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Mr. Warwick Reid

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what were each of the official positions in the Hong Kong Government of Mr. Warwick Reid up to 1991.

Mr. Goodlad : Mr. Warwick Reid was appointed by the Hong Kong Government as a Crown counsel in the prosecutions division of the Legal Department on 8 March 1975 and was promoted to senior Crown counsel in April 1977. He was promoted to deputy principal Crown counsel in April 1980. From April 1981 to January 1982, he was assistant to the Attorney- General. He returned to the prosecutions division in February 1982. He was promoted

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in March 1983 to principal Crown counsel. From then until his arrest in October 1989, he held the position of deputy Crown prosecutor in charge of the commercial crime unit of the prosecutions division. Mr. Reid was dismissed on 22 January 1990.


Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government of Brazil fulfilled their promise of 29 July 1993 to the XI session of the working group on indigenous populations that the physical demarcation of the Awa Guaja reserve and the Krikati reserve would be accomplished in 1993.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The Brazilian authorities have informed our embassy in Brasilia that Government anthropologists have identified and marked out the limits of the Awa Guaja and Krikati reserves. Their findings have now to be submitted for legal process.


Mr. Wilkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is Her Majesty's Government's policy in respect of accusations of genocide by one country in respect of another ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The United Kingdom is a party to the United Nations convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide. It takes seriously all accusations of genocide by one country in respect of another.

General Pinochet

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the British embassy in Santiago, Chile was advised that General Pinochet wished to visit Britain.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The British embassy in Santiago were not notified of the visit. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office was advised by the Chilean embassy in London on 8 June.

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meetings or hospitality was offered by Her Majesty's Government to General Pinochet during his recent visit to the United Kingdom.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : This was a private visit. No meetings or hospitality were offered.


Local Authority Housing

Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to introduce initiatives or schemes designed to pass local authority housing stock to private sector interests ; how many members of his Department are engaged in preparing policy papers on this matter ; and if he will make a statement.

Sir George Young : My Department already has a programme of large- scale voluntary transfers of council

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housing to housing associations. To date, 31 local authorities have transferred 142,000 properties through LSVT. Subject to tenant support, 12 more will transfer about 50,000 properties by the end of 1994-95. I am keen to expand the programme to bring to metropolitan and inner-city areas the benefits of transfer which we have seen in shire districts. The Department is jointly funding a study with five local authorities--Camden, Enfield, Sheffield, Manchester and Middlesbrough--and the Housing Corporation, which aims to identify options for the future ownership and management of housing in urban areas. This is due to report in the autumn. A group of four staff work predominantly on LSVTs, and a wide range of others are involved where appropriate.

Environmental Agencies

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will introduce legislation to pave the way for the creation of the Environment Agency for England and Wales and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

Mr. Atkins : It remains the Government's policy to introduce legislation to establish the environment agencies when parliamentary time allows.

Integrated Regional Offices

Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which Department will be responsible for the new integrated regional offices.

Sir George Young : The Government offices for the regions are accountable to the Departments of the Environment, Employment, Trade and Industry and Transport, jointly or separately, as appropriate, for the programmes or functions that they deliver or oversee.

Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the officials appointed to co-ordinate the new integrated regional offices with contact addresses.

Sir George Young The information requested is as follows : Government office for the North East

Regional Director : Pamela Denham

Contact address : Stanegate House

2 Groat Market

Newcastle Upon Tyne


Government office for the North West

Regional Director : Marianne Neville Rolfe

Contact address : 2010 Sunley Tower

Piccadilly Plaza


M1 4BA

Government office for Merseyside

Regional Director : John Stoker

Contact address : Room 404

Graeme House

Derby Square


L2 7SU

Government office for Yorkshire and Humberside

Regional Director : Jeremy Walker

Contact address : 7th Floor East Wing

City House


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Government office for the West Midlands

Regional Director : David Ritchie

Contact address : 77 Paradise Circus



B1 2DT

Government office for the East Midlands

Regional Director : Mark Lanyon

Contact address : Level 5

Cranbrook House

Cranbrook Street



Government office for the Eastern Region

Regional Director : John Turner

Contact address : Heron House

49-53 Goldington Road


MK40 3LL

Government office for the South West

Regional Director : Brian Leonard

Contact address : 4th Floor

The Pithay



Government office for the South East

Regional Director : Gillian Ashmore

Contact address : Charles House

375 Kensington High Street


W14 8QH

Government office for London

Regional Director : Robin Young

Contact address : Room P2/023

2 Marsham Street



Fire Safety

Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give the reasons for his Department's decision not to implement the recommendations of the Efficiency Unit's scrutiny of the management of the Government's civil estate on provision of advice to Government Departments on fire safety and fire precautions ; and if he will explain why it is intended to stop the provision of such advice.

