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Ms Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department spends on child care ; on what provision the sum is spent ; how many children receive the child care ; and if he will make a statement about child care.
Mr. Howard : In the current financial year the Home Office will be spending £311,800 on the provision of subsidised child care for staff at a variety of locations throughout England. This provides 104 nursery day care places for 128 children under five and 503 holiday play scheme places for children between five and 12-years-old. In all instances subsidised child care provision is made available only where it can be shown to be justified in value for money terms.
Mr. Dowd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letters sent to him by Mr. Steve Haywood, 57 Medusa road, Catford, SE6, dated 8 June 1993 and 7 February 1994, regarding the case of Mr. Sammy Davis.
Mr. Illsley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether funding is available from his Department for local authorities to establish closed circuit television systems to reduce crime.
Mr. Charles Wardle : There are no specific funds available for local authorities for this purpose. Funding for the capital costs of closed circuit television systems has been made available to some local authorities and others through the Home Office safer cities programme. It is also open to local police authorities to contribute towards the provision of CCTV systems from their capital allocation which is supported by 51 per cent. Home Office grant.
Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 4 March 1994] : Responsibility for this matter has been passed to the director general of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given. Letter from Derek Lewis to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 7 March 1994 :
Column 18The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the cost of building each of the last four prisons in England and Wales.
The costs of these prisons are as follows :
Prison |Cost |£ million ------------------------------------Highdown |91.2 Lancaster Farms |73.1 Blakenhurst |91.0 Doncaster |94.4
Mr. Donohoe : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment he has made as to the implications of the United Kingdom Government failing to implement the chemical weapons convention prior to July 1994 ; and what these would be.
Mr. Needham : There are unlikely to be any significant implications for the United Kingdom if the Government do not implement the chemical weapons convention by July 1994 as the earliest that the convention can enter into force internationally is 13 January 1995.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 16 February, Official Report, column 830 , if he will publish in the Official Report the text of the letter to him from BMW ; and to what extent the assurances therein have been affected by subsequent developments.
Honda has stated that it intends to continue current and planned collaborative programmes with Rover subject to negotiations on the commercial terms.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 9 February, Official Report, column 319 , whether he expects the amount of research and development on Rover cars, other than Land Rover, to increase solely as a result of the takeover by BMW.
Mr. Hoyle : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what steps he plans to take to ensure that the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (a) seeks competitive tenders from outside contractors to bid for its ICL mainframe operation based at Risley and (b) advertises this tender in the EC Official Journal.
Dr. Wright : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will give details of the public appointments he is responsible for making in addition to those identified in "Public Bodies 1993", including non- executive agency and other departmental management boards.
Radiocommunications Agency Steering Board
National Physical Laboratory Steering Board
National Weights and Measurements Laboratory Steering Board National Engineering Laboratory Steering Board
Laboratory of Government Chemist Steering Board
Warren Spring Laboratory Steering Board
Insolvency Service Agency Steering Board
Companies House Steering Board
Patent Office Agency Steering Board
Accounts Services Agency Steering Board
Insurance Brokers Registration Council
Advisory Committee on Business and the Environment
Director General of Fair Trading
Director General of Telecommunications
Director General of Electricity Supply
Director General of Gas Supply
Energy Advisory Panel
Mr. Douglas Hogg : My right hon. and noble Friend Baroness Chalker raised the experience of Wena Hotels when she met the Egyptian Prime Minister, Dr. Atef Sidqi, and the Minister for the Public Business Sector, Dr. Atef Ebeid, in Cario on 13 November 1993. Our embassy in Cairo has kept in close contact with both Wena Hotels and the Egyptian authorities on this issue.
Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he proposes to take to protect and promote the interests of United Kingdom companies which invest in Egypt following the experiences of Wena Hotels.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We are concerned at Wena Hotels' experience and will continue to do what we can to help it and other British investors, the overwhelming majority of whom experience no difficulty in their dealings in Egypt.
Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Egyptian authorities in respect of the United Kingdom company Wena Hotels' investment in Egypt prior to the arbitration process involving that company.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We raised the question of Wena Hotels with the Egyptian authorities on a number of occasions. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs did so with the Egyptian Foreign Minister during President Mubarak's visit to London in the spring of 1993, urging the Egyptian authorities to encourage the Egyptian party to the dispute to go to arbitration as soon as possible.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will urge a total ban on the production, sale and use of anti-personnel mines at the review conference on the inhumane weapons convention ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The United Kingdom intends to play a full part in the review conference on the 1981 United Nations weaponry convention, which we expect to take place in 1995. We are also participating in the meetings to prepare for the conference, the first of which took place in Geneva from 28 February to 4 March. The main aim of the review conference will be to consider the strengthening of protocol II of the weaponry convention, which already contains strict rules governing the use of mines. Our priority at the conference will be to encourage greater adherence to the United Nations weaponry convention.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what inquiries Her Majesty's Government made of the Indonesian authorities in regard to the murder of British citizens Brian Peters and Malcolm Rennie, near Balibo on East Timor, on 16 October 1975, during the invasion of East Timor by Indonesian military forces.
Mr. Goodlad : We pressed the Indonesians for information at the time, as did the Australian Government, as Mr. Peters and Mr. Rennie were working in East Timor as part of an Australian television team.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how overseas domestic workers are given the leaflet on their rights in the United Kingdom ; if he will ensure this is done without the presence of the employer and that the domestic worker is given time to read the leaflet before rejoining the employer ; and whether these leaflets are available in all appropriate languages.
