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Chernobyl

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Russian Government about the adequacy of its plans to counter the consequences of radioactive infection after Chernobyl and to prevent any future radioactive accident.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Since the break-up of the former Soviet Union, responsibility for Chernobyl has fallen to the Ukrainian Government. A number of representations have been made in particular to the Russian and Ukrainian Governments by western Governments on the need to avoid a recurrence of the Chernobyl accident and to improve the levels of safety in Soviet-designed nuclear power reactors. The United Kingdom is engaged both bilaterally and multilaterally in providing both countries with substantial technical and other assistance to that end.

Russia-European Union Agreement

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the major contents of the proposed agreement between Russia and the European Union.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The main features of the draft partnership and co -operation agreement under negotiation between Russia and the European Union are :

(a) Regular political dialogue (including at Head of Government level).

(b) Limited trade concessions. These consist of the granting of most favoured nation treatment and the abolition of quantitative restrictions accompanied by safeguard provisions. It sets the eventual goal of a possible free trade area between Russia and the EU. Progress towards this goal will be reviewed in 1998.

(c) Sectoral cooperation in areas such as the approximation of laws, funded by technical assistance through the TACIS scheme. (d) The draft also allows for future evolution of the agreement and for its suspension in the event of either side failing to fulfil its obligations.

Nuclear Weapons, South Asia

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what initiatives he is considering to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the south Asia region.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Our objective remains to secure India and Pakistan's accession to the non-proliferation treaty as non-nuclear weapon states. We continue to encourage both countries to engage in dialogue on regional security, and we support United States proposals to establish a multilateral forum on regional security in south Asia. We have also voted in favour of a resolution at the United Nations which calls for the establishment of a nuclear weapon-free zone in south Asia.


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Yugoslavia

Mr. Clifton-Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to what extent President Yeltsin is consulted over all strategic decisions relating to UNPROFOR operations in Yugoslavia ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Regular consultations in the Security Council and bilaterally take place between Ministers and officials of nations closely involved in the former Yugoslavia, of which Russia is one.

Economic Community of West African States

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to provide advice and assistance to the Economic Community of West African States in order to help develop its peacekeeping and peacemaking roles ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The United Kingdom has no plans to provide advice or assistance to ECOWAS in the field of peace keeping, although we supported the establishment of the United Nations operation in Liberia in which ECOMOG troops work alongside United Nations military observers.

Intelligence Services Bill

Mr. Hawkins : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the source of funding for compensation payments to complainants as provided for in the Intelligence Services Bill.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Under the provisions of the Bill, the tribunal may direct my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to pay to a complainant such sum by way of compensation as may be specified either by the tribunal or by the commissioner. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary would consider all the individual circumstances of a case before determining from which budget any compensation award would come. Any payments would have to come out of existing provisions.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Proton Cars

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 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.

Sir John Wheeler : None.

Health and Social Services Trusts

Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which organisations have been consulted over the membership of the proposed Down and Lisburn unit trust and Craigavon and Banbridge unit trust ; and which organisations were invited to nominate members to the trusts.

Mr. Ancram : My noble Friend Baroness Denton, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State advises me that her


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predecessor did not consult on the membership of the Down and Lisburn and Craigavon and Banbridge Health and Social Services Trust boards.

Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what consultations he or his colleagues had with the Eastern and Southern health and social services boards regarding the membership of the boards of the Down and Lisburn unit trust and Craigavon and Banbridge trust.

Mr. Ancram : None.

Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland who were the lay helpers or assessors who were involved in the creation of the Down and Lisburn and Craigavon and Banbridge trusts ; and what was their role.

Mr. Ancram : The lay helper for the Down and Lisburn trust was Mrs. Gillian Shaw and the lay helper for Craigavon and Banbridge community trust was Mr. David Cook.

The position of lay helper in any trust is informal--voluntary and unpaid. Normally the role of lay helper is to assist in drawing up the formal appliction, and to support the sponsors of the application by giving potential trusts access to the types of skills and experience that non- executive members are expected to bring to the trust board. They are also expected to identify potential candidates for appointment as non-executive directors on the board of the trust.

Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what appointments were made to the boards of the Craigavon and Banbridge and Down and Lisburn unit trusts ; when they took office ; and what is their remuneration.

Mr. Ancram : On 1 September 1993 the following appointments were made to the board of the Down Lisburn Health and Social Services Trust :

Chairman

Mr. Gillian Shaw

Non-Executive Directors

Mrs. Denise Fitzsimons

Mr. Albert Baird

Mr. Alfie Linehan

Mrs. Ann Colgan

Mr. Mark Ennis

Mr. David Cook was appointed chairman of the Craigavon and Banbridge Community Health and Social Services Trust on 23 November 1993. On 1 March 1994 the following non-executive directors were appointed :

Mr. John Fairleigh

Mr. Cyril McElhinney

Ms Roisin McDonough

Mr. Michael Morrow

Remuneration for chairmen is based on the revenue spending of the trust. On that basis, Mrs. Shaw receives £19,285 per annum and Mr. Cook receives £17,145. All non-executive directors receive £5,000 per annum.

Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what consultations took place with the district councils in the Eastern and Southern board area, with members of the Southern and Eastern health boards, with members of the Southern and Eastern health and social services councils, or with hon. Members with


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constituencies covering the Southern and Eastern boards, regarding the membership of the Down and Lisburn and Craigavon and Banbridge trusts.

Mr. Ancram : None.

Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to review the social fund system in respect of regional differences in applications and awards, the removal of budgetary considerations, clearer definitions of the circumstances in which an award is made, clarification of the priority groups and a wider remit for those the fund assists.

Mr. Ancram : The operation of the discretionary social fund is monitored routinely. We believe that the basic principles of the fund are right and working well. Nevertheless, we continue to monitor its effectiveness and to introduce operational improvements as required. Details of the basis of allocation and district allocations for 1994-95 are in the Library.

Dental Services

Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to undertake a review into the funding of children's dentistry ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ancram : There are no plans, at present, to undertake a review specifically into the funding arrangements for children's dentistry. The Government are, however, currently formulating proposals in relation to the future of national health service dentistry as a whole, and those proposals will take account of child dental health.

Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the amount spent annually per child under 18 years on general dental services in Northern Ireland, irrespective of registration with a general dental practitioner.

Mr. Ancram : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer that I gave the hon. Member for Rochdale (Ms Lynne), on 11 March, Official Report , columns 436-37 .

Overgrazing

Mr. Tyler : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what procedures are in place to monitor whether meetings between his officials and producers to discuss ways of reducing overgrazing have led to reductions in overgrazing.

Mr. Ancram : County agriculture development officers have instructions to satisfy themselves that any measures agreed with farmers to reduce overgrazing are sufficiently monitored.

Mr. Tyler : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what procedures are in place to reduce


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environmental damage caused through overgrazing consequent on that damage continuing after hill livestock compensatory allowances are withheld as a result of the introduction of the hill livestock compensatory allowance overgrazing clause.

Mr. Ancram : There are no overgrazing provisions in the hill livestock compensatory allowance scheme beyond the withholding of allowances. A consultation paper has, however, recently been issued on a proposal to introduce similar overgrazing provisions with other livestock subsidy schemes.

Mr. Tyler : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many farmers have had hill livestock compensatory allowances withheld in 1992, 1993 and 1994 as a direct result of the introduction of the hill livestock compensatory allowance overgrazing clause.

Mr. Ancram : None.

Mr. Tyler : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many farmers have been approached by his officials to discuss ways of reducing overgrazing in each year since the introduction of the hill livestock compensatory allowance overgrazing clause ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ancram : None. The overgrazing provisions are designed to ensure that farmers are informed of concern about changes in the condition of vegetation. Only a very small minority of farmers is likely to be affected.

