Mr. Boateng : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many (a) people and (b) organisations have responded to the Green Paper on divorce law reform "Looking to the Future" ; and what were their names.
Of these, 52 individuals and 78 others sent a written response only ; 434 individuals and 15 others sent a completed questionnaire only ; and 47 individuals and 10 others sent both a written response and a completed questionnaire.
Responses are still being received. Once they have all been received, I will write to the hon. Member listing those who have responded. A copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of both Houses.
Total numbers of staff in the Lord Chancellor's Department Year |Total Number |of Staff --------------------------------------- 1985-86 |10,190 1986-87 |10,206 1987-88 |10,489 1988-89 |10,880 1989-90 |10,753 1990-91 |10,954 1991-92 |11,460 1992-93 |11,774 <2>1993-94 |<1>11,809 <1> Forecast. <2> Estimated outturn. These figures include part time staff who have been shown as whole numbers.
Mr. Boateng : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans he has to (a) make redundant and (b) seek voluntary redundancies from the staff of his Department in the next financial year ; and how many and what grade of (i) civil servants and (ii) qualified lawyers he estimates will be affected.
Mr. Boateng : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, pursuant to his answer of 7 March, Official Report, column 73, what percentage of the total number of staff employed, and how many qualified lawyers, are affected by the requests for voluntary redundancies by the Legal Aid Board.
Mr. John M. Taylor : Voluntary redundancy has been sought from approximately 9 per cent. of the staff employed by the Legal Aid Board. The board is seeking the voluntary redundancy of 11 qualified lawyers.
Mr. Boateng : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, pursuant to his answers of 9 February, Official Report, columns 249-50, about matrimonial cases, what plans he has to undertake an investigation into the arrangement between his Department and the Home Office immigration and nationality department ; when it will be completed ; and if he will place a copy of the report of the investigation in the Library.
Mr. John M. Taylor : An internal investigation conducted in February revealed that the facts of the matter were straightforward. The arrangement was made by officials of my Department, as described in my earlier answer, and was terminated as soon as it came to my attention. Measures have been put in place to ensure that no similar action can be taken without proper consideration. I do not propose to publish a report.
Mr. Alan Howarth : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what changes have been made to the code of practice on Government information proposed in draft in the White Paper, "Open Government", Cm. 2290 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave : In my statement of 15 July 1993, Official Report, columns 1115-17, I described the Government's plans for increasing openness in government. We received more than 100 consultation responses to the White Paper, many of which gave the proposals a broad welcome. I am placing a summary of the consultation responses and copies of the responses themselves in the Library of the House. The White Paper proposed a new code of practice on Government information. This will come into effect on
Column 611Monday 4 April. The draft code has been revised and improved since last summer. Copies of the new code have been placed in the Library of the House. Further copies of the code and of a leaflet describing the new system may be obtained by telephoning 0345 223242. Ministers will be responsible for the performance of their Departments under the code of practice. Complaints that information has not been provided should be addressed in the first instance to the Department concerned. Where applicants are still dissatisfied, they can complain-- through a Member of Parliament--to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration.
The code of practice means that, in future, anyone seeking information from Government Departments and public bodies can be assured that their request will be received positively. When there is a case for confidentiality it must be based on specific tests in part II of the code. I am confident that the advantages of the code, which puts into practice key principles of the citizens charter, will rapidly become apparent.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has had from the Government of Malta about luggage alleged to have left Luqa airport for the Rhein-Main airport in December 1988, destined to destroy Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie.
The Prime Minister : As my noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate made clear in issuing warrants for the arrest of the two Libyans suspected of the Lockerbie bombing, the investigation concluded that the bomb which caused Pan Am 103 to explode over Lockerbie on 21 December 1988 was placed on board a flight from Luqa airport to Frankfurt, where it was transferred to flight PA 103. I have received no representations from the Maltese Government on this matter.
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 this House, I shall be having further meetings later today.
