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Burma

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what international sanctions are applied to Burma ; and what further action is being considered by Her Majesty's Government and international bodies.

Mr. Goodlad : The European Union suspended all non-humanitarian aid to Burma in 1988. In 1991, the EU imposed an arms embargo on Burma, and in 1992 it severed remaining defence links. We and our European partners continue to encourage like-minded countries to do the same.

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action was taken on Burma by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights at its recent meeting in Geneva ; and what was the response of the Burmese Government.

Mr. Goodlad : The 1994 session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva adopted a consensus resolution strongly criticising the human rights situation in Burma. The Burmese argued that the terms of the resolution were an unacceptable intrusion into Burma's domestic juridiction.

Human Rights

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are being taken to increase the resources available to the United Nations centre for human rights in Geneva.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Last year the United Nations Secretary General proposed a large increase in funding for the United Nations human rights programme in 1994-1995. The United Nations General Assembly in 1993 recognised the need for further additional resources to fund the new High Commissioner for Human Rights. We welcomed both steps, and hope that they will be confirmed in the next few weeks. We will continue to support the efforts of the Secretary General to increase the resources available to the centre, if necessary through redeployment from areas of lesser priority.


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Immigration Applications

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when a decision is to be taken on an application made by Mr. Gulnamaz, ref : CON/3798, to the United Kingdom post in Islamabad ; when the result of a DNA test required to consider the application by Mr. Gulnamaz was received by the post ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Mr. Gulnamaz Din's most recent application for a British passport was refused and his fee refunded on 30 March 1993. The British High Commission in Islamabad understands that Mr. Gulnamaz has opted for DNA testing and has an appointment to give a blood sample on 15 May. In the meantime, he will need to reapply for a passport. This can then be considered in the light of the test results. As explained in my letter of 7 May 1993, however, DNA testing cannot establish that Mr. Gulnamaz's claimed parents were married at the time of his birth. Mr. Gulnamaz's elegibility for British nationality is dependent on his legitimate descent from his claimed father.

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when decisions are to be taken by the United Kingdom post in Islamabad on the applications, ref : IMM/4343, of Sabreen Jan, date of birth 13 November 1990, Amina Bibi, date of birth 1 April 1988 and Muchtaq Ahmed date of birth 15 December 1986 to enter the United Kingdom ; when these children took DNA tests ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : DNA test results in respect of Sabreen Jan, Amina Bibi and Mushtaq Ali were received by the British High Commission in Islamabad on 16 July 1993. It was then necessary for the High Commission to ask the children's father, Mohammed Ishaq, for information about his domicile in order to ascertain whether the children had a claim to British nationality by descent from him. He completed the domicile questionnaire on 17 January 1994 and this was then sent to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for consideration. Althugh clarification of some points is needed, sufficient information is available for the High Commission to issue restricted-validity passports to the children. This will enable them to travel while the remaining details are resolved.

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when a decision is to be taken on the application made by Mukhtaj Bibi, who was born on 1 November 1972, ref : IMM 67849, to enter the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lennox Boyd : In the absence of any information about this case, I have asked the correspondence unit of the migration and visa department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to let the hon. Member have a substantive reply in due course.

Intelligence Services

Mr. Streeter : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the criteria will be for authorising publications by former members of the security and intelligence agencies, following the passage of the Intelligence Services Bill [Lords].


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Mr. Hurd : Former employees of the security and intelligence agencies who wish to publish books or articles, give interviews to the media or provide information for other writers or historians are bound by a duty of confidence to the Crown and are subject to section 1(1) of the Official Secrets Act 1989. These obligations are made clear to people when they take up employment with the agencies and when they leave. No former member of the agencies need be in any doubt about his obligations. The same arrangements would apply to a person notified under section 1(1)(b) of the OSA with respect to the period while the notification is or was in force. On 21 December 1988 at column 538 my right hon. Friend the Member for Oxford, West and Abingdon (Mr. Patten), then Minister of State, Home Office, set out the procedures for authorising disclosures under section 1(1) of what is now the Official Secrets Act 1989. He made it clear that such authorisation would be given only in exceptional circumstances. The need to protect sensitive information is fully recognised in the Intelligence Services Bill, as it is in the Security Service Act 1989. The Bill defines strictly the circumstances under which information may properly be disclosed by the intelligence services including disclosure of records in accordance with the Public Records Act 1958 and 1967, which of course applies only to matters over 30 years old.

