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                               |Counter  |Telephone          

                               |callers  |callers            

-------------------------------------------------------------

Mid February to mid March 1992 |388,273  |1,980,322          

Mid February to mid March 1993 |342,917  |2,079,299          

Mid February to mid March 1994 |352,043  |2,354,400          

The earlier timing of the Budget has allowed all the consequential adjustments to employee codings to be made at the start of the year. In the past there would have been a recoding exercise following the Budget in March, and queries would have arisen after that. As in previous years, however, there has been a decrease in the aggregate number of counter and telephone callers in the reporting period to mid-March this year.

SCOTLAND

Tourism

Mr. Kynoch : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he intends to take to strengthen the composition of the Scottish tourism co -ordinating group ; and if he will make a statement.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : My right hon. Friend announced on 29 June 1993 that, as part of the tourism review, the Scottish tourism co- ordinating group would be responsible, under my chairmanship, for supervising the preparation by the Scottish tourist board of a national tourism strategy for Scotland.

I have concluded that it will be desirable, if widespread commitment to the national tourism strategy is to be secured, to strengthen the group with a wider range of tourist interests. I am glad to announce that the following members have agreed to serve :


                                                                                

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The remit of the group will be to devise a national tourism strategy, to review that strategy annually, to ensure that it is implemented, to improve Scotland's tourism product, and to ensure effective co-ordination between Scottish tourist interests. The first meeting of the expanded group will be on 20 May.

Aggravated Trespass

Mr. McFall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received in respect of the aggravated trespass clause in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill with regard to Scotland ; and if he will place these submissions and his replies in the Library.


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Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 31 March 1994] : My right hon. Friend has received representations to the effect that the provisions of the clause will be used to obstruct lawful outdoor activity in Scotland, such as hill walking. There has also been some support for the clause.

Replies to those who have expressed concern about the clause have made it clear that its purpose is to ensure that those engaging in lawful activities, whoever and whatever they may be, are provided with protection from trespassers who intend to intimidate them or otherwise intend to obstruct or disrupt those activities. The material in question is a matter for my right hon. Friend and those who have submitted the representations. It would therefore be inappropriate for arrangements to be made for it to be placed in the Library.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Jaguar XJS

Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the President of the Board of Trade when he was first made aware of the possibility that Ford was considering moving from the United Kingdom to Portugal the assembly of the next generation Jaguar XJS.

Mr. Heseltine : My Department was first informed in July 1993 that Ford was considering Portugal as a possible location for the manufacture of the Jaguar X100, which is the successor to the XJS sports car.

CRAFT Programme

Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade which companies and technology centres are participating in the Co-operative Research Action for Technology programme for small and medium-sized enterprises under the framework programme for research and development ; and what proportion of this programme has been spent in Great Britain.

Mr. McLoughlin : This information is not readily available in the form requested. Each CRAFT project must have participants from two or more Community countries and at the moment the United Kingdom accounts for 10 to 11 per cent. of the 640 participants in projects so far awarded grant ; 15 United Kingdom-based organisations are engaged in research and development under the programme.

STRIDE Programme

Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the projects supported by the EU Science and Technology for Regional Innovation and Development in Europe programme.

Mr. Heseltine : A list of successful applicants under the STRIDE initiative has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Technology and Innovation

Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will place in the Library the list of the projects supported by (a) the advanced technology programme and (b) the support for innovation programme since the inception of the projects.


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Mr. McLoughlin : The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Steel Industry

Mr. Fatchett : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the recent decision by the European Commission to delay the restructuring of the steel industry.

Mr. Heseltine [holding answer 13 April 1994] : I know of no such decision. Restructuring of the EC steel industry is essentially a matter for the companies concerned. The most important contribution which the Commission can make lies in the rigorous application of the European Coal and Steel Community state aid rules, including in particular implementation of the improved monitoring procedures agreed at the 17 December Industry Council.

