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Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister what assessment Her Majesty's Government have made of the validity of the alleged claim made in a trial in Beirut concerning the assassination of a Jordanian diplomat by Youssef Chaabane that he blew up Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie.
The Prime Minister : We remain in contact with the Lebanese authorities on this matter. Our present understanding is that Chaabane mentioned the destruction of Pan Am 103 only in claiming that, in the face of
Column 87interrogation to which he had been subjected on other charges, he would have been willing to confess to anything, even the Lockerbie bombing.
Mr. Patrick Thompson : To ask the Prime Minister, if further details are available about the job seeker's allowance announced in the Budget statement of 30 November by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The Prime Minister : Full details of the Government's proposals for job seeker's allowance will be set out in a White Paper to be presented jointly by my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Employment and the Secretary of State for Social Security in the autumn. Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary legislation, the new allowance will be introduced in April 1996. Job seeker's allowance will be delivered from jobcentres of the Employment Service of the Employment Department.
Employment Service staff will be responsible for advice and help on getting back to work and for the application of labour market tests such as availability for work. Financial aspects of the benefit, including calculation and payment, will be the responsibility of staff of the Benefits Agency of the Department of Social Security, located so far as possible in the same offices.
These arrangements will provide a comprehensive approach to getting unemployed people back to work including a full range of advice on employment and training and on the range of benefits available to those in work. This will be a significant step towards one-stop delivery of services to people seeking work.
Ms Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many decisions, disallowances and warning letters were issued in respect of actively seeking employment since April 1990 ; how many income support and unemployment benefit claimants have (i) successfully and (ii) unsuccessfully claimed income support under the hardship rules, showing those whose claim was in doubt due to (a) not actively seeking work, (b) refusing suitable employment and (c) availability for work ; and if he will make a statement about the introduction of the job-seeker's allowance in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Ancram : The information which is available shows that, from September 1991 to April 1994, 44 adjudication officer decisions were made on actively seeking work. Information about the numbers of disallowances or warning letters for not actively seeking work and claims to income support under the hardship rules is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security has announced plans to replace unemployment benefit and income support for unemployed people with a new job-seeker's allowance in Great Britain in April 1996. The new benefit will be introduced in Northern Ireland according to the same timetable.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many job offers were reported by staff in his Department under the requirements of the rules on the acceptance of outside appointments in each of the last 10 years by (a) staff of grade 3 and above, (b) staff below grade 3, (c) staff in sections concerned with procurement or contract work, under section 15 of the rules of 1 February 1993 and (d) staff in other sections, under section 14 ; and how many of these reports were followed by an application to join the company concerned.
Sir John Wheeler : The number of job offers reported by the staff of the Northern Ireland Office and the Northern Ireland Departments under the requirements of the rules on the acceptance of outside appointments in each of the last 10 years in categories (a)--(d) is as follows :
|Number ----------------------- (a) 1988 |2 1991 |1 1992 |1 (b) 1986 |1 1989 |2 1991 |2 1993 |1 (c) Nil (d) Nil
All these reports were followed by an application to join the company concerned.
Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) whether a flag pole has been provided at the college of further education in Armagh city ; whether a Union flag has been supplied to these premises ; whether the college board of governors has been given advice about the recognised days on which the Union flag is to be flown at public buildings ; why the Union flag was not flown at these premises on the official birthday of Her Majesty the Queen ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) whether a flag pole has been provided at the library of the Southern area education board at Market house, English street, Armagh city ; whether a Union flag has been supplied to these premises ; whether advice has been given about the recognised days on which the Union flag is flown at public buildings ; why the Union flag was not flown on the official birthday of Her Majesty the Queen at these premises ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ancram : A flag-pole and Union flag have been provided at Armagh college of further education and at the library of the Southern area education board at Market house, English street, Armagh. The requirement to fly the Union flag, on prescribed dates, applies to central Government buildings only.
Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) at what locations in the Strangford constituency there are community work forces ; within what district each of these work forces operates ; how many trainees each of these work forces is authorised to employ ; what is the estimated contribution of public funds in the present financial year to each of these community work forces ; and if he will make a statement about the prospects of the community work force network in Strangford constituency ; (2) if he will list the names and locations of each community work force in Northern Ireland, together with the number of trainees authorised for each of these work forces.
Mr. Tim Smith : Responsibility for the subject matter in question has been delegated to the Training and Employment Agency under its chief executive, Mr. J. S. Crozier. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from J. S. Crozier to Mr. John D. Taylor, dated 20 June 1994 :
Parliamentary Questions Nos.-- 966 and-- 967 : 16 June-- 1994 The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has asked me to reply to your questions about Community Workforces in Northern Ireland and within your constituency of Strangford. I have taken your questions to refer to Community workshops which are involved in the delivery of the Youth Training Programme.