The Prime Minister : I visited central Bosnia and Sarajevo on 18 March. In central Bosnia I met British and other United Nations soldiers and civilian aid experts. I was impressed, as always, by their courage and professional dedication. UNPROFOR's achievements on the ground have helped to transform the situation in Bosnia and the prospects for a settlement.
In Sarajevo I met Bosnian Vice-President Ganic and General Rose. I announced a further £12 million of United
Column 612Kingdom aid for Bosnia : £5 million to help rebuild Sarajevo, and £7 million to support the work of UN agencies throughout Bosnia. With the £2 million announced by my right hon. and noble Friend, Baroness Chalker, to support the Tuzla airlift, this brings total United Kingdom humanitarian aid to former Yugoslavia to £171.5 million.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The available information on those given leave to remain in the United Kingdom as a recognised refugee is that in the period 1979 to end 1993 around 43,200 persons, including associated dependants, were given such leave. These comprise some 19, 700 asylum applicants who were recognised as refugees and granted asylum in the United Kingdom, and 23,500 south-east Asian refugees accepted for settlement, mainly on arrival. Information on the number of these persons who have since died, left the country, obtained British citizenship or otherwise ceased to hold refugee status here, and information prior to 1979, is not available.
Persons granted asylum here apply for permanent settlement after four years. Information on persons accepted for settlement in the years 1979-92 on this basis, along with south-east Asian refugees, is published in table 8 of Home Office Statistical Bulletin Issue 22/90 "Refugee Statistics United Kingdom 1989" and Table 10.1 of Home Office Statistical Bulletin Issue 19/93 "Asylum Statistics United Kingdom 1992". Copies of both these publications are in the Library. Corresponding information for 1993 will be published in the summer.
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the charities involved in the complaints of improper political activity investigated by the Charity Commission since 1990 ; and what are the dates of the investigation, the nature of the complaint and the conclusion in each case.
Formal reports have been published on two of these investigations : (i) "War on Want : Report of an Inquiry to the Charity Commissioners 15 February 1991" (ISBN 0-117-016128) ; and (ii) "Oxfam : Report of an Inquiry submitted to the Charity Commissioners 8 April 1991" (ISBN 0-117-016217). Both are available from HMSO. Full details on all 76 cases would be available only at disproportionate cost, but I will write to the hon. Member shortly with a summary based on those cases most recently concluded.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes were recorded by the Metropolitan police within each division, for each category of crime during the 12 months ended 31 December 1993.
Mr. Howard : The following new provisions to combat money laundering are being brought into force on 1 April by means of Commencement Order No. 6 : sections 18-19, 26, 32, 48, 50-51, 77 and 79. Section 77 implements schedule 4 of the Act and section 79 relevant consequential amendments in schedule 5.
Mr. Maclean : The Government's policy is to ensure that the courts have available to them a wide range of penalties, including custodial sentences. Custodial sentences in respect of young offenders aged 10 to 17 will be considerably extended by provisions in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill now before Parliament.
Detention during Her Majesty's pleasure for murder from age 10. From age 14 (and from age 10 for manslaughter), terms of detention under section 53 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 up to the adult maximum are available for crimes which are punishable in the case of an adult with 14 years imprisonment or more. In addition 14 to 17-year-olds who are convicted of the offences of causing death by dangerous driving or causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs may be sentenced to terms of detention under section 53 for a period up to the adult maximum penalty, which is 10 years. In the case of 16 and 17-year- olds, a term of detention under section 53 is also available for the offence of indecent assault on a woman up to the adult maximum, which is 10 years.
Column 614For juveniles aged 15 to 17, detention in a young offender institution for a maximum of 12 months is available for any offence for which an adult may be sentenced to imprisonment.
Mr. Gapes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will state the present whereabouts of the "Black Book of Captain Ramsey" ; and if he will make it available for public inspection and publication.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what major building projects valued at over £1 million are being or have been wholly or partly financed since 1989 in (a) Doncaster, (b) Barnsley, (c) Rotherham and (d) Wakefield by his Department ; and what was the cost of each project to his Department.
