Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will extend legal aid to those wishing to present appeals to (a) the employment appeals tribunal and (b) employment tribunals.
Mr. John M. Taylor : Civil legal aid is already available, subject to the normal means and merits tests, for those appearing before the employment appeals tribunal. There are no plans to extend civil legal aid to industrial tribunals. However, legal advice and assistance under the green form scheme is available to those who are financially eligible.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department who is the press spokeswoman who advised the press of the Lord Chancellor's views about Mr. Justice Wood's stewardship of employment appeal tribunal applications ; and what was the basis on which this was done.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The Lord Chancellor's head of information advised those members of the press who approached her concerning Sir John Wood's stewardship of the employment appeals tribunal. In each case, she was asked to comment on correspondence between the Lord Chancellor and Sir John in 1993 in which the Lord Chancellor had drawn Sir John's attention to the rule 3 procedure by which the EAT was able to deal with the mounting backlog of cases in the employment appeals tribunal.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department on what occasion and by what method the Lord Chancellor asked Mr. Justice Wood to reconsider his decision to permit appellants to the employment appeals tribunal the facility of advancing their cases at preliminary hearings ; what were his reasons for doing so ; and what response was made.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what representation he has received from (a) Lord Justice Purchas, (b) other judges and (c) the judge's representative body about his relationship with Mr. Justice Wood, prior to the latter's retirement as president of the employment appeals tribunal ; and what action he has taken.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make a statement on his powers and his practice in discussing with judges their stewardship of cases in relation to cost, conduct and the legal principles involved.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The external financing limit for 1993-94 for Her Majesty's Land Registry trading fund will be reduced from £0 million to minus £29 million. This results from increases in fee income, efficiency and lower capital expenditure.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list for the last 12 months how many parliamentary questions he has referred to one of his Department's agencies for answer ; and what percentage of parliamentary questions to his Department this represents.
Mr. John M. Taylor : In the 12-month period 1 March 1993 to 28 February 1994 13 parliamentary questions to my Department were referred to one or other of the Department's agencies for answer. This figure represents 1.79 per cent. of the total number of parliamentary questions to my Department for answer in the same period.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department on how many occasions he has knowingly provided incomplete information in answers to parliamentary questions other than on grounds of disproportionate cost ; and on what subjects.
Column 343Procedure for Ministers". I also seek to comply with the Madam Speaker's guidance on the need for brief answers to oral questions.
Mr. Jonathan Evans : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what measures are being taken by courts in Wales to protect child witnesses with particular reference to the use of screens, television link equipment and pre-recorded interviews ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John M. Taylor : In Wales, TV links and video playback equipment are in place at the following crown court centres ; Caernarfon, Cardiff, Mold, Newport, and Swansea. Arrangements can be made for screens to be available at all Crown court centres and county courts in Wales if required. All magistrates courts in Wales have access to screens and video playback equipment, and may use the TV links in place at Crown court centres.
Mr. John M. Taylor : There is a designated child liaison officer for every crown court centre, including the following in Wales : Caernarfon ; Cardiff ; Carmarthen ; Dolgellau ; Haverfordwest ; Merthyr Tydfil ; Mold ; Newport ; Swansea, and Welshpool.
|Number ------------------------------- Total received |748 Total dispatched |423
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 10 February, Official Report, column 414, how the embassy in Moscow raises the issue of seal pup slaughter in Russia ; and what action will be taken to raise the matter of the killing of seals on the shores of the Caspian sea.
The Prime Minister : The embassy in Moscow continues to raise the subject of public concern over seal hunting with the Russians during meetings with appropriate officials. The issue was most recently discussed with the chairman of the sub-committee on science in the Russian Parliament. The embassy is also seeking an early opportunity to raise the subject of hunting in the Caspian sea with officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Prime Minister : This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral answer of 8 March, Official Report, column 148, what discussions Her Majesty's Government have had with water pump and water filter manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies about supplies of medicines and equipment to authorities in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has received from (a) individual judges and (b) the judge's representative body about the Lord Chancellor's relationship with Mr. Justice Wood, prior to the latter's retirement as president of the employment appeals tribunal ; and what action he will take.