I have attached a list of the names and addresses of all Community Workshops in Northern Ireland along with their current level of occupancy. The Agency does not set an upper limit in regard to the number of trainees. The limit is determined only by the numbers of trainees the workshop can recruit and its capacity to teach them in accordance with the requirements of the programme.
There is one Community Workshop within your constituency : Name Location Current Occupancy North Down Training Balloo Avenue, 72 Organisation Bangor
You also requested details of the estimated contribution of public funds in the present financial year. However, as North Down Training Organisation operates as an independent concern under a Contract of Service with the Training and Employment Agency, I am unable to disclose the financial information requested because I am advised that do so would be a breach of confidence.
As regards future prospects, the Agency, subject to the necessary approvals, hopes to introduce an integrated training programme in 1995 to deliver both Youth and Adult training. It would be open to all interested training organisations to bid for contracts under the proposed new Jobskills programme.
I hope that you find this helpful.
YTP Community Workshops in Northern Ireland Community workshops |Current Name address and |occupancy telephone number ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Belfast Region Belfast Central Training Ltd. 121 Donegall Street |74 Belfast, BT1 2FJ Telephone: 324973 Chatham House Training & Development Agency Chatham House 28-30 Library Street |75 Belfast, BT1 2JB Telephone: 238520 Colinbrook Training Organisation Pembroke Loop Road Poleglass |52 Dunmurry, BT7 0QL Telephone: 625551/2 Crumlin Road Opportunities Ltd. Ewarts Industrial Estate Crumlin Road |58 Belfast, BT14 7EA Telephone: 753798/755984 East Side Training Ltd. Linenhall Works 174 Castlereagh Road |53 Belfast, BT5 5GX Telephone: 450868 Glenand Training Agency Kennedy Way Industrial Estate Blackstaff Road |66 Belfast, BT11 9DT Telephone: 301483 Key-Tec Training Services Ltd. Brookfield Industrial Estate 983 Crumlin Road |52 Belfast, BT14 7EA Telephone: 751293 Limestone Youth Training Project Jennymount Industrial Estate North Derby Street |22 Belfast, BT15 3HN Telephone: 756658 Loughview Training Services Old Church Road |101 Newtownabbey, BT36 7LU Telephone: 866576 Quest ITEC Howard House Brunswick Street |135 Belfast, BT2 7GE Telephone: 238009 Scala Community Workshop 129 Springfield Road |69 Belfast, BT12 7AF Telephone: 246262/245520 Shankill Community Projects Brown Square Paters Hill |56 Belfast, BT13 2GP Telephone: 329931 Ulidia Training Services 276-280 Newtownards Road |79 Belfast, BT4 1HE Telephone: 731030 Workforce Training Services Peter Pan Complex 90-120 Springfield Road |130 Belfast, BT12 7AJ Telephone: 247016 South East Region Clanrye Employment & Training Services The Abbey Abbey Yard |3 Newry, BT34 2EG (0693) Telephone: 67121 North Down Training Organisation 12 Balloo Avenue |72 Bangor, BT18 2QT (0247) Telephone: 270945 Orchard Training Services Ltd. 63A Park Road |64 Portadown BT62 1DS Telephone: (0762) 331573 Southern Group Enterprises Unit 22 Greenbank Industrial Estate Warrenpoint Road |2 Newry, BT34 2PF Telephone: (0693) 66924/66925 Western Region Cookstown Community Training Services Ltd. 45A James Street |38 Cookstown, BT80 8AA Telephone: (06487) 61145 CTS Ltd. 51 Dungannon Road |52 Coalisland, BT71 4HP Telephone: (08687) 48512 Derry Youth & Community Workshop 6 Society Street |63 Londonderry, BT46 6PJ Telephone: (0504) 268891 Erne Youth & Community Workshop Ltd. Tempo Road |65 Enniskillen, BT74 6HR Telephone: (0365) 26916 Maydown ITEC c/o Maydown YTP Waterside |32 Londonderry Telephone: (0504) 311005 Maydown Youth Training Project Ebrington Business Centre Ebrington Gardens Waterside |71 Londonderry, BT47 1AA Telephone: (0504) 311005 Omagh Youth & Community Workshop 1 Castle Street |34 Omagh, BT78 1DD Telephone: (0662) 246535 Shantallow Training Services 118-119 Duncreggan Road Pennyburn Pass |63 Londonderry, BT48 0AB Telephone: (0504) 269810 Strabane Training Services Ltd. Ballycolman Industrial Estate |66 Strabane, BT62 9AQ Telephone: (0504) 382435/382568 North East Region Antrim Placement & Training Services Enkalon Business Centre 25 Randalstown Road |43 Antrim, BT41 4LD Telephone: (08494) 60932 Bann Area Training Services Ltd. 1 Beresford Place |130 Coleraine, BT52 1HB Telephone: (0265) 52984/53764 B C W Training Ltd. Unit 18 Leyland Industrial Estate |21 Ballycastle, BT54 6EZ Telephone: (02657) 62902 Seven Towers Training Services Ltd. 2-4 Railway Street |6 Ballymena, BT42 2AB Telephone: (0256) 44003
Column 92local fishermen and their representatives. Our position was stated on 20 May in response to the hon. Member for Glandford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley), Official Report, col. 609.
