Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what is the average length of time it takes from an application being made to the Immigration Appellate Authority to the date of the determination ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John M. Taylor : Once an application is made to the Immigration Appellate Authority, it is for the parties to signify when they are ready for hearing. The time taken to reach this stage varies between two and eight months. The first available hearing date at each of the IAA's centres as at 6 May 1994 is set out in the table.
Centre |Long appointment |Short appointment -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hatton Cross, West London |9 September 1994 |27 July 1994 Thanet House, London |10 July 1994 |1 June 1994 Birmingham |18 August 1994 |17 August 1994 Manchester |17 August 1994 |17 August 1994 Leeds |1 July 1994 |21 June 1994 Glasgow |July 1994 |30 June 1994
Once the case has been heard, the adjudicator's determination normally issues to the parties within six to eight weeks.
Mrs. Roche : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many private security firms were employed by his Department in (a) 1979, (b) 1985 and (c) the last year for which figures are available ; and in each of these years (i) which sections of his Department employed these firms, (ii) which firms they were, (iii) what was the job for which they were employed and (iv) what was the value of the contract in each case.
Mr. Howard : I regret that there is no central record of information of private security firms employed by my Department. I refer the hon. Member to the reply to the hon. Member for Walsall, South (Mr. George) on Tuesday 26 April, Official Report, column 98, for available information in respect of security companies employed by my Department.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are his specific proposals in regard to his promise of specific action to help families of murder victims which he announced in news release No. 76/94 on 20 April.
Mrs. Roche : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 27 April, Official Report, columns 183-84, if he will publish the name of the executive search agency used to recruit the prisons ombudsman, and the amount of money that they were paid for this.
Mr. Maclean : The Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill includes provision for the introduction of electronically monitored curfew orders in selected areas ; and the explanatory and financial memorandum to the Bill explained the intention to conduct pilot trials accordingly. Subject to parliamentary approval of this provision, I propose to make curfew orders available to the courts on a pilot basis, starting in the new year. Manchester is one of three areas in which such trials might take place.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give full details of the arrangements he has made for publicising the new arrangements affecting those eligible to vote at the European elections in June ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a question tabled by the hon. Member for Chesham and Amersham (Mrs. Gillan) on 25 February, Official Report, columns 508-9. All the measures noted in that reply have now been completed.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the countries and the number of police officers from each of those countries--from which police officers are being trained by police authorities at the present time in England and Wales.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many babies were born in prisons in England and Wales in each year since 1987 ; how many of the mothers were handcuffed at the time of giving birth ; and if he will make a statement.
Letter from A. J. Butler to Mr. Alex Carlile, dated 10 May 1994 :
Births to women serving prison sentences in each year since 1987. The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question asking how many babies were born in prisons in England and Wales in each year since 1987 ; how many of the mothers were handcuffed at the time of giving birth.
The annual reports on the work of the Prison Service until 1991-92 record the number of women temporarily removed to outside hospital for delivery and returning to establishments afterwards. Figures are now published in the annual report of the Director of Health Care for Prisoners. The figures are :
|Number ---------------------- 1987-88 |75 1988-89 |63 1989-90 |74 1990-91 |65 1991-92 |56 1992-93 |29
In addition there were three deliveries within Prison Service establishments :
|Number ---------------------- 1987-88 |1 1988-89 |2
We are aware of only one birth to date during which the mother was handcuffed.
Year |Number --------------------- 1989 |22 1990 |30 1991 |37 1992 |41 1993 |40
Mr. Gerrard : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many cases in each of the last five years, including the current year to date, an application for renewal of exceptional leave to remain in the United Kingdom has been refused ; and how many of these refusals were after one year's exceptional leave and how many were after four years.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Precise figures are not available, but in each of the four years 1990-93, the number of asylum applicants refused an extension of exceptional leave does not exceed a figure of the order of 15. Provisional information for the first quarter of 1994 indicates a similar annual level in 1994 to date.
The available information suggests that the majority of the refusals were after one year with exceptional leave.
Letter from A. J. Butler to Mr. Elfyn Llwyd, dated 10 May 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about how many prisoners are currently being held in police cells in the North Wales police force area.
No prisoners are currently being held in police cells in the North Wales area.
Letter from A. J. Butler to Mr. Elfyn Llwyd, dated 10 May 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about Cardiff prison.
The certified normal accommodation for Cardiff prison is 253. On 5 May 1994 311 prisoners were held at Cardiff. This was 29 fewer than Cardiff's operational capacity of 340. Operational capacity is the total number of prisoners which an establishment can hold without serious risk to good order, security and the proper running of the planned regime.
