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Mr. Goodlad : We believe the Indonesian Government have made progress in observing their human rights obligations. We are encouraging them to continue this positive trend and, in particular, to co-operate with the United Nations human rights mechanisms.
Column 803We hope the return to consensus language at this year's session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights 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.
21. Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the current position concerning discussions with Argentina about prospecting for oil in the waters surrounding the Falkland Islands ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : We are considering the next steps for the development of the Falklands continental shelf. We shall be discussing the matter shortly with the Falkland Islands Government. In due course we would expect also to have discussions with the Government of Argentina.
Mr. Goodlad : We have been in close and frequent touch with the Malaysian Government, the business community and others both here and in Malaysia. We want to restore the flourishing state of our relations as soon as possible.
The Malaysian Government's concern has been about certain articles in the British press. I believe that they have reflected fully how much the Malaysians helped us in finding the missing British service men in Sabah. That assistance highlights the real relationship between our two countries.
Mr. Byers : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer to the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Carlile) on 23 March, Official Report, column 294, if he will state the dates on which representations were made by the Government of Malaysia.
Column 804human rights with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkey when he visited Ankara on 19 and 20 January. I stressed our concerns to the Turkish Minister for Human Rights in London recently.
I last discussed the subject with the Pakistan Foreign Secretary in February.
32. Mr. Watson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of Israel relating to the disarming of Jewish settlers in the occupied territories following the massacre at Hebron.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : I wrote to the Israeli ambassador drawing his attention to the statement on 7 March by European Union Foreign Ministers which called for protection of Palestinians in the occupied territories.
33. Mr. Canavan : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement about the up-to-date position of the United Kingdom Government on the possibility of re-joining the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Relations with third countries are discussed on an ad hoc basis at Foreign Affairs Councils. We and our partners understand the growing political and economic importance of this part of the world--in 1992, 7.8 per cent. of United Kingdom exports went to the Asia Pacific region and, for the first time, the European Union traded more with east Asia than with north America. The EC has co-operation agreements with the Association of South-East Asian Nations and with China and one is currently being negotiated with Vietnam.
Column 805During the United Kingdom presidency we made a priority of developing the Community's relations with Japan, based on the arrangements for consultation as laid out in the EC-Japan joint declaration of 1991 and we continue to press for this to be consolidated. The Germans have stated that the strengthening of relations between the European Union and Asia will be a focal point of their presidency--including intensification of the
European-Japanese dialogue, and examination of the options for concluding a co-operation agreement with the Republic of Korea, as well as the normal ministerial EC/ASEAN meeting scheduled for September. We have welcomed this.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : I refer the hon. Member (1) to the replies given by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Smith) on 14 March, Official Report, columns 474-77 and to the hon. Member for Hertford and Stortford (Mr. Wells) on 21 March, Official Report, columns 11-12, (2) to my reply to the hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Evans) on 25 March, Official Report, columns 478-79, (3) to the reply of my hon. Friend the Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) on 22 March, Official Report, columns 120-22 and to the statement of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the House on 29 March, Official Report, columns 797-98.
36. Mr. Hanson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to Turkish and Turkish Cypriot authorities regarding the occupation of properties in northern Cyprus by Turkish settlers.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The Turkish Government and the Turkish Cypriots are aware of our position on this issue. The communique issued at last October's Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting expressed concern at the influx of Turkish settlers to Cyprus and emphasised that nothing should be done to change the demographic structure of the Island.
37. Mr. Mans : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what efforts are being made to reinforce the commercial sections of British embassies in Asia and the Pacific rim countries.
This year alone we are creating 23 new frontline commercial jobs at our Asian and Pacific rim missions in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Osaka, Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and at the British trade and cultural office in Taipei.
In addition, discussions are well advanced for opening new commercial offices in Pusan in Korea and Nagoya in Japan, to be run by locally employed staff.
