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Mr. Beith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to carry out a review of the legislation and procedures governing the use of animals in laboratories ; whether he will list the changes made in respect of animal experiments since 1979 ; and if he will make a statement of Government policy on this matter.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 represented a major reform in the law regulating the use of laboratory animals. The Government are committed to the underlying principle of the legislation, which is to prevent all avoidable animal suffering and unnecessary animal use, while recognising the legitimate needs of science.
The Animal Procedures Committee, established under the 1986 Act, is required to monitor the working of the legislation and advise my right hon. and learned Friend on ways of improving its operation. It is the practice for the committee's annual report, which is laid before Parliament, to describe any significant changes that have occurred in these arrangements. The annual reports also describe the results of the committee's deliberations on particular areas of research or concern.
Column 158police in each of the past five years ; what were the fees charged for removal of clamps in each of the past five years ; and what are the criteria for assessing increases in these fees.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The figures for the numbers of vehicles clamped and the charge made for each of the past five years are given in the table. The charge is set at a level to recover the full cost to the police of the clamping operation. The charge is subject to annual review.
Year |Number of|Charge |clamps |£ ---------------------------------------- 1988-89 |130,553 |25 1989-90 |156,747 |30 1990-91 |152,881 |30 1991-92 |128,180 |32 1992-93 |93,541 |38
Mr. Blair : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the function of the British and Dutch immigration officers stationed at Nairobi and Mombasa airports ; how long they have been there ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Two chief immigration officers from the immigration service and three Dutch immigration officials were in Kenya at various times between 15 August and 6 November 1993 to train and advise airline staff at Nairobi and Mombasa airports in the identification of inadequately documented passengers. Two of the officers concerned are currently in Kenya for 10 days to assess the effectiveness of the earlier training.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the number of teachers employed in schools in each of the London boroughs whose salaries are paid in full or part from section 11 funding ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has held with the Lord Chancellor since 17 December 1990 concerning the continued existence of the death penalty for the crimes of treason, treason felony and piracy ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean : There were a number of exchanges between my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley (Mr. Baker) and the Lord Chancellor on this subject after 17 December 1990. I understand that the law relating to treason, treason- felony and piracy remains on the Law Commission's agenda for codification of the criminal law.
Mr. Gerrard : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidelines are given to immigration officers at ports of entry to assist them in considering the cases of those seeking to re-enter the United Kingdom after a trip abroad, during the period of a valid visa.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Passengers whose stay in the United Kingdom was subject to a time limit and who return after a temporary absence abroad are considered under paragraph 60 of the immigration rules--HC251. The same time limit and any conditions attached will normally be reimposed if the requirements of the rules are met, unless admission is sought in a different capacity from the one in which leave to enter or remain was last given.
Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the current position within the European Community concerning the harmonisation of visa arrangements ; what effect this will have on the current United Kingdom visa arrangements ; what
representations he has received concerning the effect of such changes on trade and other relations ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The European Commission recently put forward proposals to give effect to article 100c of the treaty of Rome, which provides for the determination of the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of a visa when crossing the external frontiers of the member states. In accordance with the procedures for parliamentary scrutiny of European Community documents, the Commission document was deposited on 18 January, and the Government submitted their explanatory memorandum on 1 February. My right hon. and learned Friend has received no representations concerning the possible effect of the Commission's proposals on trade and other relations.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when he intends to introduce legislation to make it compulsory for police authorities to provide individual head gear for firearms teams in their police forces ; and if he will make a statement ; (2) when he intends to provide the necessary finance to police authorities to enable them to purchase individual head gear for firearms teams in their police forces ; and if he will make a statement ;
(3) when he intends to provide the necessary finance to police authorities to enable them to purchase knife-proof vests for their police forces ; and if he will make a statement ;
(4) when he intends to introduce legislation to make it compulsory for police authorities to provide knife-proof vests for members of their police forces ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle : We have no plans to introduce such legislation. It is for chief officers of police to decide how to equip their officers. Police protective equipment is purchased out of normal police funds.
Miss Lestor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average length of time employers currently have to wait for clearance through the police vetting procedure of prospective employees who wish to work with children.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The last full year for which comprehensive figures are available is the year to 31 March 1993. Not all forces provided an average response time and it is, therefore, not possible to give an overall average.
Where a force only needs to consult records which are available within the force, the majority respond in 14 days or less, with just over half responding in seven days or under. Where inquiries have to be made of other police forces, an extra delay of three weeks or more can be incurred.
A few forces, though have average response times significantly longer than these, with one force responding within an average of 70 days where internal inquiries only were needed and 75 days where inquiries of other forces were required.