Mr. Tyler : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what procedures are in place to monitor whether overgrazing has reduced following the withholding of hill livestock compensatory allowances as a direct result of the introduction of the hill livestock compensatory allowance overgrazing clause.

Mr. Ancram : No hill livestock compensatory allowances have been withheld.

Mr. Tyler : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many hill livestock compensatory allowances he has withheld in 1992, 1993 and 1994 as a direct result of the introduction of the hill livestock compensatory allowance overgrazing clause ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ancram : None.

Livestock Allowances

Mr. Tyler : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the budget, in real and nominal terms, for Northern Ireland in (i) 1991, (ii) 1992, (iii) 1993 and (iv) his estimate for 1994 for (a) the sheep annual premium, (b) the suckler cow premium and (c) the beef special premium.

Mr. Ancram : The information requested is in the table :


Column 451


Table 1-Nominal Terms                                                       

                      Financial Years                                       

                      (£)                                                   

                     |1991-92   |1992-93   |1993-94   |<1>1994-95           

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

Sheep Annual Premium |30,763,195|28,653,416|42,066,430|34,938,000           

Suckler Cow Premium  |16,578,500|17,023,513|15,401,150|36,614,000           

Beef Special Premium |7,226,097 |6,226,618 |14,655,469|38,499,000           

<1>Estimated                                                                


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Table 2-Real Terms                                                          

                      Financial Years                                       

                      (£)                                                   

                     |1991-92   |1992-93   |1993-94   |<1>1994-95           

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

Sheep Annual Premium |30,763,195|27,785,774|40,111,274|N/A                  

Suckler Cow Premium  |16,578,500|16,508,031|14,685,339|N/A                  

Beef Special Premium |7,226,097 |6,038,072 |13,974,314|N/A                  

<1>Estimated                                                                

HOME DEPARTMENT

Car Crime

Mr. Nigel Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what has been the rate of car crime in each year since 1990 ;

(2) how many thefts from vehicles were reported in each year since 1990 ;

(3) how many vehicles were reported stolen in each year since 1990 ;

(4) how many incidents of joyriding were reported in each year since 1990 ;

(5) what is the clear-up rate of vehicle crime, both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of reported cases by the police (a) nationally and (b) in Lancashire in each year since 1990.

Mr. Maclean : The available information relates to offences recorded by the police and is published annually in chapter 2 of "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales" ; copies of which are available in the Library. Information for 1993 is not yet available.

Mr. Nigel Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incidents of hijacking of cars were reported in each year since 1990.

Mr. Maclean : The information is not collected centrally.

Braille Ballot Papers

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to provide Braille ballot papers at polling stations ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : We have no plans to do so.

Racial Incidents

Mr. Byers : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many racial incidents were reported to police forces in England and Wales in 1993.

Mr. Charles Wardle : Police forces are required to provide this information at the end of the fiscal year rather than the calendar year. The number of racial incidents recorded by each police force in England and Wales for the year April 1993 to March 1994 will be published once all the figures have been received and collated.

Electoral Register

Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many European Union citizens from other member states have registered to vote as per


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their entitlements under the Maastricht treaty ; if he will provide a breakdown by parliamentary constituency ; and what advice he gave to local registration officers.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : Information about the number of Union citizens registering to vote at the forthcoming European parliamentary elections will not be available until the special supplementary register is published on 9 May. We intend to make the information public as soon as possible after that. Guidance has been issued to electoral registration officers on all matters relating to the registration of Union citizens.

Prosecution Limitation Rule

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases he is aware of in each of the last 10 years where a prosecution for murder or manslaughter has not been possible because of the 366 day rule.