38. Mr. Sims : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last met the ambassador of the People's Republic of China to discuss the future of Hong Kong ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Goodlad : My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary last met ambassador Ma Yuzhen to discuss Hong Kong issues on 23 November. We wish to co-operate with China in the interests of a smooth transition for Hong Kong and full implementation of the Sino-British joint declaration.
39. Mr. Bates : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures he is taking to assist the progress of democratic and economic reform in Russia ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We have given our full support to the process of democratic and economic reform in Russia, and shall continue to do so, providing assistance through both bilateral and multilateral aid programmes.
Mr. David Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations have been made to the Government of Nigeria regarding the protection of human rights and the introduction of democracy in that country.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has no plans to visit Somalia. He last visited in September 1992, as part of an EC Foreign Ministers Troika who went to see personally the situation in Somalia. My noble friend, Baroness Chalker of Wallasey has no current plans to visit the country.
We welcome the latest Security Council resolution adopted on 4 February which underlines the international community's continuing commitment to assist the people of Somalia. The Somali people should now build on the momentum created by the agreement signed in Nairobi on 24 March by Ali Mahdi and General Aideed. We hope a process has started which will lead to the creation of a national reconciliation conference.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the outcome of the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors' meeting on 21 March ; how Britain was represented ; and what was the United Kingdom's stance at the meeting.
Column 807grave concern at North Korea's continued failure to comply with its safeguards agreement, and requested the agency's director-general to transmit the report on the most recent round of inspections to the UN General Assembly. We fully supported this resolution. Her Majesty's permanent representative at the United Kingdom's mission to the IAEA attended.
Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 24 March, when Mrs. Timmreck left St. Helena ; how long she had been resident on the island ; and whether any civil or criminal cases involving Mrs. Timmreck had been brought before her departure.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : When Mrs. Timmreck left St. Helena in August 1993, she had been on the island for 32 months from October 1990, except for two brief visits to Cape Town. Prior to that, following her first arrival on St. Helena in December 1985, she made four visits totalling 7 months. No civil or criminal cases involving her had been brought before her departure.
Mr. Goodlad : There is a high concentration of military forces on the border. There has been a steady shift of North Korean forces over the last decade which has led to the present deployment of 750,000-1 million troops near the border. This is a cause for anxiety, and increases the need for North and South Korea to pursue the dialogue between them.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Proton cars were purchased by his Department in each of the last 10 years for which information is available ; and at what cost.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) in which way the United Kingdom delegation voted in the United Nations on the question of the violation of human rights and on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, in March this year ; and if he will make a statement. (2) if he will make a statement on Iran's refusal to comply with international instruments on human rights, including the international covenant on civil and political rights ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We and our European partners condemn Iran's refusal to fulfil its obligations under international instruments of human rights. We were involved in the drafting and co-sponsored and voted in favour of the resolution on Iran introduced by the European Union at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in March. It reflected our concerns at Iran's human
Column 808rights record and called on the Iranians to co-operate with the United Nations special representative on human rights in Iran.
Mr. Denham : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meetings he has had with representatives of the Indonesian Government to discuss trade and aid agreements with that country.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs visited Indonesia in April last year. I will be visiting Indonesia myself after Easter.
702 are occupied and are part of the Government Estate managed by Property Holdings ;
902 are occupied and managed by the Department.
Some 175 properties managed by the Department are not in current use and are being marketed actively for sale or disposal.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what information his Department holds or obtains relating to individuals who have been appointed, or may be considered for appointment, to paid or unpaid posts for which a Minister has to approve the person or shortlist for the appointment, in particular relating to active involvement in (a) extreme left-wing organisations, (b) extreme right-wing organisations and (c) involvement in any of the political parties represented in the House of Commons.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list each appointment for which a Minister has to approve the appointment or shortlist for the appointment, showing for each appointment (a) which Minister exercises the responsibility, (b) the salary, if any, attached to the post, (c) the term of the appointment and (d) the person currently appointed to the post.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The appointment to public bodies for which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is responsible are listed in "Public Bodies 1993" a copy of which is available in the Library, with the additions of the Commissioner for Protection against Unlawful Industrial Action, and Investors in People (UK), which are new appointments.