Miss Lestor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many requests for vetting of prospective employees wishing to work with children each police authority received in the last year for which figures are available from (a) education authorities, (b) the independent education sector, (c) social services departments, (d) health authorities and (e) the voluntary sector.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The last year for which figures are available is the year to 31 March 1993, when the total number of child protection checks carried out by police forces in England and Wales was 663,103. The number of child protection checks carried out by each force, excluding checks made for the voluntary organisations consultancy service, was as follows :
|Number ------------------------------------- Avon and Somerset |16,641 Bedfordshire |7,847 Cambridgeshire |10,589 Cheshire |15,965 City of London |119 Cleveland |5,716 Cumbria |3,901 Derbyshire |9,944 Devon and Cornwall |17,951 Dorset |12,973 Durham |9,179 Dyfed-Powys |12,198 Essex |17,725 Gloucestershire |<1>7,500 Greater Manchester |30,653 Gwent |4,319 Hampshire |27,463 Hertfordshire |12,588 Humberside |9,040 Kent |17,239 Lancashire |18,555 Leicestershire |19,653 Lincolnshire |7,128 Merseyside |25,078 Metropolitan |82,875 Norfolk |10,702 Northamptonshire |7,499 Northumbria |15,325 North Wales |9,701 North Yorkshire |6,019 Nottinghamshire |14,910 South Wales |12,915 South Yorkshire |16,313 Staffordshire |7,414 Surrey |12,337 Suffolk |5,003 Sussex |15,460 Thames Valley |29,562 Warwickshire |10,772 West Mercia |17,485 West Midlands |33,282 West Yorkshire |14,812 Wiltshire |12,122 <1> Approximate.
In the same period the voluntary organisations consultancy service made 8,631 requests to police forces for checks to be made on behalf of certain national voluntary child care organisations. In addition, some of the checks requested by local authorities may have been made on behalf of voluntary organisations.
A further breakdown in the way sought is not available.
Miss Lestor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans there are to require the voluntary sector to use the police vetting service of prospective employees wishing to work with children.
Mr. Charles Wardle : None. However, the current review by the Home Office of arrangements for access to criminal records for vetting purposes may result in checks being made more widely available to the voluntary child care sector, should it wish to use them.
Mr. Pickthall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the length of time that should elapse before a person with a serious criminal conviction can successfully apply for a shotgun or firearms certificate.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Section 21 of the Firearms Act 1968 provides that a person who has been sentenced to imprisonment, including detention in a young offenders institution, for a term of three years or more is prohibited at any time from having a firearm or ammunition in their possession. A person sentenced to a term of three months or more but less than three years is prohibited from having a firearm or ammunition in his or her possession at any time for a period of five years from the date of his or her release.
The issue of firearm and shotgun certificates is a matter for the local chief officer of police.
Notwithstanding the expiry of a person's prohibition, a chief officer may grant a certificate only if he is satisfied that the applicant can be permitted to possess a firearm without danger to public safety or the peace. An applicant aggrieved by the decision of a chief officer may appeal to the Crown court.
Mr. Maclean [holding answer 18 February 1994] : The Government have no such plans. Decisions on sentencing in individual cases are for the courts to determine in the light of all the circumstances of the offence and the offender. There is an avenue of appeal against sentence in all cases.
Miss Lestor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans there are to increase the maximum penalty for dog fouling to bring it into line with the maximum penalty for dropping litter.
We have no plans to change the maximum level of penalty which can be adopted by local authorities and others, in their dog fouling byelaws. However, dog fouling legislation is being looked at by the advisory group on litter as part of its review of litter legislation. Its report is expected in the spring.
Miss Lestor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans there are to introduce a national register of individuals identified as unsuitable for employment involving close contact with children.
My Department already runs the consultancy service which advises prospective employers in the child care system about people who may be unsuitable to work with children. The consultancy list includes the names of those on the Department for Education's list 99 debarred from teaching by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received on the Government's proposal to end their funding of the Commonwealth Institute after March 1996 ; what consultation there has been with the Commonwealth secretariat about the proposal ; if he will reconsider the proposal ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the current annual funding of (a) the Commonwealth Institute and (b) the military training assistance scheme.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The current annual funding of the Commonwealth Institute is £3 million. An additional funding of £2.4 million between now and March 1996 has been allocated for redundancies. The military training assistance scheme funding in 1993-94 is £13.4 million.
Mr. Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the United Kingdom's contribution to the European Commission's initiative, under the PHARE programme, for a Balkan customs corridor ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd [pursuant to his reply, 15 February 1994, c. 685] : The European Commission has recently announced that support for a Balkans customs corridor will form part of a proposed wider initiative for transit improvement in the Balkan region for which up to 100 million ecu-- around £77 million--could be made available. Firm proposals for assistance using PHARE programme funds have yet to be finalised and presented to member states for opinion.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Lord President of the Council what is the average number of signatures added to early-day motions per week ; and what is the total annual cost to public funds of early-day motions.
Mr. Newton : The average number of hon. Members' signatures added to early-day motions in each sitting week in calendar year 1993 was 3,091 ; the total cost to public funds of printing and publishing early-day motions during 1993 is estimated by Her Majesty's Stationery Office to have been £2,290,000.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Lord President of the Council, pursuant to his answer of 7 February, Official Report, column 78 , how many early-day motions were tabled in 1992-93 ; and how many early-day motions have been debated since 1979.
