurance company licensed for offshore business, Physicians Excess Insurance Company Ltd.
Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the outcome of the review of the Anguillan Companies Act ; and when new legislation will be introduced to replace the Act.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The review of the Companies Act forms part of the larger exercise reviewing offshore finance legislation. The package of legislation was drafted by the Anguilla Financial Services Association and was recently forwarded to the United Kingdom for scrutiny by a British QC.
Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the appointment of the son of one of the Anguilla Government Ministers to the post of Chief Magistrate and Acting Judge ; what representations the Governor has received about the age and experience of the new Chief Magistrate ; and from whom.
Column 27reserved powers of the governor. It was a decision taken on the advice of the Attorney-General of Anguilla and has been endorsed by the Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The award of the contract to audit the accounts of the Government of Anguilla was made following the standard Overseas Development Administration tender procedure. The Dependent Territories Regional Secretariat offers close support to the Government of Anguilla in audit matters. The Financial Secretary of the Government of Anguilla will be attending the United Kingdom Government Auditors Conference, to be hosted by Her Majesty's Treasury.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : This is a matter for the Government of Anguilla. However I understand that most churches in Anguilla have related youth and community centre facilities and that there are active scout and guide groups on the island. Part of the grounds at Government house forms a designated campsite for scouts and guides.
Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the delays in the processing by customs officials of the goods of Anguillan business people.
Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consideration was given to the imminence of a general election in Anguilla when the decision as to the timing of Her Majesty's visit was taken.
Column 28reference of the review of offshore financial services in Anguilla ; what were its recommendations ; which ones were accepted by Her Majesty's Government ; and who carried out the review.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The review was carried out by Mr. Rodney Gallagher of Coopers and Lybrand. His report, which covered all the dependent territories in the Caribbean, was ordered to be printed as an HMSO publication by the House of Commons in January 1990. A copy was sent to the hon. Member by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in December 1993.
Mr. Burden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the situation in the Punjab, India, and of the recent raids on the Aj Di Awaz newspaper and arrests of its staff ; and what representations he is making on the matter.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The dramatic decrease in deaths recently shows that the situation in Punjab has improved. The increasingly high turnout at elections during the last 18 months is a clear indication that the majority of people there have rejected violence. Her Majesty's high commission in New Delhi has informed us that eight people were arrested during the raid on the Aj Di Awaz newspaper offices. All eight appeared before a magistrate in January, and are being detained under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act.
Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if it is the practice for residents of Caribbean countries receiving knighthoods to be dubbed in those countries ; and on what dates in the last 10 years this has been done.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The honour of knighthood is normally conferred by the bestowal of the accolade, the act of dubbing, and investiture. This ceremony can be performed only by the Queen, or by some other person, usually a member of the royal family or a governor-general, specially authorised by Her Majesty.
Details of precisely when and where residents of the Caribbean were invested with the honour of knighthood over the past 10 years are not readily available and to compile this information would involve disproportionate cost.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Muslim and Bosnian-Serb forces have begun to hand over heavy equipment or withdraw it outside Sarajevo exclusion zone. The ceasefire continues to hold. UNPROFOR continues to monitor compliance.
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to urge that United Nations and NATO policy towards the relief of Sarajevo is confined to that city and will not involve military action in the rest of Bosnian-Serb- controlled Bosnia-Herzegovina or against Serbia itself.
Mr. Trotter : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department spent on accommodation, office facilities, communications and other facilities for Ministry of Defence personnel in post in embassies and high commissions in each of the past four financial years.
Mr. Goodlad : I regret that expenditure incurred by the FCO on accommodation, office facilities, communications and other facilities on behalf of Ministry of Defence personnel cannot at present be identified without incurring disproportionate cost.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received concerning the citizenship status of non-Chinese ethnic minority residents in Hong Kong ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Goodlad : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and I have received a number of such representations. These have included letters from hon. Members and representations from Hong Kong's Legislative Council--particularly its sub- committee on nationality.
Parliament looked carefully at the position of the non-Chinese ethnic community in considering the passage of the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990. The conclusion drawn was that the future of these people was adequately safeguarded.
The joint declaration provides for those who are permanent residents of Hong Kong to continue to enjoy right of abode there after July 1997. But if members of the non-Chinese ethnic communities with solely British nationality ever came under pressure to leave Hong Kong and had nowhere else to go, we have made it plain that the Government of the day would be exptected to consider with particular sympathy any request from such people for admission to the United Kingdom.
