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Mr. Wells : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will extend to United Kingdom citizens the use of his good offices to resolve issues of compensation for torture undergone in countries where they have difficulty in pursuing legal action in the courts.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : In principle we would make representations on behalf of any British national who has suffered in the way described. But there are difficulties in cases of dual nationals in the country of their second nationality.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response Her Majesty's Government have made to the announcement by the United States Administration that it intends to maintain the nuclear test ban moratorium until September 1995.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We have reaffirmed that we have no intention of testing while the United States moratorium continues, and that we will work with energy and speed towards the conclusion of an effective comprehensive test ban treaty.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps Her Majesty's Government are taking to encourage states to join negotiations on a multilateral, verifiable fissile materials cut-off.
Mr. Goodlad : We supported the United Nations General Assembly resolution last year which called for the negotiation of a convention prohibiting the production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. We also supported the appointment on 1 February of a special co-ordinator at the conference on disarmament, who is currently seeking the views of its member states on the most appropriate arrangements for the negotiation of a cut-off convention.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the dates Ministers, or officials from his Department, including his Department's agencies, have used the Malaysian airline MAS for each year since 1985 including this year to date on official business ; and what was the cost to his Department of each flight.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in which document Her Majesty's Government were informed of the proposal to change the arrangement in the Community treaties for qualified majority vote in the Council of Ministers ; who originated any such proposals ; when they were received by Her Majesty's Government ; how and by what means these and associated voting arrangements were made public in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) within other member and co-ordinate states of the Community.
Column 141arrangements. The Union's negotiating position has evolved over several months on the basis of informal presidency texts. The Brussels European Council in December 1993 settled the Union's negotiating position on a number of institutional issues and invited "the General Affairs Council to supplement that decision by determining the threshold for the qualified majority of votes within the Council in the context of finalizing the enlargement negotations."
These decisions were recorded in the conclusions of the Council, deposited in the House on 13 December 1993. The qualified majority threshold has been a matter of active negotiation since that time. It is not possible to say whether or when any information on this subject has been made public in other member states or the applicant countries without incurring disproportionate costs.
Mr. Goodlad : A meeting of experts under the Sino-British airport committee was held on 3 March to discuss the Hong Kong Government's fourth financial proposal which was handed to the Chinese side on 2 February. The contents of diplomatic exchanges have to remain confidential. However, we believe that our latest proposals fully meet all the Chinese side's expressed concerns and hope that a full meeting of the airport committee can be convened shortly.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations Her Majesty's Government have made to Indonesia in accordance with United Nations resolutions regarding East Timor.
Mr. Goodlad : We have encouraged the Indonesians and Portuguese to co-operate with the UN Secretary-General in his efforts to find a comprehensive solution for East Timor in line with the request in UN General Assembly resolution 37/30. We believe that the continuing dialogue between Portugal and Indonesia under the Secretary-General's auspices offers the best prospect for reaching agreement.
Dr. John Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whom General Ilter, Commander of the Turkish Gendarmerie, met in the Ministry of Defence during his visit to the United Kingdom.
When General Ilter, Commander Head of the Turkish Gendarmerie, visited the Ministry of Defence, he met my noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Defence and General Sir Peter Inge, the then Chief of the General Staff.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Four British passport holders were charged with treason--aiding a coup attempt--on 23 December in Freetown, and remain in custody there. Since 13 January this year a Sierra Leonean magistrate has been hearing evidence on the case in order to decide whether it should be referred to the High Court. The accused are being well treated : our high commission has full consular access.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about progress on disarmament and the establishment of a transitional Government in Liberia.
We hope all aspects of the Cotonou agreement will now be fully implemented and that there will be no slippage in the timetable leading up to elections on 7 September.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the strength of each of the national forces contributing to the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group initiative in Liberia.
|Number --------------------------- Nigeria |9,000 Ghana |1,000 Uganda |850 Tanzania |850 Sierra Leone |500 Gambia |<1> Guinea |<1> Mali |<1> <1> Less than 100 each.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in the demobilisation of child soldiers in Liberia ; and what contribution Britain is making to their rehabilitation.
Column 143taking place. It is not yet possible to judge how many child soldiers there are in Liberia. We have this year provided £1.6 million, including £672,000 to the United Nations Trust Fund for Liberia, in humanitarian assistance for Liberia, principally in support of Save the Children Fund, UNICEF and Red Cross programmes. These programmes include provision for the tracing, demobilisation and rehabilitation of child soldiers.