Authorisation for publication or other disclosure will accordingly be especially rare and exceptional with regard to events which happened less than 30 years ago. In any case where a former member of the security and intelligence agencies or a person notified under section 1 (1) (b) as described above wishes to publish or otherwise disclose material relating to his official duties, whether older than 30 years or not, he will need to apply to his former employer for authority to disclose. But there may, in the case of older material, be more likelihood that there will be no objection to disclosure. Any applications made in good faith would be looked at on their individual merits, and would still be judged on whether disclosure of any particular piece of information would jeopardise national security, whether directly or indirectly. If not, the service would be able so to inform the prospective author and give him authority to make the disclosure, so that it would not be contrary to section 1 (1) of the Official Secrets Act 1989 nor in breach of his civil duty of confidence. Authorisation would imply only that there were no concerns about national security. It would not imply that the Crown had endorsed the publication or confirmed the accuracy of its contents. The Crown would reserve the right not to give authorisation in cases where an officer had committed breaches of the criminal law or his civil obligations.

HEALTH

NHS Reforms (London)

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what were the reasons for the publication of the leaflet on "NHS Changes in London" ; what was the total cost of publication ; and from whom legal advice was sought before publishing it ;

(2) what means of assessment she used when drafting the leaflet "NHS Changes in London" of the questions which needed to be covered.


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Dr. Mawhinney : The leaflet was produced to address and answer key questions about health services in London. It was cleared by officials in the normal way. The estimated cost of producing and distributing the leaflet is £150,000.

Amyl Nitrites

Dr. Spink : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to declare the sale of those sex-enhancing drugs which alter physiological functioning, with particular reference to nitrites, illegal under the Medicines Acts ; and if she will make a statement ;

(2) what licensing, testing and quality controls and other regulations are applied to the manufacture and sale of the sex-enhancing drugs Rock Hard, Kix, Rush, Ram, Thunderbolt and other nitrites which are most commonly used to facilitate homosexual practices ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Sackville : The Medicines Control Agency regulates human medicines in the United Kingdom in accordance with the Medicines Acts of 1968 and 1971 and Pharmaceutical Directives of the European Community. No alkyl nitrite is licensed as a medicinal product, and in consequence no product containing nitrite is currently subject to the statutory controls on the manufacture and supply of medicinal products.

Alkyl nitrites are not being promoted for sale explicitly as sexual stimulants. If they were, they would have to be licensed under the Medicines Act 1968, which defines interference with a physiological function as a medicinal purpose. The MCA will investigate all reports of unlicensed medicines, their advertising, labelling and sales, and take the appropriate enforcement action.

NHS Trusts

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list those trusts, by region, that have failed to (a) achieve a capital return of 6 per cent. or more, (b) break even and (c) operate within external financing limits in each year since their inception.

Mr. Sackville : The information requested for the years 1991-92 and 1992-93 will be placed in the Library. Information for 1993-94 will not be available until the annual accounts of trusts are audited. The majority of trusts listed had technical issues which affected their ability to meet their financial duties. This does not imply any failure in financial control. In a number of cases the difference between actual financial performance and statutory target is deemed to be immaterial.

Junior Doctors

Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are the average working hours of junior doctors this year (a) nationally and (b) in Coventry and the west midlands ; and what the figures were for 1991-92 and 1992-93.

Dr. Mawhinney : Information on the number of hours worked by junior doctors is not available centrally. Figures for the average contracted hours of junior doctors and dentists are shown in the table. The figures for September 1993 are not yet available.


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Mean contracted hours of     

junior doctors in England,   

West Midlands and            

Coventry as at 30 September  

1991 and 1992                

              |1991|1992     

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

England       |80  |75       

West Midlands |84  |76       

Coventry      |82  |76       

Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has for reducing the working hours of junior doctors ; and what discussions she has had with the British Medical Association regarding this matter.

Dr. Mawhinney : Our targets for reducing junior doctors' hours are set out in the new deal guidance, copies of which are available in the Library. Regional office task forces support and monitor implementation of the new deal. They report regularly to a ministerial group. The medical profession is fully represented on that group.

The new deal is a joint initiative between the United Kingdom health departments, the medical profession and the national health service and was based on an agreement with representatives of consultants, junior doctors, the medical royal colleges and national health service management.

Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received from organisations or members of the public regarding the working hours of junior doctors ; and if she will name the organisations.

Dr. Mawhinney : There has been a great deal of interest, from organisations and members of the public, in the progress made to reduce junior doctors' hours since the launch of the new deal in 1991.

Listing all those making representations would involve disproportionate cost.

Health Information

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the cost of running the NHS changes in London health information service telephone line.