Any remuneration attached to a post is also listed in "Public Bodies".
Column 809The information about terms of appointment and current appointees could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what procedures his Department has to prevent the possible apppointment of individuals with extreme political views to posts for which a Minister has to approve the person or shortlist for the appointment.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) 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 ;
(2) 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.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The total number of ethnic minority appointments made by the Department to public bodies was given in the Cabinet Office publication "Public Bodies 1993", a copy of which is in the Library.
Information on ethnic minorities is collected in confidence, and it is not the Department's practice to release the details of the ethnic origin of individual members of public bodies.
The following table shows the number of fatal injuries, provisional, reported to each region in the Health and Safety Executive's field operations division between 1 April 1992 and 31 March 1993 and how many of them have led to inspectors taking prosecution action to date.
HSE region |Number of |Of which |fatal injuries|resulted in |reported |prosecution |action ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Wales and South West |52 |6 Home Counties |46 |7 London and South East |48 |5 Midlands |55 |9 Yorkshire and North East |54 |10 North West |46 |8 Scotland |45 |10
Information on any other action taken as result of each workplace death investigation is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Barron : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many Health and Safety Executive investigations into workplace deaths were started in each year since 1983 in each region ; and how many of these were completed within (a) one week, (b) two weeks, (c) one month, (d) two months and (e) longer than two months.
The Health and Safety Executive gives a high priority to the investigation of fatal injuries in the workplace. The following table shows the number of fatal injuries reported to HSE's factory, agricultural and quarries inspectorates from 1983 to 1992-93, provisional :
Year |Number of |fatal injuries |reported --------------------------------------------- 1983<1> |472 1984<1> |485 1985<1> | 518<2> 1986-87<1> |399 1987-88<1> |455 1988-89<1> |472 1989-90<1> | 586<3> 1990-91 |468 1991-92 |368 1992-93 | 346<4> <1> Excludes reports made to the Quarries Inspectorate. <2> Includes 56 members of the public killed in the Bradford City FC fire disaster. <3> Includes 95 reportable fatalities arising from the Hillsborough Stadium disaster. <4> Provisional.
Information is not available on the length of time taken to complete investigations.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The information is not available in the form requested. The number of Health and Safety Executive staff involved in the investigation of each workplace death varies according to the technical, medical and scientific expertise required during the investigation.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his answer of 11 March, Official Report, column 433 , concerning rewards for productivity, what steps he has taken to ensure that the decisions referred to in his first paragraph are taken on a level playing field.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Government policy remains that decisions on pay and related matters are for the employers and workers concerned to make in the light of their particular local circumstances, without Government intervention.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his answer of 11 March, Official Report, column 433, concerning rewards for productivity, whether he will publish a table showing the annual increase in output per person employed for the whole economy less manufacturing together with the figures for the whole economy and manufacturing.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The annual increases in ouput per person for the whole economy and manufacturing, since 1979, are given in the table. Figures for the whole economy less manufacturing are not calculated.
|Manufacturing|Whole |economy -------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |0.3 |1.4 1980 |-3.8 |-1.3 1981 |3.3 |2.4 1982 |6.3 |3.9 1983 |7.6 |4.6 1984 |5.3 |0.3 1985 |3.3 |2.9 1986 |3.6 |3.8 1987 |5.6 |2.8 1988 |5.6 |1.6 1989 |4.4 |-0.2 1990 |1.9 |-0.1 1991 |1.4 |0.5 1992 |4.8 |2.2 1993 |5.5 |3.5
Mr. George Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many improvement notices the offshore safety division of the Health and Safety Executive has instigated since taking over this responsibility ; and if he will list each company and installation to which such notices have been issued.