Mr. Norris : We have received representations from Members of Parliament, London borough councillors, residents, businesses, community groups and others, mostly about the extent of the red route network and the detailed measures, which are the subject of consultation by the Traffic Director for London.
Lady Olga Maitland : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to ensure that passengers who are unable to buy a valid ticket on the London Underground are not unduly penalised or harassed by the authorities.
Mr. Norris : London Underground has introduced a range of measures to minimise instances in which a passenger wishing to buy a ticket cannot do so. On those occasions when a ticket cannot be obtained there will be no liability to pay a penalty fare. London Underground's revenue control officials will be able to check the status of the ticket machines at any station on the network at the relevant time. A clear and accessible appeal mechanism will be available for any passengers who feel they have been unfairly charged.
Lady Olga Maitland : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the loss of revenue to London Underground due to fraud and evasion of buying tickets in the last year for which figures are available.
Mr. Key : I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave on 21 March 1994 at column 100 , and to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment and Countryside to a question from the hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn) at column 114 . The need for any further action will be judged in the light of the advice of the expert bodies referred to in my hon. Friend's reply.
Mr. Key : The Government are not yet convinced of the cost- effectiveness of such measures. The introduction of catalytic converters on new petrol-engined cars through directive 91/441/EEC has resulted in overall reductions in regulated emissions of up to 80 per cent. from these vehicles. The next stage of emission reductions is now agreed for 1996-97 with a further enhanced package of measures under consideration for the year 2000. There are new emission limits for heavy-duty vehicles already agreed for the year 1996 with further requirements being considered for the year 2000. The result of these measures will be a considerable reduction in transport-related emissions until well into the next century.
Other measures that will benefit local air quality include encouraging the use of public transport, cycling and walking and, for the longer term, considering the possible benefits of congestion charging and the use of the planning system to reduce the need to travel by car. That last is addressed in the Government's recently published planning policy guidance note 13 on transport and land use planning.
Mr. Key : None. Regulations are already in place which effectively require all new petrol-engined passenger cars to be fitted with catalytic converters, and which extend the requirement to new car-derived vans from 1 October 1994. An estimated 2.5 million cars are already fitted with the devices and, as the decade advances, there will be a natural progression towards an almost total catalyst-equipped fleet by the year 2003.
Mr. Key : A study on diesel vehicle emissions and urban air quality by the quality of urban air review group has recently reported and the Government have commissioned research from the energy technology support unit on the possible effects of increased diesel use. We are studying that research carefully. The Department of Health's Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants is expected to report on the possible health effects of particulates later this year.
We have already agreed tighter emissions limits for future diesel vehicles and we will consider whether further action is necessary in the light of expert advice.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give a detailed breakdown of amounts and the recipients of the £1.6 million which will be spent by the Office of the Rail Regulator in the financial year 1994-95 on external consultants for rail privatisation.
Mr. Freeman : The regulator informs me that he expects to incur the majority of his planned expenditure on external consultants in obtaining advice on questions of economics, accounting, business efficiency and legal advice in connection with the exercise of his statutory functions relating to the approval of access agreements and the monitoring of licences. It is his intention to let contracts on the basis of fair and open competitive tendering.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give a detailed breakdown of the amounts and recipients of the £5.9 milion he estimates will be spent by the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising in the financial year 1994-95 on external consultants for rail privatisation.
Mr. Freeman : The Office of Passenger Rail Franchising will require a range of consultancy services in 1994-95, including legal, financial and accountancy advice. The expenditure required in respect of specific consultancy services will depend on the precise amount of work commissioned.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give a breakdown of amounts and recipients of the £12 million he estimates will be spent by his Department in the financial year 1994-95 on external consultants for rail privatisation.
Mr. Freeman : The £12 million expenditure for which the Department has made provision in the financial year 1994-95 is expected to cover advice on legal issues, merchant banking, accountancy and taxation, marketing, access charges, freight issues and information systems. The detailed breakdown will depend on how much work is commissioned in each area.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether local residents will continue to have the opportunity to object to the granting of a goods vehicle operating licence under the proposals set out in the Deregulation and Contracting Out Bill.