The Prime Minister : The 1994-95 supply estimate for class XIX, vote 2 "Cabinet Office : security and intelligence services", published today, fulfils the commitment I gave on 24 November 1993, Official Report, column 52, to bring together the aggregate expenditure of the security and intelligence services into a single vote.
Total provision sought for 1994-95 is £881.486 million, around 8 per cent. below forecast outturn for 1993-94. Provision for these services is planned to decline by around a further 5 per cent. in cash terms by 1996- 97.
Mr. Gunnell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the total numbers of prisoners in custody in England and Wales, on (a) 1 June 1979, (b) 1 June 1983, (c) 1 June 1987 and (d) 1 April 1992, and on the latest date for which figures are available.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. John Gunnell, dated 24 March 1994 :
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking what were the total number of prisoners in custody in England and Wales, on (a) 1st June 1979, (b) 1st June 1983, (c) 1st June 1987 and (d) 1st April 1992, and on the latest date for which figures are available.
The readily available information for the historical prison population is for the last day of each month. It is given in the attached table for the day preceding the date requested and for Tuesday 22 March 1994.
Prison population in England and Wales: 1979-94 Date |Number of |persons<1> ------------------------------------ 31 May 1979 |42,369 31 May 1983 |43,473 31 May 1987 |49,255 31 March 1992 |47,746 22 March 1994 |48,378 <1>Includes prisoners held in police cells.
Mr. Gunnell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the total numbers of prisoners in custody in England and Wales on the first day of each month from May 1992 until the latest month for which figures are available.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. John Gunnell, dated 24 March 1994.
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking what were the total numbers of prisoners in custody in England and Wales, on the first day of each month from May 1992 until the latest month for which figures are available.
The readily available information for the historical prison population is for the last day of each month. It is given in the attached table for the day preceding the date requested and for Tuesday 22 March 1994.
Prison population including those held in police cells, England and Wales, April 1992-March 1994 Last day of each |Total month |population --------------------------------------------------- 1992 April |47,738 May |46,696 June |46,832 July |46,875 August |46,350 September |45,835 October |43,905 November |43,064 December |40,606 1993 January |41,561 February |42,882 March |43,195 April |43,391 May |43,585 June |44,246 July |44,830 August |45,633 September |46,211 October |46,886 November |47,153 December |45,214 1994 January |46,902 February |47,945 22 March |48,378
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many visits have been made to the Campsfield detention centre by officials of his Department since 18 February ; and what was discussed with the management of the centre.
Mr. Charles Wardle : There is a permanent team of seven Immigration Service staff at the Campsfield House detention centre responsible for local operational matters and monitoring the performance of the managing contractor, Group 4 Total Security Ltd. The team is supplemented if necessary. In addition, since 18 February 1994, weekly visits have been made to Campsfield House by senior Immigration Service officials to consider with Group 4 Total Security Ltd. all aspects of domestic and operational management of the centre.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many detainees have been moved from Campsfield detention centre since 18 February ; and how many of them have been (a) released, (b) moved to other detention centres and (c) moved to prison.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Since 18 February a total of 82 detainees have been moved from the Campsfield House immigration detention centre. Of these, 26 have been given temporary admission to the United Kingdom, 10 have been transferred to other immigration detention centres and 11 to prisons. The remaining 35 were removed from the United Kingdom.
Mr. Charles Wardle : All Group 4 Total Security Ltd. staff employed under contract to provide detention management services receive a minimum of 15 days' initial training on all aspects of health and safety, race relations, domestic management and the duty of care
Column 347towards immigration detainees. A refresher course is provided after one year's service and at yearly intervals thereafter.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many immigration detainees were on hunger strike on 18 March ; and how many in each centre were involved in this form of protest.