Post Offices

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many post offices and sub-post offices there are ; what were the figures 20 years ago ; what is their estimated profit in each case ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. McLoughlin [holding answer 13 April 1994] : I understand from the Post Office that the numbers of branch post offices and sub-post offices were as follows :


Number of offices |February 1994    |March 1974                         

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Branch offices    |850              |1,607                              

Sub-post offices  |18,968           |22,276                             

In 1992-93, Post Office Counters Ltd., which is the subsidiary of the Post Office responsible for post offices, made a profit on ordinary activities before taxation of £24.9 million. In 1973-74, the Post Office was a very different organisation, covering telecommunications and Girobank services, as well as the constituent parts of the existing business. The accounts were not structured in a way which allows the profitability of what is now Post Office Counters Ltd. to be distinguished from other parts of the operation.

Metal Recycling

Mr. Burden : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will seek the assessment of the British Bankers Association of the effect on the credit-worthiness and asset base of the metal recycling industry of waste management licensing.

Mr. McLoughlin [holding answer 12 April 1994] : Under the Government's deregulation initiative there is a requirement for compliance costs to be assessed prior to the implementation of any new regulations, with special account taken of the impact on small businesses. In doing this the Government do, of course, take account of any views put forward by industry. I understand, however, that the British Bankers Association has not, as yet, produced an assessment of the possible effect of waste management licensing on asset bases. If and when it does so, the Government would be interested to receive a copy.


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ENVIRONMENT

Local Authority Powers

Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list all the functions of local authorities which provide them with a power or right of entry, search or seizure into or of any property.

Mr. Gummer : There is a large number of such powers, including those listed in the table :

Acts of Parliament

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (c.65)

Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (c.38)

Public Health Act 1961 (c.64)

Building Act 1984 (c.97)

Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 (c.22)

Control of Pollution Act 1974 (c.40)

Public Health Act 1936 (c.49)

Clean Air Act 1993 (c.11)

Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990 (c.10)

Water Industry Act 1991 (c.56)

Mines and Quarries (Tips) Act 1969 (c.10)

Compulsory Purchase Act 1965 (c.56)

Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (c.9) Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (c.8)

Consumer Credit Act 1974 (c.39)

Trade Descriptions Act 1968 (c.29)

Consumer Protection Act 1987 (c.43)

Cinemas Act 1985 (c.13)

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982

Explosives Act 1875 (c.17)

London County Council (General Powers) Act 1900 (c.cclviii) Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973 (c.xxx) Statutory Instruments include :

The Tourism (Sleeping Accommodation Price Display) Order 1977/1877 The Fresh Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1992/2037 The Non-automatic Weighing Instruments (EEC Requirements) Regulations 1993/1579

The Movement of Animals (Restrictions) Order 1990/760

The Pleuro-Pneumonia Order 1928 (SR & O 1928 No. 205)

The Cattle Plague Order 1928 (SR & O 1928 No. 206)

The Poultry Meat (Hygiene) Regulations 1976/1209

The Rabies (Control) Order 1974/2212

Computer Systems

Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what computer systems his Department has brought in, for what function and at what cost for each of the last five years ; and in each case whether the computer system is still in use.

Mr. Gummer : The information is set out in the table. All systems are still in use.


Year, System and                                    |Cost                             

Function                                                                              

                                                    |£ million                        

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1990-91                                                                               

Administration of European Regional Development                                       

Fund grants.                                        |0.3                              

1990-91                                                                               

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP)                                        