Mr. Soames : As at 15 June 1994 the number of cattle under 30 months of age which were confirmed as reacting positively to the test for enzootic bovine leukosis in England was three. All were from the same herd.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many cattle born after July 1988 were reported by farmers to the MAFF veterinary officers as having BSE ; and what percentage were accepted by them as possible BSE cases in 1992 and 1993.
Mr. Soames : Information about the age of cattle which are reported to the Ministry as suspect BSE cases, but which are not placed under movement restrictions after being examined by Ministry veterinary officers, is not held centrally. The information requested could therefore be provided only at disproportionate cost.
In 1992 and 1993, 2,756 and 8,393 cattle born after 18 July 1988 were placed under movement restrictions, and of these 1,574 and 6,337 were subsequently confirmed by laboratory examination as suffering from BSE. The figures for the two years are not directly comparable, that the number of cattle in the population which were born after 18 July 1988 was greater in 1993 than in 1992.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what amount of money was paid to farmers as compensation for cases of BSE in cattle in each year from 1988 ; and what amount has been paid so far in the current year.
Year |Compensation |£ --------------------------------------- 1988 |527,142 1989 |2,826,788 1990 |9,114,743 1991 |16,329,348 1992 |29,211,593 1993 |38,054,040 1994<1> |9,189,290 |------- Total |105,252,944 <1>As at 31 March 1994
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what percentage of cattle accepted as possible BSE cases by MAFF veterinary officers were confirmed histologically to suffer from BSE in each year from 1988 to 1993 and so far in the current year.
Mr. Soames : Of those cattle reported to the Ministry as suspect BSE cases and subsequently placed under movement restrictions, the following percentages have been confirmed on post-mortem examination in each year since the disease was made notifiable :
Year |Per cent. ------------------------------ 1988 |91.9 1989 |88.5 1990 |85.2 1991 |86.2 1992 |85.0 1993 |83.7 <1>1994 |81.2 <1> The 1994 figure is up to 10 June and is affected by the seasonal variation in the diagnostic rate. The percentage of cases which are confirmed on laboratory examination decreases in the spring due to the higher incidence of other seasonal neurological disorders, including listeriosis and metabolic diseases, which cannot always be differentiated from BSE on clinical grounds.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which EU countries operate a system of whole herd slaughter for BSE ; and what proposals she has to introduce it to Britain.
France, Denmark, Germany, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Netherlands (initial cases only), Spain (initial cases only).
In some cases herd slaughter is encouraged rather than enforced, and may be industry-funded.
There are no plans to introduce a herd slaughter policy in this country as such a measure is not scientifically justified. All the measures introduced in this country since BSE was identified have been endorsed by the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee.
(2) if she will make a statement on her policy in respect of beta-agonists.
Surveillance remains on-going and all the samples of home-produced and imported meat taken in Great Britain during 1993 and to date in 1994, and tested for the presence of beta-agonists, have proved to be negative.
Column 94Summary results of statutory surveillance are published each year in the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's annual report, and of non-statutory surveillance by the steering group on chemical aspects of food surveillance as periodic food surveillance papers. In addition, the results of both sampling programmes are published quarterly in the Medicines Act veterinary information service newsletter, published by the VMD. Copies are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what instructions are given to security staff in her departmental offices in London for dealing with (a) those sleeping rough in departmental doorways and (b) beggars in the vicinity ; and how many problems have been experienced with each category in the last three months.