Location |Number --------------------------------------------- Campsfield House detention centre |82 Haslar holding centre |37 Harmondsworth detention centre |16 HMP Canterbury |18 HMP High Down |6 HMP Birmingham |3 HMP Blakenhurst |3 HMP Bullingdon |2 HMP Pentonville |2 |-- Total |169
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will issue guidance to chief constables that police officers should not work on car parking supervision duties for members of the royal family except in cases dealing with security ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) spouses and (b) children have been allowed to enter the United Kingdom since he announced that couples who had been separated for five years and couples with children could apply for their cases to be reviewed ; how many cases are currently awaiting decision ; if he will reduce the current limits to cases being reviewed ; and if he will make a statement.
Information on total acceptances for settlement of spouses and children in the 12 months ending 30 June 1993 is published in table 3 of the Home Office statistical bulletin issue 33-93 "Control of Immigration : Statistics--First and Second Quarters 1993". It is planned to publish information for the second half of 1993 around the end of April.
The available information on cases awaiting a decision is for entry clearance applications in the Indian sub-continent. Information on such applications by spouses and children outstanding at 31 December 1992 is published in table 2.3 of Home Office command paper "Control of Immigration : Statistics United Kingdom 1992" (Cm 2368). Summary information on such applications outstanding at 30 June 1993 is published in tables 8 and 9 of the bulletin. Corresponding information in respect of entry clearance applications outside the Indian sub-continent, or of applications made after entry, is not separately identified in available statistics.
We have no plans for further changes to the operation of the primary purpose rule.
Copies of the publications are in the Library.
Mr. Charles Wardle : A number of steps have already been taken to carry through the principles of the citizens charter in the immigration field, including the publication of the Immigration Service (ports) operating plan. The programme is founded on delivering a high quality public service which maintains firm controls on immigration.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list, to the latest available date, the numbers in all queues who have applied to all British posts on the Indian sub-continent ; what is the current average waiting time in each queue ; and if he will list the comparable figures for the same period a year ago.
Number of persons awaiting first interview and waiting times (in months) to first interview<2> in the settlement queues in the Indian sub-continent, as at 31 December 1992 and 1993. 31 December 1992 31 December 1993 Queue<3> |Number awaiting |Waiting time to |Number awaiting |Waiting time to |first |first |first interview |nterview (months) |first interview |interview (months) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bangladesh (Dhaka) Queue 1 |522 |3 |<5>- |<5>- Queue 2 |1,830 |6 |<5>- |<5>- Queue 3 |252 |7 |<5>- |<5>- Queue 4 |293 |9 |<5>- |<5>- India (Bombay) Queue 1 |- |- |- |- Queue 2 |124 |4 |90 |4 Queue 3 |351 |7 |304 |7 Queue 4 |239 |10 |268 |10 India (New Delhi) Queue 1 |- |- |1 |- Queue 2 |298 |3 |305 |3 Queue 3 |246 |7 |207 |8 Queue 4 |117 |10 |109 |10 India (Madras)<4> Queue 1-4 |21 |0.5 |28 |2 India (Calcutta) Queue 1-4 |- |- |- |- Pakistan (Islamabad) Queue 1 |45 |3 |82 |3 Queue 2 |844 |3 |1,257 |3 Queue 3 |224 |6 |241 |6 Queue 4 |901 |9 |763 |9 Pakistan (Karachi) Queue 1-4 |<1>- |<1>- |<1>- |<1>- <1>No queuing system is in operation in Karachi as all applicants are contacted by letter requesting specific details before a decision is reached. <2>The number of months which the last applicant interviewed had waited for his/her first interview. First-time settlement applicants: <3> Queue 1: persons with a claim to the right of abode. dependant relatives over 70 years old. special compassionate cases. Queue 2: Spouses. Queue 3: Fiance(e)s. other applicants for settlement. Queue 4: re-applicants. <4>All applicants seeking settlement are placed in the same queue. <5>Figures for Dhaka at 31 December 1993 are not yet available. Waiting times at 30 June was published in table 10 of Home Office Statistical Bulletin, Issue 33/93, Control of Immigration: Statistics-First and Second Quarters 1993".
