Column 631European undergraduate students who wish to pursue courses at universities in the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.
Her Majesty's Government's scholarships and training programmes are targeted at postgraduates and young professionals. For example in 1993-94 the FCO is providing some 500 scholarships worth over £2.5 million for central and eastern Europe under the British Chevening scholarships programme, formerly FCOSAS.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received regarding the siting in Beijing of the United Nations conference on women in 1995 ; what views have been expressed by his Department to the United Nations and other interested bodies regarding the matter ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The choice of Peking as venue for the World Conference was made by United Nations member states on the recommendation of countries in the Asia region of the United Nations and in accordance with the United Nations principle of geographical rotation. We want to play a strong role internationally on women's rights and we believe that more can be achieved for women throughout the world by attending the 1995 conference than by not doing so.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : No decision has yet been taken on the exact composition of the United Kingdom delegation to the conference, but we expect the Minister who leads the delegation to be a woman. It is likely to include representatives from the Women's National Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission, as well as Government officials.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when a decision will be taken on the application made by Mrs. Liberty Nicos Cloke and her son--Ref : 15508--at the United Kingdom in the Philippines to join her husband in the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : In the absence of any information about this case, I have asked the correspondence unit of the migration and visa department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to let the hon. Member have a substantive reply in due course.
Mr. Jenkin : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will produce a table to show the average number of people employed by the Commission of European Communities now and in each of the last 10 years.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans the independent monitor of refusals in entry clearance cases has to visit Jamaica ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list all projects under consideration for support under the aid and trade provision in countries with a per capita income of over $700 per year ; and what progress is being made in his policy of concentrating on developing countries with per capital income below the level announced in June 1993.
Of the transitional projects mentioned, the small technical co-operation projects referred to are no longer under consideration having been won or withdrawn ; and the other two projects listed are still under consideration. As announced on 17 June 1993, the aid and trade provision is now focused on credit-worthy low-income countries with a GNP per capital under $700, and all new ATP cases from that date are subject to this policy.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd [holding reply 28 February 1994] : The priorities in the allocation of the aid and trade provision are the support of sound development projects of particular commercial and industrial importance to Britain in credit-worthy, low-income developing countries.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list (a) the professional discipline, (b) the duties and responsibilities and (c) the annual cost to the Overseas Development Administration, including the cost of offices and support staff, of each of the technical co-operation officers working in the field of banking, finance insurance and/or taxation in (i) Anguilla, (ii) the Cayman Islands, (iii) Montserrat and (iv) the Turks and Caicos Islands ; and if he will place a copy of the job description of each of those posts in the Library.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : There are four such posts filled by technical co- operation officers in the Turks and Caicos Islands, all in the general finance field ; two in Montserrat, one in finance and the other in taxation ; and none in Anguilla or the Cayman Islands.
Column 633The cost of offices and support staff are met by the host Governments. The cost to the Overseas Development Administration of each officer depends on individual personal circumstances but the average cost, including salary and accommodation and air fares, is approximately £70,000 per annum.
A note containing the terms of reference for each post has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what strategic plan has been proposed by the United Nations Development Programme to improve conditions in Somaliland.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Principal responsibility for strategic planning in all regions of Somalia lies with UNOSOM's development office. Providing the environment is secure, UNDO aims to undertake planning missions to the north-west region soon. In the north-west, UNDP is supporting small-scale community-based rehabilitation projects and reviewing plans for demobilisation, revenue generation and reintegration of the population.
Mr. Denham : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place a copy of the World bank report entitled "Thailand : the Pak Mun Hydropower Project--Mid-Term Review" in the Library.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : As I explained in my reply of 13 December to the hon. Member, Official Report, columns 475-76, this report remains confidential under the bank's disclosure of information policy ; so I regret that I cannot place a copy in the Library. The bank, however, has recently published an information note on the Pak Mun project, copies of which are being placed in both Libraries of Parliament.