Corporate Information system-to support the                                           

regulatory and office administration functions of                                     

HMIP.                                               |1.3                              

1991-92                                                                               

Property Holdings Integrated Accounting System-to                                     

monitor and record Property Holdings costs and                                        

charges.                                            |0.1                              

1991-92                                                                               

To support the regulatory and office administration                                   

functions of HMIP.                                  |3.4                              

1991-92                                                                               

Administration of Derelict Land Grants.             |1.2                              

1992-93                                                                               

To support the regulatory and office administration                                   

functions of HMIP.                                  |3.4                              

1993-94                                                                               

To support the procurement of IT and other office                                     

machinery.                                          |0.2                              

1993-94                                                                               

Security and Facilities Executive Common Accounting                                   

System.                                             |0.1                              

1993-94                                                                               

Radioactive Incident Monitoring Network-to monitor                                    

levels of radioactivity throughout the United                                         

Kingdom.                                            |12.0                             

1993-94                                                                               

To support the regulatory and office administration                                   

functions of HMIP.                                  |2.2                              

Limehouse Tunnel Road Link

Ms Gordon : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer concerning the Limehouse tunnel road link on 23 March, Official Report, columns 277-78, what were the reasons for the demolition of 164 units of the St. Vincent estate not related to construction of the tunnel, stating the number of units related to each purpose ; what is the approximate breakdown of the £45 million costs of rehousing 314 households and the cost of demolition of the 256 dwellings demolished ; and what is the approximate percentage and acreage of the area now used for (a) tunnel purposes, (b) other current purposes and (c) future residential, commercial, or retail and other uses.

Mr. Baldry : The reasons for the demolition of the 164 units not directly related to the construction of the Limehouse link, were as follows :

26 dwellings (St. Christopher House) received Dangerous Structure Notices served during construction.

28 dwellings (Jamaica House) were demolished for the new bus only diversion/Limehouse Causeway junction improvement.

110 dwellings (Cayman, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Nevis and Bermuda Houses) were unsuitable in terms of design, condition and location for refurbishment as family accommodation.

The breakdown of the £45 million cost of rehousing the 314 households at the St. Vincent estate is as follows :


                                                  |£ million          

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Rehoused with housing associations in the borough |29.8               

Rehoused in existing borough stock                |6.5                

Assisted to buy own property                      |1.9                

Moved to out of borough housing association stock |4.4                

Other (disturbance/administrative/security        |2.3                

Demolition costs (164 units)                      |0.24               

                                                  |---                

Total                                             |45.14              

Note: The demolition costs of the remaining 92 units form part of the 

overall tunnel construction costs and are not available separately.   

The approximate percentages and acreage of the areas used for the following purposes are :


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                                   |Acres     |Percentage           

--------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) Tunnel purposes:                                                

 Limehouse Link works              |1.11      |22                   

(b) Other current purposes:                                         

 Bus diversion/junction                                             

   improvements                    |0.13      |57                   

(c) Future residential/commercial/                                  

   retail and other uses:                                           

 Youth club                        |0.43      |8                    

Residential/open space/                                             

  commercial                       |2.72      |54                   

Site roads                         |0.63                            

                                   |---                             

Total                              |5.02                            

Sellafield

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the leak of acid at the thermal oxide reprocessing plant at Sellafield on 29 March ; what investigations have been undertaken by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution ; and what risk was posed to the Sellafield work force from the accident.

Mr. Atkins : The spillage of nitric acid, a standard industrial chemical, occurred in a room housing tanks supplying chemical reagents for use in THORP operations.

The operator informed Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution about the spillage and initiated an investigation into its cause. The HMIP site inspector attended the plant on the same day and was briefed about the circumstances and the precautionary actions taken. HMIP is awaiting the results of the operator's investigation before deciding if any further action needs to be taken.

The Health and Safety Executive is also investigating the incident and will include an assessment of any potential risk to Sellafield employees.

Housing Investment

Ms Armstrong : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the housing investment programme allocation for each local authority in each year since 1978-79.

Sir George Young : Information on housing investment programme allocations since 1978-79 for each local authority in England is available in the Library of the House.

Rent Registration Service

Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total sum of rents referred to the rent registration service for the last year for which figures are available.

Sir George Young [holding answer 12 April 1994] : In 1992-93 about 275,000 fair rent cases were referred to the rent officer service, amounting to a total rental value of some £566 million.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Hong Kong

Sir Thomas Arnold : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many right hon. and hon. Members of the House of Commons and the


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House of Lords have visited Hong Kong at the invitation of the Governor of Hong Kong during the current Parliament.