We looked again at the provisions in place following
representations made in 1993 by the Legislative Council and the Hong Kong Government. We saw no reason to change its established policy. This remains our view.
Mr. Matthew Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received concerning the Intelligence Services Bill [Lords] ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hurd : I am aware that reports on the Intelligence Services Bill [Lords] have been prepared and circulated by Liberty and by the Religious Society of Friends--Quakers--committee on concern for truth and integrity in public affairs.
Column 30Bosnians now resident in Britain outside the quota system ; and what is the average time taken to consider these visa applications.
Bosnia-Herzegovina. Statistics on visa applications made by Bosnians at other overseas posts are not centrally recorded according to nationality or to category of application. This information could therefore be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations Her Majesty's Government have made to the Government of Nigeria regarding human and civil rights ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : My right hon. and noble friend the Minister for Overseas Development met the Nigerian Foreign Minister on 6 February in Abidjan. She reaffirmed our strong desire to see a return to civilian democratic rule, unhindered by the military in Nigeria.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The cancellation of the June elections and the military takeover on 17 November in Nigeria last year were steps backward, for Nigeria and for Africa as a whole. However, we place great value on our relationship with Nigeria and we continue to take every opportunity to encourage the Government to take concrete steps towards the restoration of democracy.
I should, however, like to say that German unification is something which we welcome. It has meant the end of over 40 years of division in Europe. We are happy to work together with the new united Germany as an ally and partner in pursuit of a more stable and prosperous Europe.
I am especially glad that with our encouragement some 160 British firms are represented in Berlin and in eastern Germany, making Britain one of the leading foreign investors there. This represents an important contribution to the process of unification.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 17 December, Official Report, column 958, what reply has been sent to the Members of the United States Congress, Japanese Diet and hon. and right hon. Members on their appeal for a review and public inquiry on THORP ; and on what date.
Mr. Beggs : To ask the Prime Minister if he will ask the Prime Minister of the Irish Republic to appoint a High Court inspector to investigate International Investments Ltd., Gibraltar--in liquidation--and its associated companies in the Irish Republic during their next meeting.
The Prime Minister : No. The Royal Ulster Constabulary is, however, carrying out investigations into the affairs of International Investments Ltd., with the assistance of the authorities in the Republic of Ireland.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Prime Minister which Minister is authorised in the event of his temporary incapacity through injury of illness, to head the Government in the immediate period following such incapacity and before Her Majesty the Queen is able to make a temporary appointment of a chief Minister.
Mr. Burden : To ask the Prime Minister what response he has made to the letters sent to him by the Save Highfield Hospital Campaign on 20 November 1993 and 31 January 1994 and to the petition on Highfield hospital which was handed in to 10 Downing street on 20 November 1993 ; and if he will make a statement.
(2) whether he will list, by Government Department, the principal aid given to Devon and Cornwall in each year since 1983.
The Prime Minister : Since 1983, the Department of Trade and Industry policy and programmes have committed more than £71.4 million in grants and loans to industry and commerce in Devon and Cornwall. This has created or safeguarded more than 21,000 jobs spread across 3,363 companies.
In addition, the Devon and Cornwall Development Bureau has received over £4.25 million to assist in the attraction of inward investment to the two counties. Overseas investment in the area was more than £164 million.
Column 32Government policies of low inflation, low interest rates and less regulation provide the foundation for growth across the country.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Hazel Grove (Sir T. Arnold) of 4 February, Official Report, column 972, if he will give those details on the number of public appointments made by Ministers or by the Crown or nominations by Ministers that can be compiled without incurring disproportionate cost.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library a copy of the representations that he has received from Mr. Ivor Owen, the former director-general of the Design Council, about the British railway manufacturing industry, together with a copy of his reply to Mr. Owen.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister how many conventions have been agreed by the Council of Europe since 1964 ; and how many have been acceded to by Her Majesty's Government in full or in part.
The Prime Minister : Seventy-two conventions have been agreed by the Council of Europe since--and including--1964. The Government have acceded to 34 of these and signed, but not yet ratified, a further seven.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he is having with President Clinton and President Mitterrand about the increase in malnutrition-related marasmus and other diseases in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates.
The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 25 January, Official Report, column 153. We are also in regular touch with France over Iraq, including the humanitarian situation.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 2 February 1994] : The issue of such an instruction is entirely a matter for the Minister and accounting officer concerned. Therefore, no central records are maintained.