Mr. Denham : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) whether the United Kingdom position on the Arun III project proposal has been determined ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) when he expects the Arun III project proposal to be presented to the board of the World bank ;
(3) whether the ODA has completed an independent assessment of the Arun III project ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Subject to completion of the necessary formalities, the World bank expects to present the Nepal power generation project to the board of directors at the end of April. We will form a view once the project documents are circulated. We have not commissioned an independent assessment.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his policy on the proposals put forward in the draft communication of the Commission of the Council and the European Parliament on immigration and asylum policies on how to counter the dangers of polarising opinions on immigration.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The European Commission has not yet published its proposed communication on immigration and asylum policies. When it is made available to member states, copies will be deposited in both Houses and the Government will submit an explanatory memorandum in accordance with the scrutiny procedures for title VI matters.
Mr. Maclean : Administration of the Government's marriage guidance grant in aid programme is the responsibility of the Home Office. The grant to Relate for each year from 1987-88 to 1993-94 is set out in the table :
|£ ------------------------------ 1987-88 |912,870 1988-89 |935,910 1989-90 |958,890 1990-91 |1,006,840 1991-92 |1,107,500 1992-93 |1,511,400 1993-94 |1,530,500
In addition, over the period in question, Relate has received Home Office funding for specific projects totalling £648,000.
The London Marriage Guidance Council does not receive funds from central Government.
(2) what is his policy in respect of the issuing of a cannabis licence to (a) a general practitioner, (b) a consultant neurologist or (c) a patient.
Mr. Maclean : Cannabis is a controlled drug designated under section 7 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and it is therefore unlawful for a medical practitioner to prescribe it to a patient. Our policy of not issuing licences under the 1971 Act to allow it to be prescribed is based on long-standing advice that cannabis has no recognised medical use.
In the absence of convincing evidence, which would need to include the necessary evaluation and approval by the Medicines Control Agency, that there was a legitimate use for cannabis in specific medical conditions, I see no reason to reconsider this policy.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the hon. Member for Coventry, North-East will receive a reply to his letter dated 12 January to the Midland inquiry unit with follow-up to the Minister of State on 17 January.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The Home Office is supporting the Department of Trade and Industry in its discussions with the mobile phone industry on what further measures can be taken to reduce the theft of mobile phones, such as the promotion of equipment marking and improved controls of electronic serial numbers.
The Home Office is also continuing its car crime prevention campaign. One of the key aims of this is to encourage motorists not to leave valuables in their cars.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will respond formally to the Police Complaints Authority report on deportation policy arising from the investigation into the death of Joy Gardner ; and if he will place a copy of the report's recommendation in the Library.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many car parking providers have joined the Association of Chief Police Officers-Automobile Association secure car parking scheme ;
(2) how many of the major car parking providers have joined the Association of Chief Police Officers-Automobile Association secure car parking scheme ; and what is his policy on the scheme.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The information is not available in the form requested. However, a range of car parking providers, including local authorities, British Rail and private operators, have so far received "Secured Car Parks" awards. As of 23 February 1994, 167 awards--129 gold and 38 silver--had been made to car parks under the scheme. The Home Office fully supports this initiative and has recently provided £30,000 to assist in its promotion. I urged major car park operators to participate in it when I met with them on 2 February to discuss car park security.
Mr. Kenneth Baker : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the study undertaken by Dr. Jonathon Brostoff and Superintendent Peter Bennett to compare the dietary histories of persistent young offenders with matched control groups of non-offenders and clinically diagnosed hyperactive children was started ; and when it is likely to be completed.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Stephen Byers, dated 1 March 1994 :
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking how many (a) men and (b) women are presently serving sentences in prison for the non-payment of fines.
On 31 January 1994 there were 540 fine defaulters (518 males and 22 females) in Prison Service establishments in England and Wales.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis on the implications for central London arising from the City of London's traffic restriction ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle : I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that the traffic scheme introduced by the City of London police was the subject of prior consultation, and that there is continuing liaison between the two forces to ensure that any disruption is kept to a minimum. I understand that, as a result, no significant problems have been experienced.
Mr. Jenkin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff are employed by the European Commission to work under the direction of the Commissioner responsible for internal and judicial affairs, and immigration ; and what is the equivalent number employed by or seconded to the European Council working on the common policy on justice and home affairs.