Dr. Mawhinney : The line is operated by the already established health information services in the London area ; no additional costs have been incurred.

Nurses (Smoking)

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to help nurses who smoke to give up smoking.

Mr. Sackville : This is a matter for all national health service authorities and provider units to pursue in accordance with the guidance, HSG(92)41, published in October 1992 on the introduction of smoking policies in the NHS. Copies of the guidance are available in the Library.

Immunisation

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the relative cost of delivering immunisation by prefilled syringe and the traditional method of vial, syringe and needle.


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Mr. Sackville : Requests for the provision of prefilled syringe presentations are being carefully monitored. At present, demand is only a small proportion of the totality in respect of vaccine supplied for the childhood immunisation programme. New contracts for most centrally purchased vaccines are due from 1 October 1994. The relative costs will be considered at the adjudication stage of the contracting procedures.

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health to which health authorities she has written requesting that they restart the Bacille -Calmette-Gue rin immunisation programme.

Mr. Sackville : The Department has not written to any health authorities requesting that they restart the schools

Bacille-Calmette-Gue rin immunisation programme. The importance of the programme has been drawn to the attention of all regional health authorities through the regional review process ; regions have been asked to consider carefully whether their arrangements to protect against tuberculosis are adequate. We are aware that some districts which have suspended their programme are reconsidering their policies.

Disciplinary Procedures

Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 16 March, Official Report , column 724 , when she plans to implement recommendation 14 of HC(90)9 on proceedings against doctors, to introduce arrangements for monitoring the new procedure ; when the HC(90)9 procedure is to be reviewed and by whom ; how public expenditure arising from the use of this procedure is monitored ; and if she will make a statement.

Dr. Mawhinney : Employing authorities were asked to monitor the procedures in HC(90)9 in order to inform a review which commenced in April 1993. This review was carried out by a joint working party chaired by Dr. Graham Winyard, medical director of the national health service executive. The joint working party contained representatives of the medical profession, the Health Departments and national health service management. Information on the expenditure arising from the use of these procedures is not available centrally.

Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 16 March, Official Report , column 724 , what plans she has to set up systems for collecting information on disciplinary action on hospital doctors ; and whether trusts have specific budgets to meet the legal costs when taking disciplinary proceedings against a doctor under the procedure HC(90)9.

Dr. Mawhinney : We have no plans to collect such information. Legal costs would be an expenditure item which trusts would recover in prices through the contracting system.

Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to her answer of 16 March, Official Report , column 724 , how many doctors have been dismissed since 1990 on grounds of personal misconduct ; and what was the total number of doctors dismissed from national health service posts since 1990 ; (2) what changes there have been in the number of doctors (a) suspended, (b) subject to disciplinary hearing and (c) dismissed since 1990.


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Dr. Mawhinney : Decisions on disciplinary action for hospital doctors and dentists rests with the employing authority or trust. This includes whether to suspend or dismiss a practitioner.

Pacemaker Leads

Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when Meditronic was first licensed to sell pacemaker leads in the United Kingdom ; and which leads were licensed, by date.

Mr. Sackville : There is no requirement for the licensing of medical devices intended for sale within the United Kingdom, including pacemaker leads.

The Department of Health has operated a voluntary registration scheme for manufacturers of medical devices since 1981 ; Meditronic was first registered on 10 October 1983.

Waiting Times

Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many patients have been waiting (a) six months or more and (b) one year or more for in-patient operations in each London health authority ;

(2) what is the latest number of patients awaiting (a) in-patient and (b) day-case treatment in each London district health authority.

Dr. Mawhinney : Information on waiting times for in-patient and day case treatment by district health authority and trust is given in "Hospital Waiting List Statistics : England". This is published twice yearly and copies are available in the Library.

Medico-legal Services (Charges)

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average hourly fee charged by doctors acting in (a) a professional and (b) an expert capacity for preparing medico-legal reports to be presented in court ;

(2) what is the average half-day fee paid to (a) professional medical witnesses and (b) expert medical witnesses for attendance at court.

Dr. Mawhinney : Fees are set by individual negotiation on each case and data are not available centrally.

Limb Defects

Mr. Patrick Thompson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the findings of the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys national analysis of the geographical pattern of limb reduction defects will be published.

Mr. Sackville : The Office of Population Censuses and Surveys has completed its analysis of the geographical pattern of limb reduction defects in England and Wales. It has concluded that there is no difference in prevalence in these malformations between coastal and non-coastal areas. The full text of the analysis will be placed in the Library and is being published in this week's edition of The Lancet.

