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Mr. Charles Wardle : A survey in 1992 showed that approximately 80 per cent. of old world primates held in the United Kingdom laboratories were captive bred. In 1993 almost all old world primates imported for use in scientific procedures were captive bred. Most new world primates held here have been bred in United Kingdom. No decision has yet been taken on the need for another survey.
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which species of primate are covered by the term "larger primate", as referred to in the 1992 annual report of the Animal Procedures Committee.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Holders of project licences under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 are required to use the fixed dose procedure wherever this is acceptable to the relevant regulatory authority. In other cases licensees are encouraged to seek the agreement of the regulatory
Column 255authority to use the FDP rather than the LD50 test. We are considering a recommendation from the Animal Procedures Committee that action be taken to encourage acceptance of data from tests conducted to current OECD guideline methods ; these include the FDP.
Mr. John Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what complaints over the past five years have been received by his Department relating to the miscarriage of justice, defects in the legal system or failure to deal with crime promptly from (a) the Channel Islands and (b) Jersey.
Mr. Maclean : Letters are received each year from a few individuals in the Channel Islands or in the United Kingdom who are dissatisfied with some aspect of the criminal law or judicial system in the island in question or a court's decision in a particular case. No central record is kept of such letters, but the number of complainants is very small.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers are currently being held in detention in police stations ; what is the length of time of their detention in police stations and in total ; and if he will present this information according to the nationality of the asylum seekers.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The information now available, following the introduction of improved recording systems, shows that on 15 June 10 people who had at some stage claimed asylum were recorded centrally as detained in police stations under Immigration Act powers. The breakdown by nationality and total length of detention--all in police stations--was as follows :
|Detained ------------------------------------------------------------ 2 Turkish |5 days 1 Turkish |4 days 1 Algerian |3 days 1 Algerian |2 days 1 Indian |2 days 1 Turkish |1 day 1 Brazilian |1 day 1 Russian |detained on 15 June 1 Algerian |detained on 15 June
Ms Corston : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were found guilty of non-criminal offences related to the non-payment of community charge or council tax and imprisoned for each period of six months since April 1990 ; what was the length of their sentences ; and what was the average amount of the debt unpaid for the non- payment of which they had been found guilty.
Receptions into prison service establishments in England and Wales for non-payment of community charge, April 1990 to March 1994 Six month period |Number |Average |received |sentence |length (days) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- April 1990 to September 1990 |1 |30 October 1990 to March 1991 |9 |29 April 1991 to September 1991 |50 |27 October 1991 to March 1992 |119 |27 April 1992 to September 1992 |270 |31 October 1992 to March 1993<1> |434 |30 April 1993 to September 1993<1> |582 |31 October 1993 to March 1994<1> |620 |32 <1> Provisional figures.
Sir Terence Higgins : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library a copy of the instructions issued to officers of the Metropolitan police regarding the use of police car sirens.
Mr. Charles Wardle : I understand from the Commissioner that guidance on the use of sirens is presently under review and that specific instructions are expected to be issued shortly. I shall place a copy of these in the Library when they are available.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the performance targets for (a) the number of assaults on staff and (b) the number of assaults on prisoners set out in the contract to run Doncaster prison ; and what the penalty will be if these targets are exceeded.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 23 June 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the performance targets for the number of assaults on staff and prisoners at Doncaster prison.
The contract does not include targets for the number of assaults. There are, however, the following performance measures :
Assaults on staff--no more than 77 in the first year of operation. Assaults on prisoners--no more than 148 in the first year of operation.
It is the intention of the Prison Service to reduce the figures after a review of performance at the end of the first year. If these figures are exceeded, the contractor will have failed to deliver the contracted service and a financial remedy will be imposed against the contract.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Lord President of the Council 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.
Mr. Newton : The Privy Council Office is housed within buildings for which the Cabinet Office and the Treasury, respectively, have overall security responsibility. I accordingly refer the hon. Member to the replies given to the similar questions he addressed to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Sir Harold Walker : To ask the Lord President of the Council what is the number and percentage of registered disabled persons employed by the House of Commons ; and what would be the number and proportion equivalent to the statutory quota.