The London energy study carried out by the London Research Centre was published on 15 September 1993 ; it was funded by the European Commission, London Electricity plc and the Department of the Environment. One of the principal outputs of the study was a very detailed inventory of energy use, and the resultant emissions of pollutants to the London atmosphere covering almost 2,000 sq km in and around London. The table illustrates the contribution from road transport for each pollutant in 1991.
; London 1991, road transport |Percentage of |total emissions ----------------------------------------------------------- Carbon dioxide (as carbon) |33 Sulphur dioxide |22 Black smoke |96 Carbon monoxide |99 Nitrogen oxides |76 Volatile organic compounds |97
Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many orders were placed by British Rail in each financial year since 1990- 91 ; what are the projections for 1994-95 and 1995-96 for (a) mainline passenger and freight locomotives, (b) mainline passenger coaches, (c) regional multiple units and (d) freight and goods wagons of all descriptions.
Financial year and |Number description -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1990-91 Locomotives (Class 92) |30 Electric multiple units |111 Container wagons |700 1991-92 Locomotives (Class 92) |7 Electric multiple units |104 Diesel multiple units |63 Channel tunnel trainsets for North of London services |7 Automotive wagons |300 1992-93 Locomotives (Class 92) |9 Electric multiple units |188 Channel tunnel night stock |139 Intermodal wagons |450 1993-94 Electric multiple units |164
BR orders for subsequent years will be a matter for the new rolling stock leasing companies to be established on 1 April.
Sir John Wheeler : At 14 March 1994 there were 1,316 staff in the Northern Ireland civil service--4.4 per cent. of the service--who self reported a disability. Of these 470--1.6 per cent. of the service--were, or had been, registered as disabled. In addition, 77 registered disabled people are working in the Northern Ireland civil service under the sheltered placement scheme.
There were no self-reported disabled in the home civil service.
Year |Amount (£) --------------------------------- 1980 |1,770,000 1981 |1,100,000 1982 |630,000 1983 |450,000 1984 |1,425,000 1985 |750,000 1986 |3,100,000 1987 |5,462,500 1988 |1,812,500 1989 |1,500,000 1990 |7,434,843 1991 |30,584,700 1992 |3,532,000 1993 |6,787,500
|£ million ------------------------------ 1982 |2.108 1986 |2.640 1988 |0.999 1990 |7.610 1991 |0.314 1992 |3.524
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what funds have been allocated to Belfast Harbour Commissioners by the European Commission from sources other than the European regional development fund in each year since 1980.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what grants have been allocated to Belfast airport by the European Commission from sources other than the European regional development fund in each year since 1980.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what proportion of capital projects is eligible for grant aid to public sector bodies in Northern Ireland under the European regional development fund ;
(2) what proportion of a capital project is eligible for grant aid to private sector bodies in Northern Ireland under the European regional development fund.
Mr. Tim Smith : Public sector bodies may receive assistance of up to 75 per cent. of the total eligible expenditure for projects assisted by the European regional development fund. Private sector bodies may receive up to 50 per cent.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what study he has made on the impact of the privatisation of Belfast airport on the airport's eligibility for EU regional development grants.
Sir John Wheeler : Following the privatisation of Northern Ireland Airports Ltd. Belfast international airport will continue in principle to be eligible for assistance from the European regional development fund under Council Regulations 2082/93 article 17.
Mr. Waterson : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when he will make available the report of the triennial review by the Independent Commission for Police Complaints for Northern Ireland ; and if he will make a statement.
This is the second such report from the commission, which was established in 1988. I am glad to note that it is satisfied with the statutory procedures in the order for the handling of complaints from the public against individual police officers. However, it has made six recommendations which it considers will further enhance these procedures and, before reaching any decision on them, I intend consulting with the various interested bodies. I shall report to the House further in due course.
I am grateful to the commission for the considerable effort that has been put into the preparation of the report. The commission, by its fair and thorough handling of individual complaints, has already done much to improve the relationship between the police and the public it serves. Its triennial review is further evidence that it is concerned to ensure that the complaints system operates efficiently, effectively and impartially for all the parties involved and, most important, that it is seen to do so.
Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the security statistics, together with details of persons charged with terrorist-type offences and convictions for scheduled offences, for the period January to June 1993 will be available.