Mobile Phones

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list for each year from 1990 the expenditure on mobile phones by (a) region, (b) district health authority and (c) trust in England.


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Mr. Sackville : Health authority and national health service trust financial returns do not identify expenditure for mobile telephones separately from other telecommunications expenditure.

Corporate Image Costs

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list for each new regional health authority, the expenditure on a new corporate image in terms of (a) stationery, (b) publications, (c) signage, (d) livery, (e) logo design and (f) in total.

Dr. Mawhinney : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave him on 31 March at columns 1049-50. The new corporate identity which has been developed for the National Health Service Executive is a single common design for use by the headquarters and regional offices of the NHS Executive, and also by regional health authorities.

Performance Tables

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the allocated budget for the new NHS performance tables ; and if she will indicate the value of the contract awarded to Phoenix Interface Technology Ltd.

Dr. Mawhinney : The budget for the first set of national health service performance tables is £300,000. This includes the cost of the contract for the initial data collection exercise which was awarded to Siemens-Nixdorf Information Systems Limited who subcontracted to Phoenix Interface Technology Ltd. The value of the contract was £16, 423 plus value added tax. The initial non-recurring set-up costs have yet to be finalised.

Leaflets, London

Mr. Rendel : To ask the Secretary of State for Health in which constituencies the leaflet, "NHS Changes in London--answers to the Questions You've Been Asking", has been delivered ; and what criteria were used in deciding on these constituencies.

Dr. Mawhinney : The leaflet distribution was targeted at households within the area bounded by the M25. Constituency boundaries were not taken into account in determining distribution.

Bringing Up Children"

Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on her Department's proposed booklet, "Bringing Up Children" ; what distribution is intended ; at what expense ; and for what purposes.

Mr. Robin Squire : I have been asked to reply.

The updated parents charter will be distributed to every household in England at an estimated cost of £630,000. It will not be a guide for parents on bringing up children ; rather it will explain how parents' rights have been strengthened, and choice extended, since the publication of the first parents charter in 1991.


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DEFENCE

Belize

Mr. Spellar : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will now reconsider the decision to withdraw the British garrison from Belize.

Mr. Hanley : We see no reason to change our plans for the evolution of the British military presence in Belize as announced on 13 May 1993. From 1 October 1994 we will continue to have a presence in Belize, in the form of the British Army training support unit Belize which will provide jungle training to British military units.

Germ Warfare

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has received from his (a) Russian and (b) American counterparts regarding the current status of the research and development capability of Russia's germ warfare programme.

Mr. Hanley : The terms of the 1992 Russia--United States--United Kingdom trilateral agreement designed to address concerns about Russian non -compliance with the 1972 biological and toxin weapons convention, only allows for information to be exchanged on a confidential basis. It is not therefore possible to reveal details of information gained through this process.

AWE Aldermaston

Mr. Rendel : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the incident that occurred at Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston on 24 March 1994, and place in the Library a copy of the unclassified version of the local board of inquiry report into that incident when it is completed.

Mr. Aitken : I refer the hon. Member to my answer to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Smith) on 19 April at column 501. Arrangements will be made for a copy of an unclassified version of the board of inquiry report to be placed in the Library in due course.

RAF Carlisle

Mr. Martlew : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answers of 14 January to the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire (Mr. Kirkwood), Official Report, column 350, and of 21 February to the hon. Member for East Lothian, Official Report, column 66, how much has been spent on refurbishment at RAF Carlisle over the past (a) five and (b) 10 years ; and if he will provide a breakdown of the spending on each element of the programmes of refurbishment and upgrading carried out in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available.

Mr. Hanley : I will write to the hon. Member.

Public Bodies

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence who are the members currently appointed to the advisory committee on conscientious objectors.

Mr. Hanley [holding answer 28 January 1994] : The information requested is as follows :


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John W. Rogers QC ( Chairman )

Hon. Mr. Justice Latham ( Vice Chairman )

A. D. Collins QC ( Deputy Vice Chairman )

M. M. Brooke

Professor J. Cheetham

B. J. S. Edmond

Mrs. J. A. Kirkpatrick

R. Hazell

D. J. Burt

Mrs. R. E. Nugee JP

Statement on the Defence Estimates"

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when he will be publishing the 1994 "Statement on the Defence Estimates" ; and if he will make a statement ;

(2) what publicity work will be carried out relating to the publication of the 1994 "Statement on the Defence Estimates" ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Rifkind [holding answer 18 April 1994] : the "Statement on the Defence Estimates 1994" will be published and laid in the House on Tuesday 26 April. This will be followed by a press briefing and publication of a press notice.


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