Mr. Jack : Security staff have responsibilities for protecting the security of their buildings and its occupants. They have written guidance on allowing the entry of authorised persons. If anyone was deemed to be causing an obstruction to entry or exit or blocking an emergency fire exit, appropriate action would be taken, with the assistance of the police if necessary. There have been no reported problems caused by those sleeping rough in doorways or by beggars.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how long is provided for local veterinary inspectors to examine calves for export ; what guidelines she has laid down for the number that can be adequately inspected in an hour ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Soames : The Ministry makes no stipulation on the time that such an examination should take. We uphold high veterinary standards in this country and our certifying veterinarians are expected to be rigorous in checking that the animal health conditions of the importing country are fully met before signing an export certificate. The time taken by a veterinary inspector for an examination also depends on the level of organisation of and degree of assistance provided by the exporter.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many licences have been granted for the killing of goosanders in each of the last two years ; in what regions these licences have been granted ; and for what reasons.
Number of licences |January-December|January-December|January-May County |Region |1992 |1993 |1994 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cumbria |Northern |0 |2 |0 Hereford and Worcestershire |South Mercia |0 |2 |0 North Yorkshire |North East |0 |2 |0 Lancashire |Northern |0 |1 |0
Mr. Rendel : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which authorities are responsible for each aspect of flooding, sea defence and drainage ; and what plans she has to revise these arrangements.
Mr. Jack : The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is responsible for flood and coastal defence policy in England. Under the relevant legislation, the authorities with operational powers are :
the National Rivers Authority, which can undertake measures to reduce the risks of flooding from designated "main rivers" and the sea and which is required to exercise a general supervision over all matters relating to flood defence in England and Wales.
Internal Drainage Boards, which can carry out measures to alleviate flooding in specified districts with special drainage needs, other than on "main rivers" ;
local authorities, which can carry out flood defence works outside drainage board districts on watercourses other than "main rivers", as well as works to protect the land against coastal erosion. It is envisaged that the proposed Environment Agency will assume the powers of the National Rivers Authority, but apart from this there are no plans to change these arrangements. Further information is given in the joint MAFF/Welsh Office publication "Strategy for Flood and Coastal Defence in England and Wales", which was published last October when copies were placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Rendel : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether her Department will review the funding criteria of the National Rivers Authority following the decision by the National Rivers Authority not to support the proposed Yare barrier in Norfolk on cost grounds.
Mr. Jack : To attract grant aid such works have to be technically sound, environmentally acceptable and economically worth while. I understand that the NRA's Norfolk and Suffolk local flood defence committee has confirmed its intention to promote a comprehensive river bank strengthening scheme for Broadland, but has concluded at this stage that the additional benefits generated by a Yare barrier would not justify the additional costs involved, although the option will be kept under review. There is nothing in this particular decision which leads me to believe that a review of the funding criteria is necessary.
Column 96the nature of the contracts with ACT Ltd. in 1990-91, 1992-93 and 1993-94 was ; what was being requested and what was the value of the contracts.
Year |Value |Description of Work |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1990-91 |32,796 |(1) Support for upgrading system |(2) Supply of temporary system adminis | -trator 1992-93 |17,907 |30 days system support 1993-94 |1,621 |Specific assistance to in-house team
|Number ------------------------ 1987-88 |108,900 1988-89 |120,714 1989-90 |140,313 1990-91 |151,236 1991-92 |174,411 1992-93 |193,774 1993-94 |168,707
These figures include proceedings dropped at court as well as those discontinued by way of notice under section 23 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985. The figures comprise all cases dealt with by the CPS areas, but do not include the specialised casework handled by the headquarters of the service.
Mr. Blair : To ask the Attorney-General how many cases were (a) received by the Crown Prosecution Service from the police, (b) completed in the magistrates court, (c) discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service before or at the magistrates court hearing, (d) committed to the Crown court by the magistrates court or (e) otherwise disposed in each Crown Prosecution Service region for the year April 1993 to April 1994.
The Attorney-General : The table shows the number of defendants' cases dealt with by the 13 areas of the Crown Prosecution Service during the year ending March 1994. The figures do not include the specialised casework undertaken by the headquarters of the service. The number received comprises all those forwarded to the CPS by the police during the year, and the number
Column 97finalised comprises all those completed during the year. Both totals include non-criminal proceedings, such as forfeiture proceedings under section 3 of the Obscene Publications Act 1959, and cases forwarded to the CPS by the police for pre-charge advice ; the number of these is specified.
Cases completed in magistrates' courts comprise all defendants whose cases proceeded to either trial or guilty plea.
Column 98Discontinuances are inclusive of proceedings dropped in court as well as those which were the subject of a notice under section 23 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985.
Cases committed comprise all those committed for trial in the Crown court during the period.