Column 21Leaflets are available in Arabic, Bengali, Hindi, Punjab, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai and Urdu, as well as English. Where an applicant does not understand, the contents of the leaflet are explained.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The human rights situation in Turkey is worrying. The Turkish Government are aware of our concerns. We recognise the difficulties faced by the Turkish authorities in tackling the PKK terrorist threat in the south-east, but this has to be done within the rule of law and with full respect for human rights.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last made representations to the Government of Turkey regarding the treatment of Kurds ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs last raised human rights with the Turkish Government during his visit to Ankara on 19 and 20 January.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Iraq is discussed regularly by the Security Council. We remain determined that Iraq must comply fully with all its international obligations as set out in Security Council resolutions.
Medicines have never been subject to sanctions, and food has been exempt since the passage of United Nations Security Council resolution 687 in April 1991.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : I have received a number of letters from hon. Members about sanctions against Iraq. On 22 February the hon. Member for Derbyshire, North-East (Mr. Barnes) tabled an early-day motion about the effect of sanctions on the humanitarian situation in Iraq. We do not believe that sanctions should be lifted until Iraq complies with all its international obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will arrange for the views of Her Majesty's Government regarding Iraqi treatment of the Kurds to be conveyed to the Government of Iraq.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : United Kingdom representatives at the United Nations continue to press Iraq to respect the human rights of its population. We are co-sponsors of a resolution at the current session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights which condemns Iraq's continued abuses of the human rights of all citizens, including the Kurds.
We, the United States, France and Russia made a demarche to Iraq on 5 January protesting against Iraqi behaviour including the blockade of the Kurdish area and the cutting off of electricity to Dohuk. The Security Council also took into account Iraq's repression of the civilian population when deciding on 18 January that there were no grounds to lift United Nations sanctions.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions against Libya through its resolutions 748 and 883. The Council has expressed its readiness to review these measures with a view to suspending them immediately if the Secretary-General reports to the Council that the Libyan Government have ensured the appearance of those charged with the bombing of Pan Am 103 for trial before the appropriate United Kingdom or United States court and have satisfied the French judicial authorities with respect to the bombing of UTA 772.
Mr. Austin-Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has studied the conclusions of the permanent monitors of the European Community regarding border incidents between Serbia/Montenegro and Albania ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg [holding answer 4 March 1994] : The EC monitoring mission in Albania provides factual reports on incidents on the Serbia/Albania border. We study its reports closely. We believe that the ECMM presence is a valuable confidence-building measure, and we regret that the Serb authorities have refused to allow the EC monitoring mission to undertake independent investigation of particular incidents.
Mr. Austin-Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) Albanians and (b) Serbs have been killed or wounded near the border of Serbia/Montenegro and Albania since 1 January ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg [holding answer 4 March 1994] : According to information provided by the Albanian authorities, two Albanian nationals have been killed near the Albanian border with Serbia/Montenegro. One Albanian national has been wounded. We have no information on the number of Serbs killed or wounded near the border.
Mr. Douglas Hogg [holding answer 4 March 1994] : We understand that a number of border incidents have resulted in Albanian casualties. We condemn any such incidents, which put at risk the stability of the entire region, and call on the leaders of all countries in the region to show restraint.
Mr. Austin-Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he has taken or proposes to take regarding violations of human rights by the Serbian authorities in Kosovo ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg [holding answer 4 March 1994] : We condemn reported Serbian violation of human rights in Kosovo and continue to press for the return of the CSCE monitors expelled from Kosovo in 1993. Members of the British embassy in Belgrade visit the region regularly, and maintain contact with the political parties based there. I met Dr. Rugova in London in December.
Mr. Austin-Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has received the report of the United States State Department on human rights in Kosovo ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Austin-Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the expulsion of the conference on security and co-operation in Europe monitors from Kosovo.
Mr. Douglas Hogg [holding answer 4 March 1994 : In July 1993 the Belgrade authorities refused to allow the CSCE missions in Kosovo, Sandjak and Vojvodina to continue their activities and the missions had to withdraw. The United Kingdom had contributed two monitors. The CSCE continues to press for the return of the missions. Their presence was a stabilising influence and contributed to the prevention of conflict. The CSCE is monitoring developments in the region with the help of diplomats from CSCE embassies in Belgrade.
Mr. Austin-Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of people of Albanian descent who have fled from Kosovo over the past two years.
Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the progress with the computerisation of his Department's financial record keeping, drawing attention to any difficulties and stating the arrangements for ensuring continuity of supply of the computer equipment and consumables.
Column 24FMAS--a notice of tender was published in the official journal of the European Union in November 1993. Responses from interested parties are currently being evaluated and it is expected that a contract for development of the new system will be let later this year. The FMAS project is being managed in accordance with standard Government methodologies. Contracts exist with outside contractors for the maintenance of existing systems and the supply of consumables. Similar contracts will be put in place for the new system.
Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many of the suspense accounts referred to in the 36th report of the Committee of Public Accounts 1990-91, HC275, remain unreconciled or have been reconciled in a way that has not wholly satisfied the auditor.
Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what matters have been reported to his Department's accounting officer by finance staff following the issue of written instructions in March 1991 referred to in paragraph 9 of the Treasury minute on the 36th report from the Committee of Public Accounts 1990-91, Cm. 1725.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the main differences between the agreement between the hon. Member for Foyle (Mr. Hume) and Mr. Gerry Adams and the Downing street declaration ; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : The Downing street declaration was the result of work between the two Governments, which began when I first met Mr. Reynolds shortly after he became Taoiseach in February 1992. I have seen no document purporting to be an agreement between the hon. Member for Foyle (Mr. Hume) and Mr. Adams, save for their published statements.
The Prime Minister : The Government have no powers to surcharge paid members of non-departmental public bodies in the same way as elected councillors and have no plans to seek such powers. Public bodies are already able to apply disciplinary sanctions, including seeking prosecutions where appropriate.