Enabling work has recently commenced at Cardiff Prison in connection with the construction of new accommodation. The new wing, which is scheduled for completion in mid-1996, will provide 196 additional places.
Mr. Mudie : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the individuals and amounts paid in 1992-93 to compensate staff for the decline in house prices following transfer in public interest, with the original place of work and the new place of work which qualified each individual to the compensation.
Mr. Howard : The numbers of staff concerned and the total sums paid by way of advances of salary and special payments were given in reply to a question tabled by the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. Taylor) on 25 February, Official Report, column 507. It would not be appropriate to provide details of the financial affairs of named individuals.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Lord President of the Council, pursuant to his answer of 8 March, Official Report, column 127, if he will list the general and local statutory instruments made since 1 November 1993 up to the end of February according to the Ministries responsible for them.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans his Department has (a) to utilise the Internet, (b) to make available on the Internet press releases and other departmental information which the public may wish to have access to and (c) to use the Internet as a means of increasing the openness of his Department.
Mr. Eggar : The Department uses Internet to exchange information electronically with the European Commission, industry, and academic bodies involved in research. It does not use Internet as a way of putting information in the public domain, and has no plans to do so.
Mr. Spellar : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 4 May, Official Report, column 512, what proposals the electricity industry has made to his Department for expanding the capacity of the cross-channel electricity interconnector.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many people in whole time equivalents were employed at the Atomic Energy Authority, distinguishing the police force from other employees, in each of the last three years and at April 1994.
Date |AEA |Other AEA |Total |constabulary ------------------------------------------------------------------ 31 March 1991 |587 |9,056 |9,643 31 March 1992 |538 |8,630 |9,168 31 March 1993 |528 |7,494 |8,022 31 March 1994 |491 |7,057 |7,548 (Part-timers counted as half).
Mr. French : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has received concerning the practice of cellular networks of charging callers for connection to their network when the recipient is unable to take the call ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. McLoughlin : I have received no representations concerning charges made by operators for recorded messages, but I understand that the Director General of Telecommunications has received some. The Office of Telecommunications is exploring with the network operators how the level of customer satisfaction with recorded message services can be improved.
Mr. Sainsbury : I refer the right hon. and learned Gentleman to the reply given to my hon. Friends the Members for Basildon (Mr. Amess) and for Colchester, North (Mr. Jenkin) on 29 April, Official Report, columns 348- 49.
Mr. McLoughlin : My noble Friend Lord Strathclyde has today laid before Parliament the Weights and Measures (Intoxicating Liquor) (Amendment) Order 1994 and the Measuring Equipment (Capacity Measures) (Amendment) Regulations 1994. The order has been laid for approval by resolution of each House of Parliament. The regulations have been made before laying and are subject to the negative resolution procedure.
Current legislation provides that gin, rum, vodka and whisky may be served in a quantity of gill, ill, ill or 25 ml and that the three imperial quantities be phased out by the end of this year. The new legislation will allow a second metric quantity of 35 ml and thereby allow those
Column 77licensees--principally in Scotland--who, at present, sell spirits in either or ill to continue to serve a more generous measure.
Mr. Eggar [holding answer 9 May 1994] : THORP and related installations are part of British Nuclear Fuels plc's Sellafield site and the policing arrangements that apply to the Sellafield site also apply to THORP.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if it is his policy to maintain the Atomic Energy Authority police as a public body under public control in the event of the privatisation of establishments that the force currently polices.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what matters, subject to the Blelloch inquiry into the Ministry of Defence Police, also relate to the future structure and complement of the Atomic Energy Authority police.
Mr. Eggar [holding answer 9 May 1994] : The Blelloch inquiry is concerned solely with the Ministry of Defence police and is not due to publish its full report until June 1994. Until my Department has received and studied the report I am not in a position to comment on any possible implications there might be for the Atomic Energy Authority constabulary.
Mr. Madden : To ask the President of the Board of Trade when he proposes to announce further proposals concerning the supply of newspapers ; what representations he has received on his Department's final inquiry up to 31 March ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Neil Hamilton [holding answer 9 May 1994] : The Monopolies and Mergers Commission report on the supply of national newspapers in England and Wales identified certain practices of wholesalers as operating against the public interest. I have therefore proposed making a statutory order prohibiting these practices. A wide range of views has been received during the period for submission of written representations on the proposed order, which ended on 31 March. My officials are now holding a final series of meetings with representative parties from the industry to discuss their representations, both on the order and on the possible alternative of an industry code of practice backed by statutory undertakings. I hope to announce my final decision as soon as possible, once I have had an opportunity to consider the outcome of the consultation process.