Mr. Baldry : No such decision has been taken. We envisage that, in line with the efficiency scrutiny's recommendation, written guidance will be promulgated via the advice unit of the proposed new property agency. The decision to withdraw some fire branch services will not stop Departments obtaining appropriate advice on fire protection for particular buildings or on staff training, whether by using in-house resources or available commercial services.

Acid Rain

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what response he plans to make to the petition handed to him by his Norwegian counterpart in Oslo on 14 June, from Norwegian citizens urging Her Majesty's Government to cut acid rain deposits over Scandinavia arising from discharges in the United Kingdom.

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Mr. Atkins : In Oslo on 14 June, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State signed the second United Nations Commission for Europe sulphur protocol, which commits the United Kingdom to reducing emissions of sulphur dioxide by 80 per cent. compared with 1980 levels by 2010. This will not only deal substantially with problems of acidification in the United Kingdom but will also bring about significant improvements for our European neighbours.

While he was in Oslo, my right hon. Friend met representatives of the Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature, to receive their petition, and of Councillors Against Acid Rain. He explained the significant reductions in sulphur emissions which the United Kingdom has already achieved and the new obligations to achieve further reductions which we have accepted.

Red Squirrels

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if she will list by county the current estimate of the red squirrel population ; what were the comparable figures (a) five years and (b) 10 years ago ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Atkins : Red squirrel population figures have never been compiled by county. The latest population estimates for Great Britain are : Scotland 121,000 ; England 30,000 and Wales 9,000. There are no comparable figures for five or 10 years ago.

Support for the remaining populations of red squirrels include full protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and measures to restrict the spread of grey squirrels. English Nature's species recovery programme, which aims to achieve long-term sustainable survival of endangered species, includes red squirrels.

Accountancy Firms

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many contracts and for what total sum were let out by his Department or agencies for which it is responsible to (a) Coopers and Lybrand, (b) KPMG Peat Marwick, (c) Ernst and Young, (d) Price Waterhouse, (e) Arthur Andersen, (f) Touche Ross, (g) Grant Thornton, (h) Robson Rhodes and (i) Pannel Kerr Forster for (i) privatisation, (ii) market testing, (iii) management advice, (iv) accounting, (v) audit, (vi) consultancy and (vii) any other services in 1980 to 1983, 1984 to 1987, 1988 to 1991 and 1992 to 1993.

Mr. Baldry : The information requested is not held centrally by my Department and is obtainable only at disproportionate cost.

Sea Defences

Mr. Rendel : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what evidence his Department has as to whether sand and gravel extraction is damaging natural sea defences and increasing the vulnerability of the coastal areas to flooding ;

(2) how many extraction licences have been granted for areas off the Norfolk coast, and for each licence (a) to whom the licence has been issued, (b) the location of the site, (c) the licence fee and (d) the quantity permitted to be extracted.

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Mr. Baldry : We have no evidence to indicate that sand and gravel extraction is damaging natural sea defences and increasing the vulnerability of the coastal areas to flooding. Licences for marine dredging are issued by the Crown Estate Commissioners. Applications are referred by the Crown Estate to consultants for professional advice on whether the proposed dredging would have an adverse effect upon coastal protection. If the advice demonstrates unavoidable risk of coastal erosion, the application will be rejected without further consideration.

I understand that the Crown Estate Commissioners have issued 15 licences for dredging off the Norfolk Coast as follows :

Area                          |Company                                                    


Area 107                      |East Coast Aggregates Ltd.                                 

Area 202                      |ARC Marine Ltd.                                            

Area 212                      |ARC Marine Ltd.                                            

Area 228                      |Volker Dredging Ltd.                                       

Area 240                      |Civil and Marine Ltd.                                      

Area 242                      |ARC Marine Ltd.                                            

Area 251                      |East Coast Aggregates Ltd.                                 

Area 254                      |United Marine Dredging Ltd.                                

Area 296                      |United Marine Dredging Ltd.                                

Area 319                      |East Coast Aggregates Ltd.                                 

Area 328                      |ARC Marine Ltd.                                            

Area 328                      |Civil and Marine Ltd.                                      

Area 329                      |Civil and Marine Ltd.                                      

Area 360                      |South Coast Shipping Co. Ltd.                              

Area 361                      |ARC Marine Ltd.                                            

The total extraction allowed under these licences is 10.85 million tonnes. I will send the hon. Member information about the location of the sites. Information about licence fees is treated as commercial in confidence.

Mr. Rendel : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received from Norfolk residents concerned that new building will not be possible in areas of Norfolk because of flooding risk.

Mr. Baldry : We have received a number of representations about the designation of flood risk areas by North Norfolk district council in the consultation draft of the local plan.

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