Other disposals comprise the remaining completed cases : committal hearings in which the defendant was discharged, defendants bound over to keep the peace without a trial having taken place, and cases in which the prosecution could not proceed, for example because the defendant had died or could not be traced.
Magistrates' Courts Cases 1993-94 CPS Area |Received |Finalised |of which: |Advice |Completed in|Discontinued|Committed to|Other |Other |only |Magistrates' |Crown Court |disposals |proceedings |Court --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- North |101,284 |101,576 |4,094 |68,212 |13,769 |7,246 |6,773 |1,476 Yorkshire |82,460 |80,857 |3,652 |52,925 |11,860 |7,844 |3,832 |750 Mersey/Lancashire |90,333 |89,546 |3,014 |62,982 |8,971 |8,815 |4,851 |913 Humber |73,500 |71,386 |7,268 |46,360 |7,988 |5,673 |2,226 |1,871 North West |126,665 |123,766 |3,388 |87,454 |11,681 |9,002 |6,177 |6,064 East Midlands |89,898 |88,417 |6,608 |58,080 |10,962 |6,097 |5,118 |1,552 Wales |103,183 |111,736 |6,298 |69,190 |11,119 |5,764 |17,111 |2,254 Midlands |115,623 |117,330 |5,443 |74,001 |13,503 |8,426 |13,755 |2,202 Anglia |114,784 |112,429 |9,468 |76,544 |9,831 |6,787 |7,735 |2,064 Severn/Thames |96,695 |97,602 |4,934 |65,642 |11,422 |4,875 |8,825 |1,904 South West |75,873 |75,002 |2,884 |52,581 |8,714 |5,003 |4,912 |908 London |276,913 |274,524 |9,892 |150,954 |36,208 |19,217 |53,968 |4,284 South East |112,085 |110,068 |5,203 |76,128 |12,679 |7,800 |7,404 |855 |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- Total Areas |1,459,296 |1,454,239 |72,146 |941,053 |168,707 |102,549 |142,687 |27,097 Notes: Other disposals comprise committal hearings in which the defendant was discharged, cases where the defendant was bound over to keep the peace, instances where the defendant cannot be found, and other cases where the prosecution cannot proceed (e.g. through the death of the defendant). Other proceedings comprise non-criminal proceedings, such as forfeiture hearings under Section 3 of the Obscene Publications Act.
The Attorney-General : The review of the code for Crown Prosecutors, which I announced in House on the 14 December 1993, Official Report , column 1049 , is now complete. The revised code is set out in full in the annual report of the Crown Prosecution Service, which was laid before Parliament at 11 am today and then published. Copies of the code have been printed and are now available for distribution. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
The fundamental principles of the code have not changed, but the new code is substantially shorter and has been rewritten in straightforward English. The requirement for a realistic prospect of conviction has been clarified and the public interest factors in favour of a prosecution have been brought out more clearly. I welcome the revised code and commend it to all prosecuting authorities.
Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Attorney-General what instructions are given to security staff in his departmental offices in London for dealing with (a) those sleeping rough in departmental doorways and (b) beggars in the vicinity ; and how many problems have been experienced with each group in the last three months.
The Attorney-General : No such problems have been experienced in the last three months. Security staff are required to ensure that access to departmental offices is unobstructed. No specific instructions have been given for dealing with those sleeping rough or beggars.
Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what previous diplomatic service the present United Kingdom high commissioner to Cyprus has had in (a) Greece and (b) Turkey.
Mr. Goodlad : The present British high commissioner to Cyprus, Mr. David Madden, has previously served as first secretary and head of chancery, Athens, from 1981-1984. He has not held a diplomatic post in Turkey.
Column 991974 ; and how many of these high commissioners had previously held diplomatic posts in (a) Greece and (b) Turkey.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has about the position of the Italian Government concerning revision of its borders with Austria and the former Yugoslavia ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has about the use of forced labour in the construction of a railroad in southern Burma ; and what representations he has made to the Government of Burma about this abuse of human rights.
Mr. Goodlad : We are aware of the reported use of forced labour by the Burmese Government in the construction of a railway extension between Ye and Tavoy in southern Burma. We are working, within international forums, to bring pressure on the military regime in Burma to improve its human rights record and to end the use of forced labour.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has urged the Indonesian Government to investigate the reported killing of civilians by the security forces in Aceh between 1989 and 1991 ; and what was the response.
Mr. Goodlad : My predecessor, the Earl of Caithness, expressed our concern about the killings and human rights abuses in Aceh when he visited Jakarta in early May 1991 ; and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs raised the issue with the Indonesian Foreign Minister later the same month. On both occasions, the Indonesians took careful note of our views.