Mr. Goodlad : Sixty-five, 53 of whom are right hon. and hon. Members of the House of Commons and 12 of whom are Members of the House of Lords.

Malaysia

Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Government of Malaysia concerning the implications for human rights of the banning in Malaysia of the film "Schindler's List" ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Goodlad : The Malaysian Government lifted its ban on the film "Schindler's List" on 30 March in accordance with normal guidelines governing the screening of all local and foreign films.

Indonesia (Arms Sales)

Mr. Jon Owen Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the Government's policy on the sale of arms to Indonesia.

Mr. Goodlad : Our policy on arms sales to Indonesia is based on the principle that all sovereign states enjoy the right, under article 51 of the United Nations charter, to defend themselves. This is a right we claim for ourselves and it would be inconsistent and discriminatory to deny it to others. All applications for export licences are, none the less, subject to strict controls and scrutinised on a case-by-case basis. For example, if we believe a prospective purchase is likely to be used for repressive purposes against a civilian population, the application is rejected.

Antarctica

Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what prosecutions have taken place in United Kingdom courts in respect of offences committed in Antarctica, under section 5 of the Antarctic Treaty Act 1967.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : There have been no prosecutions under section 5 of the Antarctic Treaty Act 1967 since it entered into force.

Somalia

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the United Nations Operation in Somalia--UNOSOM--about the need to support efforts to maintain peace in Somaliland ; and what response he has had.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : In our regular contacts with the United Nations we have strongly supported efforts aimed at bringing peace and stability to all regions of Somalia. UNOSOM's mandate is to assist the Somalis in their efforts in seeking a peaceful solution to the tragic civil war. UNOSOM has given practical and financial assistance to these efforts.

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he


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has about further disarmament in Somaliland ; and what action the United Kingdom Government are taking to support this.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : There have been no confirmed reports of further voluntary disarmament in north west Somalia. The demobilisation proposal currently being prepared by the local authorities in Northwest Somalia with assistance from the United Nations development programme includes provisions for disarmament. The recent declaration in Nairobi agreed by the 15 factions called for the implementation of voluntary disarmament in Somalia. We fully support this declaration.

Liberia

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what fighting is currently occurring in Liberia ; who are the participants ; and how this is affecting the peace process.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We understand that the Liberian Peace Council has been fighting against National Patriotic Front of Liberia forces in the south-east of the country. In March there were reports of fighting between the Lofa Defence Force and the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy in the north-east. None the less the three signatory parties to the Cotonou agreement appear to be continuing their efforts to implement the agreement.

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the UN has asked ECOMOG--the Economic Community of West African States military observer group--to intervene to stop the current warfare in Liberia.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The Economic Community of West African States sent its military observer group to Liberia in 1990, for precisely this purpose. The UN military observer mission and ECOMOG are working to implement the Cotonou agreement and bring about an end to conflict in Liberia. The UN is not, however, in a position to give any specific direction to ECOMOG.

Burundi

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what requests have been made by the Government of Burundi for an international intervention force because of the security situation in the country.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Following the assassination of President Ndadaye in October 1993, the Burundi authorities requested the intervention of an international force. This led to the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity observer mission which has now begun to arrive in Burundi. As far as we are aware no further requests have been made since the tragic death of President Ntyaramira on 6 April.

TRANSPORT

Computer Systems

Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what computer systems his Department has brought in, for what function and at what cost for each of the last five years ; and in each case whether the computer system is still in use.


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Mr. Norris : The tables provide details of the main systems brought in over the last three years.

In addition, smaller systems based on personal computers and small networks have been introduced to


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support a very wide range of administrative functions such as asset management, project management/costing, management information, text processing.


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Business Area and                                                                |Year             |Whole system cost|Still in use?                      