Mr. Maclean : Such information is not collected centrally. I understand, however, that the Crown Prosecution Service is aware of five cases in the last four years where the year and a day rule may have been a factor in a decision not to bring a prosecution for murder or manslaughter in England and Wales.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish a breakdown of asylum seekers held in detention on 21 March (a) by nationality, (b) by gender, (c) by length of detention, (d) by place of detention and (e) by immigration status at the time of application.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The information requested on the number of asylum seekers detained on 21 March is not available. The information available relates to people detained under Immigration Act powers on 15 April, who had applied for asylum at some stage and is as follows :


                         |Number       

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

(a) Nationality                        

Algeria                  |51           

Albania                  |1            

Angola                   |15           

Bangladesh               |7            

Brazil                   |1            

Cameroon                 |1            

China                    |7            

Columbia                 |7            

Congo                    |1            

Cyprus                   |3            

Djibouti                 |1            

Egypt                    |3            

Eritrea                  |1            

Ethiopia                 |12           

Ecuador                  |1            

Guinea Bissau            |1            

Ghana                    |78           

Haiti                    |1            

India                    |141          

Iran                     |2            

Iraq                     |3            

Israel                   |1            

Ivory Coast              |16           

Jamaica                  |1            

Kenya                    |19           

Liberia                  |3            

Libya                    |3            

Malawi                   |1            

Nationality Doubtful     |4            

Morocco                  |1            

Niger                    |4            

Nigeria                  |88           

Pakistan                 |21           

Peru                     |1            

Philippines              |1            

Poland                   |2            

Romania                  |13           

Russia                   |3            

Sierra Leone             |8            

Singapore                |1            

Sri Lanka                |25           

Slovenia                 |2            

Somalia                  |3            

South Africa             |3            

Sudan                    |1            

Tanzania                 |1            

Togo                     |2            

Turkey                   |49           

Uganda                   |7            

United States of America |1            

Zaire                    |26           

Zambia                   |1            

Zimbabwe                 |1            

                         |---          

Total                    |651          


              |Number       

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

(b) By gender               

Males         |608          

Females       |43           

              |---          

Total         |651          


                           |Number       

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

(c) By length of detention               

Over 12 months             |<1>14        

6 to 12 months             |<1>31        

2 to 6 months              |<1>188       

1 to 2 months              |<1>53        

Under 1 month              |<1>83        

                           |---          

Total                      |<1>369       

<1>These figures do not include the 282  

illegal entrants detained, for whom no   

breakdown as to length of detention is   

readily available.                       


(d) By place of detention                                   

Immigration Service |Number                                 

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

Campsfield House    |136                                    

Harmondsworth       |87                                     

Gatwick Beehive     |12                                     

Queens Building     |13                                     

Stansted            |6                                      

Port Detention      |8                                      

Newhaven            |3                                      

Bedford             |1                                      

Belmarsh            |1                                      

Blakenhurst         |21                                     

Brinsford RC        |4                                      

Bristol             |1                                      

Bullingdon          |1                                      

Brixton             |5                                      

Canterbury          |22                                     

Camp Hill           |1                                      

Cardiff             |1                                      

Chelmsford          |1                                      

Dorchester          |1                                      

Dover               |13                                     

Dumfries            |5                                      

Durham              |1                                      

Elmley              |1                                      

Exeter              |4                                      

Feltham             |5                                      

Gateshead           |2                                      

Glen Parva          |2                                      

Gloucester          |3                                      

Greenock            |2                                      

Haslar<1>           |82                                     

High Down           |14                                     

Holloway            |2                                      

Hull                |2                                      

Leeds               |1                                      

Leicester           |1                                      

Lewes               |2                                      

Norwich             |5                                      

Pentonville         |13                                     

Reading             |2                                      

Risley              |2                                      

Rochester           |1                                      

Saughton            |1                                      

Shrewsbury          |3                                      

Strangeways         |3                                      

Walton              |2                                      

Wandsworth          |2                                      

Wellingborough      |1                                      

Winchester          |5                                      

Winson Green        |29                                     

Wormwood Scrubs     |4                                      

Police Cells        |111                                    

                    |---                                    

  Total             |651                                    

<1> Haslar holding centre is primarily an Immigration       

Service detention centre, although managed by the Prison    

Service.                                                    


