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Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what specific measures have been adopted to comply with the obligation of the United Kingdom Government under article 6(3) of decision 1/80 of the association council established in accordance with the Turkey-EC association agreement 1963 to establish under national rules the procedures relating to the rights of residence of Turkish workers in the United Kingdom ; and what plans he has to include such mandatory measures in the next consolidation of the immigration rules to be laid before Parliament.
Mr. Charles Wardle : We have no plans to change the immigration rules in this respect. We consider our procedures under them to conform with the requirements of article 6 of Association Council Decision 1/80.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of moving traffic offenders detected by roadside cameras are not apprehended ; and what assessment he has made of the reasons.
"enrolled in a recognised educational establishment for the principal purpose of following a vocational training course". In accordance with a judgment of the European Court of Justice vocational training is interpreted very widely in this context to include all forms of higher education and any education which prepares for a qualification or provides the necessary training and skills for a profession, trade or employment even if the training programme includes an element of general education.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received regarding the distribution of condoms in prisons in order to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 23 May 1994] : Responsibilty for this matter has 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 24 May 1994 :
Column 102The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about representations concerning the distribution of condoms in prisons in order to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs recommended in their 1993 report on AIDS and drug misuse that condoms be made available to prisoners in order to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS. The Prison Service Health Advisory Committee has now also recommended that condoms be made available for use by prisoners in England and Wales in its comments on the 1992-93 report of the Prison Service Director of Health Care. In addition, the Prison Service is considering a report from the Prison Service AIDS Advisory Committee on HIV in Prisons in which recommendations were made about condoms and cleaning materials.
Procedural guidelines issued to prison governors in November 1991 advised that the period leading up to release is an important time for educational measures and for individual counselling of HIV infected prisoners and others with lifestyles which suggest that they themselves may be at risk or that they may be a risk to other people. The guidelines also recommended that governors introduce schemes under which all prisoners released--and perhaps those going on home leave--have discrete access to a small supply of free condoms. The Prison Service is reviewing HIV/AIDS policy generally, including the policy on the issue of condoms.
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the answer from the President of the Board of Trade of 17 May, Official Report, column 389, if he will institute an inquiry to establish the source of the leak which disclosed the President's preferred option for Post Office privatisation.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Prime Minister what duties Stephan Adolphus Kock has performed for (a) the Prime Minister, (b) the Ministry of Defence, (c) the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, (d) the Department of Trade and Industry and (e) any other Department between 1964 and 1979 ; and in which countries overseas each of these duties was carried out.
The Prime Minister : Mr. Kock performed no official duties for any Government Department during the period 1964-79. It remains the Government's policy not to comment on the contacts which an individual may or may not have had with the security and intelligence agencies.
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Prime Minister what meetings were held by the former Prime Minister and her officials with representatives of the Indonesian Government during her visit to Indonesia in April 1985 ; and what issues were discussed at each of those meetings.
The Prime Minister : During her visit to Indonesia in April 1985, my right hon. and noble Friend and her officials met President Soeharto, the Foreign Minister, the Minister for Research and Technology, the Minister for Education, 10 Cabinet Ministers concerned with the economy, the governor of West Java and the director of the British Council. Issues discussed included oil prices,
Column 103technical co-operation, China, Cambodia, East Timor, defence and economic, developmental and international matters.
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Prime Minister what meetings were held with representatives of the Thai Government by the former Prime Minister and her officials during her visit to Thailand in August 1988 ; and what issues were discussed at each of those meetings.
The Prime Minister : My right hon. and noble Friend and her officials met the outgoing Prime Minister, General Prem Tinsulanonda, his successor, General Chatichai Choonhavan, deputy Prime Minister, Admiral Sonthee Boonyachai, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Air Chief Marshal Siddhi Savetsili. My right hon. and noble Friend also had an audience with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.
The situation in Cambodia was the main focus of the discussions. Other issues covered included trade, drug co-operation, defence, education, and regional economic and developmental matters.
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Prime Minister what meetings were held by the former Prime Minister and her officials with representatives of the Jordanian Government during her visit to Jordan in September 1985 ; and what issues were discussed at each of those meetings.
The Prime Minister : My right hon. and noble Friend held meetings with King Hussein, Crown Prince Hassan and Prime Minister Zeid Rifai. Discussions with the King and the Jordanian Prime Minister concentrated on the Arab/Israel question, and those with the Crown Prince on the Jordanian economy.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what costs have been incurred by the Child Support Agency in hotel accommodation and services provided to staff since the agency was established.
Letter from Ros Hepplewhite to Mr. David Hinchliffe, dated 23 May 1994 :
I am replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security about hotel and accommodation costs incurred by the Child Support Agency.
Such costs are charged to different budgets, for example training or travel and subsistence, depending on the nature of the expenditure.