Mr. Burns : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many incidents of drug abuse were discovered in Chelmsford prison in each year since 1990 ; and if he will make a statement ; (2) if he will list the different types of drugs that have been found in Chelmsford prison in each year since 1990 ;
(3) how many visitors to Chelmsford prison have been found to be in possession of illegal drugs while visiting Chelmsford prison each year since 1990 ; and what subsequent action was taken against them ;
(4) how often cells and other parts of Chelmsford prison are searched for drugs by staff and sniffer dogs ; and if he will make a statement ;
(5) what action is being taken to seek to reduce the incidence of drug abuse within Chelmsford prison ; and if he will make a statement.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Simon Burns, dated 24 March 1994. The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your five recent Questions about drugs at Chelmsford prison.
The number of unauthorised drug finds at Chelmsford, including materials used in connection with such drugs in each of the years since 1990 was 64, 61, 68, 66 respectively. So far this year there have been seven finds.
Details of the type of drugs found at Chelmsford were not recorded before 1991. Since then 156 finds have involved cannabis, five of cocaine, five of heroin and one each of
Column 350mescaline, opium, LSD and amphetamine. There were seven finds in which the drugs were either unprescribed medication or discovered in the visits area and not tested.
Records of visitors to Chelmsford found in possession of controlled drugs were not kept before 1993. Since then 14 visitors were arrested by the Police and one was warned by staff. Details of the action subsequently taken by the police or courts are not readily available.
An average of 130 cells containing approximately 190 inmates, and all other areas such as workshops, are routinely searched every month. In addition special searches are carried out when it is suspected that a prisoner may be in possession of drugs. Searches using dogs were carried out in 1990, 1991 and 1993.
An x-ray machine was installed in 1993 to examine visitors baggage. The Police are called if anyone is found attempting to bring drugs into the prison. It is open to the Governor to then require that visits to the prisoner concerned will be restricted and allowed only under closely supervised conditions. He may also exclude such visitors from visiting the prison.
Any inmate with a drug addiction problem is offered a seven day detoxification programme and counselling by trained Health Care Staff, on being received at the prison. Counsellors from the National Children's Society run a "Drugwatch" group three times a week for an average of six inmates and appropriate treatment is offered by the Medical Officer.
Reducing drug misuse is one of the Prison Service's top priorities. We shall reduce the opportunities for prisoners to obtain drugs by improving detection. The use of x-ray machines has already helped and greater use of information has enabled resources to be targeted on potential offenders. The new clause being introduced in the Criminal Justice Bill will allow prisoners to be tested for drugs. We also aim to reduce the demand for drugs in prisons. Our new Drug Strategy will provide improved support and treatment for those misusing drugs, including drug support units to help prisoners who wish to break the habit.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Only a very small proportion of people who have sought asylum are detained. The available information shows that on 17 March 1994 a total of 654 people who had sought asylum at some stage, including those awaiting removal or the determination of an appeal, were held in detention. It is Immigration Service policy to grant temporary admission wherever possible, and detention is authorised only where there is no other alternative and where there are good grounds for believing that the person will not comply with the terms of temporary admission. Account is taken of all relevant circumstances, including the means by which the person arrived in this country, any past immigration history and the person's ties with the United Kingdom.
Detained cases are reviewed regularly and if there is any indication that asylum is likely to be granted then the person is released immediately.
One of the aims of the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993 is to ensure that asylum applications are resolved more quickly. The Act provides that anyone who is refused asylum may appeal against the decision, and that those who do appeal may seek bail from the independent appellate authorities.
Mr. Gunnell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the total numbers of prison places in England and Wales on (a) 1 June 1979, (b) 1 June 1983, (c) 1 June 1987 and (d) 1 April 1992 and on the latest date for which figures are available.
Letter from Ian Dunbar to Mr. John Gunnell, dated 23 March 1994 :
The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about the number of prison places in England and Wales.
The readily available information on prison places before September 1990 was collected on the last day of each month. The table gives the certified normal accommodation (CNA), that is uncrowded capacity, for the days preceding those requested and for Tuesday 22 March 1994.
Date |CNA ---------------------------- 31 May 1979 |37,890 31 May 1983 |38,775 31 May 1987 |41,688 31 March 1992 |45,469 22 March 1994 |47,463