Mr. Cummings : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris) of 28 April, Official Report, column 244, if he will consider the banning of traffic in Whitehall during the period of time taken on ANZAC day for the laying of wreaths and the silent tribute.
The Prime Minister : Under the terms of the sessional orders, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis is required, during the Session of Parliament, to keep the streets leading to and from the Houses of Parliament free and open. Any proposal to amend the sessional orders would be a matter for this House and another place.
Mr. Byers : To ask the Prime Minister what have been the costs incurred by his office in (a) providing legal advice to witnesses appearing before the Scott inquiry, (b) drawing up evidence to be submitted to the Scott inquiry, (c) officials and legal advisers attending the Scott inquiry and (d) any other related costs.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 6 May 1994] : The costs under (a) to (c) are unquantifiable. No legal or other help was provided from outside the Government. The costs therefore consisted in the time of myself and Sir Robin Butler, who appeared as witnesses, and of the officials who gave support as part of their normal duties. Under (d), the cost of the Cabinet Office liaison unit since December 1992, including the cost of supplying documents from 10 Downing street and the Cabinet Office to the inquiry, has been approximately £230,000.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the extent of drought problems in Ethiopia ; and what is being done by the Government and the European Union to combat these problems.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : More than 6 million people are estimated to be at risk from drought. 1994 emergency food aid needs are now estimated at nearly 800,000 tonnes. Since October 1993, Britain has committed 30, 000 tonnes of bilateral food aid to Ethiopia ; 15,000 tonnes has already been delivered and a further 4,000 tonnes will arrive this month. The European Commission has also earmarked 130,000 tonnes ; 50,000 tonnes will arrive this month. My noble Friend the Minister for Overseas Development wrote to major donors in March highlighting Ethiopia's needs and urging an early response.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which United Nations or aid organisations are now visiting or operating from Dilling and Kadugli in Sudan ; and what information has been gathered from their work about conditions in the Nuba mountains.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The United Nations Children's Fund have established a small base at Kadugli, supplemented by short-term visits. World Food Programme has limited access via El Obeid for its food aid programme. The Food and Agriculture Organisation seeds programme in Kordofan plans to include Kadugli.
The Save the Children Fund (USA), CARE International and FAR--Fellowship for African Relief--have mandates agreed with the Government of Sudan which cover Dillinge and Kadugli but specific projects have yet to be implemented.
A United Nations agencies assessment mission in February reported food aid needs around Kadugli and Dillinge of around 300 tonnes per month for about 25,000 people. Non-food needs included drinking water, supplementary feeding, blankets, medicines and education facilities. A recent nutrition survey of children in the indigenous population and displaced camps indicated worsening levels of malnutrition of up to 19 per cent. UNICEF and WFP are urgently seeking to address these needs.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has received on the reservations of the Sudan People's Liberation Army about signing a draft agreement in Nairobi with the Sudanese Government for the distribution of humanitarian aid ; and what assessment he has made of the effect of these proposals on international aid agencies, with particular reference to British based agencies.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We understand that the SPLA raised a number of objections to four of the five proposed relief routes which pass through territory controlled by its forces. Talks between the parties are still continuing and a United Nations Operation Lifeline Sudan statement is expected next week.
Column 80International aid agencies, including British -based agencies, have reported no major effects on their relief operations as a result of the current talks. They are continuing to press to maintain and improve access to areas in need, although land routes are now being affected by the onset of the rainy season. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is Her Majesty's Government's policy on the national identity of the Bakassi peninsula ; and when he last had discussions on this with the Governments of Nigeria and Cameroon.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : It is a matter of great concern that there should be a dispute between two countries with which we maintain close relations. We have urged both the Nigerian and Cameroonian authorities to seek a peaceful solution but made it clear that we take no position on the claims of either side.
The subject was raised most recently during our high commissioner's farewell call on the Nigerian Head of State on 26 April, and with Cameroon when special envoy Ironi called on my noble friend Baroness Chalker of Wallasey on 28 March.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the projects receiving humanitarian and development aid from the Overseas Development Administration and European Union in Somalia ; and how this is distributed between the various regions of Somalia.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Information on humanitarian assistance projects funded by Britain since January 1993 and by the European Commission during 1993, showing implementing agencies and regions assisted, has been placed in the libraries of both Houses. The United Kingdom information includes food aid. Britain's bilateral development programme to Somalia was suspended in 1991.
In 1993 the European Commission also provided 33,000 tonnes of food aid worth £14 million and funded rehabilitation projects worth £2.3 million across Somalia. A new European Commission rehabilitation programme for Somalia worth nearly £30 million was approved in December 1993. Specific project proposals are currently under preparation.
Information on projects funded by other EU member states is not available.