Column 104To establish the hotel cost element from the various budgets and provide the information you require would involve detailed clerical analysis of all staff expenses claims and payments made over the past year at the Agency's headquarters, centres and some of the district offices. This would involve disproportionate cost to the Agency. I am sorry I cannot be more helpful.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what information he has available to show the number of parents with care whose incomes have increased as a result of Child Support Agency involvement in maintenance arrangements.
The Child Support Agency does not collect maintenance on behalf of the parent with care--PWC--in all the cases where it has assessed the level of maintenance to be paid. Where the agency is not providing a collection service there is no record of the amount or frequency of payments made and therefore no record of whether the overall income of the PWC has increased.
Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) when he proposes to conduct a review of the progress of the new one-stop initiative ; if he will publish the results ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) how many Benefits Agency offices are at present running the new one- stop initiative ;
(3) what cost has been incurred in moving towards the new Benefits Agency one-stop initiative.
Mr. Burt : The introduction of a one-stop service for Benefits Agency customers is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member with such information as is available.
Letter from Michael Bichard to Mr. Peter Pike, dated 23 May 1994.
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions about the One Stop initiative.
As you know, the Secretary of State for Social Security announced on 9 September last year a national programme to move, by July 1994, towards a One Stop service for all the benefits processed by the Benefits Agency. I wrote to you on 27 April 1994 with some information on the progress at that stage. By July, all Benefits Agency Districts will be expected to offer customers a One Place service.
The One Place Programme will mean that customers will be able to : obtain advice and information on all benefits from their local Benefits agency office ;
lodge a claim for any Benefits Agency benefit at a local office (regardless of where that benefit is processed), report a change of circumstance and receive reliable advice about the claim to benefit from that local office.
Progress is being monitored by local Managers and the central project team and a report on One Stop will be published in the Benefits Agency Annual Report and Business Plan in the normal way. Progress so far has been encouraging ; in January of this year, for example, approximately 90 per cent of District offices were able to offer customers advice on the range of benefits, including in work benefits such as Family Credit.
The Benefits Agency agreed to implement the improvements in service from within our existing total resource allocation, although by the prioritization of other tasks we were able to give Districts additional funds for training. The pace of future developments will, of course, depend on the level of resources available.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Mr. Clapham : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how frequently the instruments used by the medical boards for lung function tests are monitored to ensure uniformity of standards ; (2) when was the last review of the instruments used by the medical boards for lung function tests ; and what was the conclusion.
Mr. Scott : The administration of medical boards is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member with such information as is available. Letter from Michael Bichard to Mr. Michael Clapham, dated 23 May 1994 :
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions about the instruments used by Medical Boards for lung function tests.
The most recent review of the type of instrument used by the Adjudicating Medical Authorities (Medical Boards) was in March 1993, prior to the introduction of prescribed disease D12, Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema (PD D12).
This review considered the type of instrument to be used in relation to PD D12. The instruments at examination centres are not portable, and, as many of the potential customers were elderly and housebound, there was a need to provide the Medical Boards with protable equipment.
There was also a need to achieve consistency in recording, because the lung function result was an essential condition for the diagnosis question to be answered. This consistency is needed to cover use of the equipment in a variety of environmental conditions.
The machine used was chosen because it is easily portable, simple to use and can be calibrated easily by the operator ; it gives a computerised result showing recorded and predicted figures for the customer ; it also produces a printed hard copy of the results and records the date of calibration for retention.
The machines are regularly serviced, maintained and calibrated in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations and they are replaced as soon as they become unserviceable. The airflow measurement system of the machine requires regular calibration to offset variations in volume due to ambient temperature changes. Re-calibration is carried out at the beginning of each examination session and after every ten tests when carried out at an examination centre. On visits to the customer's home the machines are re -calibrated each time before use.
Several other types of machine are in use in Medical Boarding Centres for respiratory diseases, although these are not used for PD D12. They are not programmed with Professor Cotes' figures of comparative lung function volumes which are the standard for PD D12 diagnosis. These machines are non -portable and hold calibration well. In accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations, adjustments are needed only every 6-12 months because they are static and less subject to ambient temperature variation.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Mr. Clapham : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to amend the current definition of pneumoconiosis in the social security legislation to include chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
Column 106disablement assessment under the Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema Regulations ; how many applications have been processed to date ; and how many were successful.
Mr. Scott : The total number of claims received by 8 May 1994 was about 43,300. Up to the end of the first phase of the take-on (6 February), about 22,500 claims were from miners and ex-miners over 70 ; since that date, those over 70 have been included in the overall claims figures. Of about 31,400 claims processed to date, about 3,200 were assessed as 14 per cent. or more disabled. Figures are based on a 100 per cent. count and subject to amendment.
Mr. Dowd : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many former members of the armed forces who served during the 1939-45 war are now in receipt of income support and other means-tested benefits.