Mr. Charles Wardle : I understand that approximately 30 staff in the European Commission and 11 staff in the Council of the European Union are engaged in work arising from title VI of the treaty on European Union.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will instruct the high commission in Islamabad to issue a visa to Quayyam Abdul ref : TH/63011/93, following the decision of the immigration appeal tribunal on 30 December to refuse the Home Office leave to appeal ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle : In accordance with normal procedures a copy of the determination refusing leave to appeal was sent to Islamabad on 20 January. It is for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office post in Islamabad to decide whether to issue entry clearance. The hon. Member will be informed of the outcome in this case.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will instruct the British commission in Islamabad to issue a visa to Wahid Akhtar, ref : TH/2480/93, following the decision of the immigration appeal tribunal on 17 December to refuse the Home Office leave to appeal ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle : In accordance with normal procedures a copy of the determination refusing leave to appeal was sent to Islamabad on 28 January. It is for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office post in Islamabad to decide whether to issue entry clearance. The hon. Member will be informed of the outcome of this case.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what complaints the immigration and nationality department complaints audit committee has received concerning Jamaican nationals refused entry as visitors to the United Kingdom at Gatwick last December ; to whom complaints may be made ; and to what address they should be sent.
Mr. Charles Wardle : I would refer the hon. Member to my reply of 14 January, Official Report, columns 338-39, to the hon. Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen). The complaints audit committee has received no such complaints, but since it is not responsible for the investigation of individual complaints it would pass any such correspondence direct to the complaints unit, immigration and nationality department for action.
Mr. David Young : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in each region, how many prisoners were occupying police cells at the latest date for which figures are available because of lack of prison accommodation ; how many police officers were diverted from their duties as a result ; and what is the cost in financial terms for police pay or otherwise.
Letter from Mr. Derek Lewis to Mr. David Young, dated 1 March 1994 :
Column 638The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking for information about the number of prisoners occupying police cells at the latest date for which figures are available, because of lack of prison accommodation ; how many police officers were diverted from their duties as a result : and what is the cost in financial terms for police pay or otherwise.
On Monday 28 February 1994, the number of prisoners being held in police cells due to lack of prison accommodation was 294. All of these were held by Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Northumbria, Lancashire and Humberside police forces.
Information on how many police officers were diverted from their duties as a result of these lockouts is not readily available. Police forces arrange their own duty rostas, and usually use overtime or rest call ins to look after Prison Service inmates.
As yet we have insufficient details from the police to provide information about police costs. I will write again as soon as we have it.
Mr. Boyes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will table the interim costs of the Parliamentary Boundary Commission's reorganisation by each constituency in England and Wales.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The costs incurred by the Boundary Commissions for England and Wales in carrying out their general reviews of parliamentary constituencies were, at 31 December 1993, £5.5 million. The information is not available on a constituency basis.
Mr. Boyes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will produce a table showing the deaths by fire of (a) infants, (b) adolescents, (c) adults and (d) the elderly for the latest 20 years.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The latest published statistics of the number of fire-related deaths by age from fires attended by local authority fire brigades in the United Kingdom are shown in table 23 of the annual Home Office report, "Fire Statistics United Kingdom 1991", a copy of which is in the Library. I will reply as soon as possible with information for earlier years.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister if he will raise the issue of the global proliferation consequences of plutonium reprocessing at the thermal oxide reprocessing plant at Sellafield at his forthcoming meeting with President Clinton in Washington.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has no plans to do so.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has had no direct discussions with the Indian Prime Minister since their meeting in January 1993. My right hon. Friend the
Column 639Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs discussed Kashmir with Narasimha Rao during his visit to India last November. We have continued to take every opportunity to discuss our concerns about Kashmir with the Indians. Senior officials had extensive talks in Delhi in early February.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is in the United States for a series of meetings including with President Clinton and the United Nations Secretary-General.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister how much his office has spent on official gifts for visiting dignitaries since November 1990 ; and what are the criteria for determining the cost and appropriateness of such gifts.
It is not the normal practice of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to provide official gifts for visiting dignitaries.