Area |Project |Total cost |Cost to the |Home Office |£ million |£ million -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Doncaster |Works complex HM young offenders institution, | Hatfield (commenced 1988) |1.0 |1.0 Doncaster |Construction of HM prison Moorland | (commenced 1990) |47.2 |47.2 Doncaster |Construction of HM prison Doncaster | (commenced 1990) |82.0 |82.0 Doncaster |Conversion of dormitories into cubicles, | HM prison Lindholme (commenced | 1993) |3.7 |3.7 Wakefield |Works Unit HM prison, Wakefield | (commenced 1988) |1.1 |1.1 Wakefield |Cell block, HM prison New Hall | (commenced 1989) |4.5 |4.5 Wakefield |Chapel and Sportshall HM prison, | Wakefield (commenced 1990) |1.9 |1.9 Wakefield |Kitchen and other facilities, HM prison | New Hall (commenced 1991) |3.1 |3.1 Wakefield |Dispersed gas boilers HM prison, | Wakefield (commenced 1992) |1.8 |1.8 Wakefield |Ossett divisional police headquarters | (commenced February 1992) |1.4 |0.714 Wakefield |Hospital and mother and baby unit, HM | prison New Hall (commenced 1993) |1.9 |1.9 Area |Project |Total cost |Cost to the |Home Office |£ million |£ million Doncaster |Works complex HM young offenders institution, | Hatfield (commenced 1988) |1.0 |1.0 Doncaster |Construction of HM prison Moorland | (commenced 1990) |47.2 |47.2 Doncaster |Construction of HM prison Doncaster | (commenced 1990) |82.0 |82.0 Doncaster |Conversion of dormitories into cubicles, | HM prison Lindholme (commenced | 1993) |3.7 |3.7 Wakefield |Works Unit HM prison, Wakefield | (commenced 1988) |1.1 |1.1 Wakefield |Cell block, HM prison New Hall | (commenced 1989) |4.5 |4.5 Wakefield |Chapel and Sportshall HM prison, | Wakefield (commenced 1990) |1.9 |1.9 Wakefield |Kitchen and other facilities, HM prison | New Hall (commenced 1991) |3.1 |3.1 Wakefield |Dispersed gas boilers HM prison, | Wakefield (commenced 1992) |1.8 |1.8 Wakefield |Ossett divisional police headquarters | (commenced February 1992) |1.4 |0.714 Wakefield |Hospital and mother and baby unit, HM | prison New Hall (commenced 1993) |1.9 |1.9
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will list the organisations and individuals outside his Department who are sent information on, or consulted about, individuals who are, or may be, proposed to the Minister for appointment to posts for which a Minister has to approve the person appointed or the shortlist for the appointment ;
(2) if he will list the organisations and individuals who have been asked, since June 1992, to submit names of individuals to be considered for appointments to paid and unpaid posts for which a Minister has to approve the person or shortlist for the appointment.
Mr. Howard : When making appointments I seek information from a variety of sources, including professional bodies, other Government Departments, the public appointments unit at Cabinet Office and any others that I consider relevant.
Mr. Jamieson : To ask the Attorney-General what estimate has been made of the cost to the Crown Prosecution Service of prosecuting a number of Plymouth councillors under section 106 of the Local Government Act 1992.
The Attorney-General : The estimated costs to the Crown Prosecution Service of the prosecution of 14 past or present Plymouth city councillors under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 are £10,900. This figure is inclusive of all case preparation, disbursements, and court attendances before and during the trial.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what percentage of public appointments made by his Department in 1993 were of (a) Asians and (b) black people ; and if he will list their names.
(a) 13.33 per cent.
(b) 0 per cent.
It is not our policy to provide details of the ethnic origins of appointees.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Israeli Government about the desirability of releasing more prisoners to aid the peace process in the occupied territories.