<

(e) By immigration status at the time of application        

Application    |Illegal                                     

                                                            

made at port   |Entrants      |deportation                  

following                     |action                       

arrival in the                                              

United                                                      

Kingdom                                                     

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

312            |282           |57                           

Voluntary Advice Services

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the level of funding from his Department for voluntary advice services for the financial year 1993-94 and each of the previous 10 years ; and how many schemes received funding in each year.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : Figures for 1993-94 are not yet available. Figures for the financial years 1989-90 to 1992-93 are given in the table. These indicate the number of schemes run by voluntary organisations where the main


Column 457

aims included the provision of advice and information and show the level of Home Office funding. Figures for earlier years could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.


Financial year |Number of     |Level of                     

               |schemes       |funding                      

                              |£                            

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

1989-90        |7             |333,584                      

1990-91        |23            |474,160                      

1991-92        |22            |663,635                      

1992-93        |51            |721,606                      

Immigration Detainees (Hunger Strike)

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what surveillance has been carried out of hunger strikers at Campsfield detention centre.

Mr. Charles Wardle : Detainees who claim to have refused meals for more than three days are placed in a separate unit at Campsfield house so that their medical condition can be closely monitored by qualified medical staff.

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many detainees, held under the Immigration Acts, are currently on hunger strike ; for what length of time each has been on hunger strike ; and where they are currently held.

Mr. Charles Wardle : On 15 April, 20 people detained under Immigration Act powers in the following locations were claiming to have refused meals since the dates shown :


Places of              |Number of     |Date                         

detention              |detainees                                   

                       |refusing meals                              

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

Campsfield house       |  7           |11 March (1),                

                                      |12 March (1),                

                                      |13 March (1),                

                                      |14 March (2),                

                                      |28 March (2)                 

                                                                    

Brixton                |  1           |30 March                     

                                                                    

Canterbury             |  2           | 8 March,                    

                                      |15 March                     

                                                                    

Exeter                 |  1           | 7 April                     

                                                                    

High Down              |  4           | 9 April (3),                

                                      |13 April (1)                 

                                                                    

Rochester              |  1           |20 March                     

                                                                    

Winchester             |  1           | 8 March                     

                                                                    

Winson Green           |  1           |19 March                     

                                                                    

Alexandra hospital     |  1           |30 March                     

                                                                    

Epsom general hospital |  1           | 8 March                     

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received concerning the hunger strikers in detention centres ; and if he will make a statement on his policy towards them.

Mr. Charles Wardle : I have received representations and inquiries from 20 hon. Members, as well as from noble


Column 458

Lords, representatives of the clergy, members and former members of Oxford university, organisations and members of the public. It has been made clear to those detainees refusing food that we will not be pressurised into granting release as a result of this action. Equally, we are concerned to ensure that they understand the medical implications for themselves and that their medical condition is closely monitored. In addition, all detention is reviewed regularly and at an increasingly senior level. This review seeks to ensure that everything possible is being done to resolve the detainee's position so that he or she can be released or removed from the United Kingdom without unnecessary delay.

Blakenhurst Prison

Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what was the total cost of transferring prisoners from Blakenhurst prison to other prisons following the incident at Blakenhurst on 24 February ;

(2) whether the inquiry into the incident at Her Majesty's Prison Blakenhurst on 24 February has yet been completed ; and if the results will be made public.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : Responsibility for these matters have been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Derek Lewis to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 18 April 1994 :

The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Questions about the incident at Blakenhurst prison on 24 February, and the total cost of transferring prisoners from Blakenhurst to other prisons following that incident.

United Kingdom Detention Services (UKDS) bore all the costs of transporting the prisoners after the incident and thus the Prison Service have not incurred additional expenditure.

The report of the inquiry into the disturbance at Blakenhurst prison was submitted on 7 March 1994. Reports of such inquiries are internal management documents which we do not publish for the reasons given in my letter to you of 10 March [Official Report : Col. 360 10 March 1994].


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