System                                                                                                                                                   

name/function                                                                                                                                            

                                                                                                   |(£X000)          |Yes/No                             

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Driving Standards Agency                                                                                                                                 

1. Additions to driver test booking system.                                      |1992-94          |738.1            |Yes                                

2. Additions to approved driving instructor register.                            |1992-94          |452.8            |Yes                                

3. IFCOS (Integrated Financial Control System) DSA Developments.                 |1992-94          |138.2            |Yes                                

                                                                                                                                                         

Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency                                                                                                                          

1. Medics System. Computerisation of the Drivers medical system.                 |1990-91          |870.0            |Yes                                

2. Human Resource Management System. Personnel and Absence management                                                                                    

  functions.                                                                     |1991-92          |200.0            |Yes                                

3. Medics Vision. Enhancement of the medics system into an Image                                                                                         

  document handling system.                                                      |1992-93          |877.0            |Yes                                

4. Vehicles OCR System. Optical character recognition of completed Vehicle                                                                               

Relicensing Reminder forms (VII's).                                              |1993-94          |650.0            |Yes                                

                                                                                                                                                         

Vehicle Inspectorate                                                                                                                                     

1. Customer Accounts. Extension to the HGV/PCV system to allow prepayment                                                                                

  for vehicle tests or any other VI service.                                     |1991-92          |340.0            |Yes                                

2. Roadworthiness. Records details of vehicle roadworthiness enforcement checks                                                                          

  at both roadside and Operators premises.                                       |1992-93          |352.0            |Yes                                

3. Slot Bookings. Extension to the Test Booking system.                          |1992-93          |210.0            |Yes                                

                                                                                                                                                         

Transport Research Laboratory                                                                                                                            

1. MIS (Management Information System).                                          |1991             |471.0            |Yes                                

2. Prime Computer Upgrade/Scientific Computing.                                  |1991             |88.3             |Yes                                

3. Networks to provide Distributed Computing for TRL.                            |1992             |456.0            |Yes                                

                                                                                                                                                         

Vehicle Certification Agency. No systems procured within the stated criteria.                                                                            

DOT (Centre)                                                                                                                                             

Central Services Directorate                                                                                                                             

1. Core Business System. System to provide full economic costings of                                                                                     

  Accommodation and Office Divisions projects.                                   |1993-94          |107.0            |Yes                                

2. Records Management Computer System.                                           |1992-94          |537.2            |Yes                                

3. A.M.I.S. Accommodation Management Information System.                         |1992-94          |123.0            |Yes                                

4. Local Area Network in Hastings to provide Office Systems.                     |1992-93          |250.0            |Yes                                

                                                                                                                                                         

Highways, Safety and Traffic Directorate (The Highways Agency with effect                                                                                

from 4/94                                                                                                                                                

4. Upgrades. Upgrade to existing systems.                                        |1990             |1,000.0          |Yes                                

5. Purchase of Production Machine. New computer for HSTCC to provide extra                                                                               

  capacity.                                                                      |1991             |1,900.0          |Yes                                

6. Integrated Highways Maintenance System 1 (IHMS 1) Management of bid for                                                                               

  funds and technical approval of maintenance schemes.                           |1991             |575.0            |Yes                                

7. Upgrades. Upgrades to existing systems.                                       |1992             |1,015.0          |Yes                                

8. Skid. Provide facilities for planning, processing and analysing survey data.  |1992             |513.0            |Yes                                

9. Highspeed Road Monitor. System for analysing Highspeed Road Monitor                                                                                   

  (HRM) survey data.                                                             |1992             |320.0            |Yes                                

10. Upgrades. Upgrades to existing systems.                                      |1993             |345.0            |Yes                                

11. Provision of Local Area Networks in six locations to provide Office Systems. |1993-94          |570.0            |Yes                                

                                                                                                                                                         

Office of Privatisation and Rail Franchising                                                                                                             

1. Local Area Networks including Mail Gateway links to outside companies.        |1993-94          |124.1            |Yes                                


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