There is no definitive list of motions debated in the House which first appeared on the Order Paper as early-day motions. The majority of such motions are prayers against statutory instruments. The number of motions to annul or revoke an instrument debated on the Floor of the House from 1979 to 1980 Session to date is 208. Other than prayers, it seems that there have not been more than four motions debated in the House since 1979 which began as early-day motions.
The Prime Minister : I believe that there is a strong case for building a closer political dialogue between Russia and the Group of Seven, by creating a political Group of Eight, although it would not be appropriate in current circumstances for Russia to join the economic G7. I shall be taking this up with my G7 colleagues.
The Prime Minister : My right hon. and noble Friend Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven would have retained those gifts of small value that she wished to keep, and those gifts of higher value that she had chosen to purchase.
Country |Dates ------------------------------------------------------------------- Italy |13-15 December 1990 United States of America |20-22 December 1990 Saudi Arabia |6-8 January 1991 Oman |8-9 January 1991 Egypt |9 January 1991 France |14 January 1991 France |20 January 1991 Germany |11 February 1991 Soviet Union |4-5 March 1991 Germany |11 March 1991 Bermuda |15-16 March 1991 Luxembourg |8 April 1991 France |24 June 1991 Luxembourg |28-29 June 1991 Spain |2-13 June 1991 Spain |2 August 1991 United States of America |27-30 August 1991 China/Russia |1-6 September 1991 France |11-12 September 1991 Netherlands |18 September 1991 Zimbabwe |14-22 October 1991 Italy |7-8 November 1991 Germany |10 November 1991 Italy |27 November 1991 Germany |27 November 1991 Netherlands |1 December 1991 Republic of Ireland |4 December 1991 Netherlands |8-10 December 1991 United States of America |30-31 January 1992 Poland |25-26 May 1992 Czechoslovakia |26-28 May 1992 Hungary |28-29 May 1992 Germany |5 June 1992 USA |6-9 June 1992 Colombia |9-10 June 1992 Brazil |10-12 June 1992 Portugal |25-27 June 1992 Germany |6-8 July 1992 Finland |9-10 July 1992 Spain |7-9 August 1992 Spain |16-17 September 1992 France |30 September 1992 Egypt |23-25 October 1992 Belgium |23 November 1992 Italy/Greece |27-28 November 1992 Luxembourg |30 November 1992 Spain |30 November 1992 |1 December 1992 Portugal |1 December 1992 Denmark |2 December 1992 Netherlands |6-7 December 1992 Republic of Ireland |7 December 1992 France |15-16 December 1992 Canada |17-18 December 1992 USA |18-20 December 1992 Bosnia |22 December 1992 India |23-28 January 1993 Oman |28 January 1993 Saudi Arabia |28 January 1993 USA |23-25 February 1993 Switzerland |5-6 April 1993 Austria |6 April 1993 France |27-28 May 1993 Denmark |20-22 June 1993 Japan |5-9 July 1993 Sweden |11-13 August 1993 Portugal |23 August 1993 Japan |18-21 September 1993 Malaysia |21-22 September 1993 Monaco |23 September 1993 Cyprus |21-25 October 1993 Belgium |28-29 October 1993 Germany |25 November 1993 Republic of Ireland |3 December 1993 Belgium |9-11 December 1993 Belgium |9-11 January 1994 Russia |14-16 February 1994
Mr. McLoughlin : Section 10--the general safety requirement--of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 already makes it an offence to supply consumer goods which are not reasonably safe, having regard to all the circumstances. These circumstances include the manner in which the goods are marketed and any instructions or warnings given with the goods concerning their use. Accordingly, my Department has advised known suppliers of petroleum coke that failure to provide consumers with written instructions about the safe use of this fuel and the precautions that should be taken could render themselves liable to prosecution under section 10 of the Act.
My Department has also notified local authority trading standards departments, which are responsible for the day-to-day enforcement of the safety provisions of the Act, of this advice.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will seek from his counterparts in France and Belgium details of deaths in 1992 and 1993 attributed to fumes from defective Australian house coal.
|Number ------------------------- 1989-90 |153 1990-91 |164 1991-92 |147 1992-93 |108 <1>1993-94 |56 <1> To January.
Mr. Donohoe : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment he has received from the Post Office of the financial benefits of franchising as opposed to maintaining post offices under its direct control.
Net recurring benefit of each year's conversions |£ millions --------------------------------- 1989-90 |4.4 1990-91 |3.9 1991-92 |4.1 1992-93 |3.4
Over the same period, one-off income from fees has exceeded one-off costs associated with conversions by £13.1 million.
Mr. McLoughlin : I understand from the Post Office that Post Office Counters Ltd. monitors the performance of agency post offices across the generic areas of financial accounting, customer service and accuracy of transactions. It does so directly through regular financial and procedural audits and the support of retail network managers, and indirectly through customer research and "mystery shopper" surveys.
Burns Statue Ayr
In addition, there are 101 sub-post offices in Ayrshire.