Mr. Goodlad : We have an extradition treaty with the Republic of Cyprus, but the writ of the lawful Government does not run in the north of the island. Officials of the Serious Fraud Office have pursued their investigations in both Turkey and northern Cyprus.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the mandate of the International Atomic Energy Agency team in North Korea ; and to what extent it has been allowed to carry out that mandate.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : On 15 February, North Korea agreed to open its seven declared nuclear facilities to IAEA inspections, and to the agency's requirements for inspection at each facility. On 21 March, the IAEA director
Column 617general stated that the inspections, carried out between 3 and 14 March, had not permitted the agency to conclude that nuclear material had not been diverted for military use in North Korea since February 1993. Agency inspectors were not allowed to proceed with a full inspection at one of the declared nuclear facilities as previously agreed.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 23 March, Official Report, column 292, if he will list the number of contracts and their costs with management consultants in the latest year for which figures are available.
|Number |£ ---------------------------------------- Diplomatic wing |4 |129,000 Aid wing |8 |451,907 (this excludes management consultancies awarded under the aid programme)
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received about the systematic killing of handicapped babies in China ; what representations he has made to the Chinese Government concerning this abuse of human rights ; and if he will raise this issue with the United Nations Secretariat dealing with human rights.
Mr. Goodlad : We have not received any representations about this issue. We regularly raise human rights, including population policy issues, with the Chinese authorities, urging them to adhere to internationally approved standards of behaviour. We co-sponsored a resolution on China, with our European partners, at this year's session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, which specifically drew attention to reports of forced abortion. But it was stopped by a no-action motion introduced by the Chinese.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has about progress to increase protection for the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Details of the international presence and other measures to protect the Palestinians in the occupied territories called for in United Nations Security Council resolution 904 are the subject of on- going negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State forForeign and Commonwealth Affairs how many, and what percentage of officers in each of grades 1 to 7 and overall in his Department are (a) women, (b) from ethnic minorities and (c) disabled, respectively.
The latest available figures are: Grades<1> |1 |2 |3 |4<2> |5 |6 |7 |below 7 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Women Number |- |1 |4 |- |25 |19 |129 |2,953 Percentage of all staff |- |3 per cent. |4 per cent. |- |7 per cent. |11 per cent. |17 per cent. |38 per cent. Ethnic minority respondents<3> Number |- |- |- |- |2 |1 |4 |291 Percentage of all staff |- |- |- |- |0.6 per cent.|0.6 per cent.|0.5 per cent.|4 per cent. Registered disabled staff<4> Number |- |- |- |- |1 |- |- |57 Percentage of all staff |- |- |- |- |0.3 per cent.|- |- |0.7 per cent. <1> Grades which are not part of the Open Structure have been aggregated with the equivalent Open Structure grades. <2> There is only one individual employed at this grade. <3> Includes only those members of staff who have responded to questionnaires; there is no compulsion on staff to record their ethnic origin, although well over 90 per cent. have done so. <4> Includes only staff who are registered disabled.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contracts his Department has put out to tender for the supply of security services at its buildings ; how many of them cover the protection of classified information held on the premises ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 618protection of classified material. Information on the number of such contracts is not readily available. As regards the FCO's buildings in central London, the guarding of the entrances and the patrolling of buildings where classified information is stored will shortly be put out to tender under the market testing programme. Six companies will be invited to bid, and the present in-house team will also be tendering. The FCO will award the contract to the contractor which offers the best overall value for money.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what position the United Kingdom has taken at the United Nations since 1974 on the legality of the Indonesian occupation of East Timor.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the British Government will support an economic embargo being imposed against Indonesia until that country ends its occupation of East Timor ; and what other sanctions against Indonesia the British Government will support to assist bringing this occupation to an end.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many meetings have been held between representatives of Her Majesty's Government and the Indonesian Government to discuss human rights issues in East Timor since January 1993.
Mr. Goodlad : We are encouraging Indonesia and Portugal to continue to co-operate with the United Nations Secretary-General to find a solution to East Timor. We therefore welcome the return to consensus language at this year's session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and hope that it will help provide an atmosphere conducive to progress at the next round of talks on the territory's future between Portugal and Indonesia under the Secretary-General's auspices in May.