Mr. Barnes : To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Mudie) of 17 May, Official Report, column 416, what was the cost of the child care survey ; and what are the reasons for not publishing the results.
Mr. Michael J. Martin : As stated in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Dr. Jones) on 9 February at column 278, the fee paid to the consultants who conducted the childcare survey is a matter of commercial confidentiality. Given the Committee's decision to take no further action on this issue it considered the publication of the survey results to be inappropriate.
Any consideration of providing Members with the means to receive satellite television would be best undertaken once the House has considered the respective conclusions of the Information and Broadcasting Committees, on the introduction of the parliamentary data and video network and the "clean feed" of parliamentary proceedings.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Lord President of the Council (1) what was the average length of time taken by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel in responding to departmental requests for assistance with the drafting of (a) amendments or new clauses in relation to Government legislation and (b) Government-prompted amendments for onward transmission to Back Benchers for use in debate in relation to private Members' Bills in each of the last 12 months ;
Column 107(2) if he will list for each month in 1994 the number of amendments or new clauses which were drafted by or with the assistance of the Office of Parliamentary Counsel categorised as (a) Government legislation, (b) Government amendments and so on in relation to private Members' Bills and (c) Government-assisted amendments or new clauses for supply to Back Benchers for use in debate in relation to private Members' Bills ;
(3) how many requests the Office of Parliamentary Counsel has had from each Government Department in each quarter for the past two years for the drafting of amendments and in relation to (a) Government legislation and (b) private Members' Bills in which amendments or new clauses are for supply to Back Benchers for use in debate ;
Mr. Newton : One hundred and eight members of the Government are currently in receipt of a ministerial salary. The comparable figure prior to the general election of 1979 was 107, and after the general election 106.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Lord President of the Council, pursuant to his answer of 16 May, Official Report, column 311, what was the cost of the calls made on portable telephones in 1993-94 ; how much this equipment cost to buy or hire ; and what were the maintainance costs.
Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made as to whether the National Radiological Protection Board's study of nuclear test veterans who have developed posterior subcapsular eye cataracts will be undertaken in sufficient numbers to prevent a false negative result ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. William O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration he has given to paying compensation to nuclear test veterans as part of the recognition given to service men in the context of the commemorations of D-day and of the end of the second world war.
Column 108malignant disease among British nuclear test veterans has been no higher than among either the general population or a matched control group. This was clearly shown in the report of the National Radiological Protection Board published last December, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. These facts do not sustain a case for compensation.
Ms Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Normanton (Mr. O'Brien), of 10 May 1994, Official Report, column 127, if he will provide a breakdown of the estimated expenditure by his Department on events commemorating the 50th anniversary this year of the D-day landings.
G |£ ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Portsmouth area events |800,000 Normandy area events |300,000 Public relations programme |200,000 Media facilities |1,500,000 Miscellaneous (including planning staff, education programme, VVIP/VIP transport and accommodation) |700,000 |------- Total |3,500,000
Sir Nicholas Bonsor : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set out the participation by principal units in 1 Brigade's recent First Crusade exercise, enumerating those units absent on operational or other training commitments, and expressing their strength as a proportion of the brigade's strength.
Mr. Hanley : Those units under the operational command of 1 Mechanised Brigade which participated in Exercise First Crusade were 1 Royal Tank Regiment and 1 Royal Welch Fusiliers. Those units that were absent because of operational commitments were 1 Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment--who were serving in Northern Ireland--and 1 Duke of Wellington's Regiment--who were serving in Bosnia.
The following units also took part in the exercise :
a. 1 Royal Horse Artillery
b. 22 Regt Royal Engineers
c. A composite logistic unit
d. 7 Gurkha Regiment, Gurkha infantry battalion from 5 Airborne Brigade and a squadron from the Household Cavalry Regiment, all of whom acted as enemy forces.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last met his counterpart in (a) Germany (b) Spain or (c) Italy to discuss progress on Eurofighter 2000 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Aitken : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Defence met the Italian Defence Minister, the State Secretary in the German Ministry of Defence and the Spanish national armaments director at the Eurofighter 2000 international debut at Warton, Lancashire
Column 109on 4 May. They noted the major step forward in development which the commencement of the flight test phase represents, and the importance of the project both to our military capability and the European aerospace industry.
Mr. Aitken : The first Eurofighter 2000 development aircraft made a successful maiden flight on 27 March 1994 in Germany followed closely by the second development aircraft in the United Kingdom on 6 April 1994.
The initial reports from the test pilots were very positive and both aircraft met their full test objectives successfully. Since then the two aircraft have made a total of 12 flights without any significant problems : the EF2000 flight test programme is now well under way and although flight test evaluation is still in its early stages, the initial results are very encouraging. I have every confidence that the aircraft will live up to all our expectations.