Of a total of 1,404 staff employed by the House of Commons Commission 16 are registered disabled persons ; this represents 1.1 per cent. of the work force. The statutory quota, 3 per cent., for the current complement would be 42.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee, pursuant to his answer of 3 May, Official Report, column 404, regarding applications for exhibitions of a parliamentary nature in the Upper Waiting Hall, on what criteria the Committee decides to exempt applications from ballot.
Mr. Michael J. Martin : In order to be considered for exemption from the ballot for exhibitions to be held in the Upper Waiting Hall a proposed exhibition must have a clear and direct connection with Parliament.
The Prime Minister : This morning, I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. This afternoon, I shall be travelling to Corfu for the European Council.
The Prime Minister : It is for Ministers in each Department to decide the best way in which to reply to correspondence from hon. Members. Where the correspondence covers operational matters dealt with by an executive agency, the Minister may decide that it would be more appropriate and helpful for a reply to be sent by the agency chief executive, who has the detailed knowledge which the hon. Member is seeking, as well as the necessary
Column 258delegated authority to take appropriate action. It is open to an hon. Member who is dissatisfied with a reply from an agency chief executive to raise the matter with the responsible Minister.
Sir Peter Emery : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what alterations he will make in future financial years to lessen the effect of the south-east area cost adjustment on the comparative position of the south-west of England.
Mr. Curry : The area cost adjustment will be discussed with the local authority associations during the summer. The Government will be giving particular attention to the way that the adjustment tapers within the south-east region outside London. We will also give careful consideration to any new evidence which is brought forward on other aspects of the adjustment. We will announce our proposals for the 1995-96 local government finance settlement later in the year.
Mr. Curry : The data sources used in the calculation of standard spending assessments are generally those which are compiled on a consistent basis across all relevant authorities, are judged to be reliable, are not affected by individual authorities' own decisions, and are as up to date as possible.
There is a continuing dialogue with the local authority associations about data sources which are capable of producing indicators relevant to, or indicative of, the variations in the need for local authority spending.
Mr. Lidington : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 26 May, Official Report, columns 240-41, if he will make a statement about the Government's planning policy towards applications for farm shops in the green belt.
Mr. Baldry : Advice on development control matters within green belts is contained in planning policy guidance note 2. Paragraph 13 of that document states that approval should not be given, except in very special circumstances, for the construction of new buildings or for the change of use of existing buildings for purposes other than uses appropriate to a rural area.
It is for local planning authorities to take this advice into account, together with all other material planning considerations, including my answer of 26 May, Official Report, column 240, in making planning decisions concerning farm shops in green belts. I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave in the Official Report on 26 April 1993, column 318, for a reference to those circumstances where a planning application for a farm shop may not be necessary.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has received from non-governmental organisations this year on environmental risks of (a) nuclear facility decommissioning and (b) the storage and processing of high-level radioactive waste.
Mr. Atkins : The Department received a copy of a report. "Consequence Analysis of a Catastrophic Failure of Highly Active Waste Tanks Serving THORP and Magnox Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Plants at Sellafield", by Mr. Peter Taylor. The report was passed to the Health and Safety Executive, which regulates radioactive waste storage arrangements at nuclear licensed sites.
Mr. Duncan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assurances he proposes to provide to constituents in Rutland, Stamford, Ribble Valley and elsewhere about the protection of the environment during the burning of substitute fuel in cement kilns.
Mr. Atkins : Current authorisations of cement kilns provide for certain substitute fuels to be used in trial burning subject to the agreement of Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution. While each case will be considered on its merits, HMIP, using experience gained, will be requiring trials to be conducted on the following basis. No more such trials will be approved than are necessary to allow HMIP to determine what constitutes best available techniques not entailing excessive costs-- BATNEEC--for operations by the cement manufacturing industry in these circumstances.
Before a trial commences, satisfactory baseline data on the normal operation of the cement manufacture will need to be provided to HMIP. These data will have to cover all of the aspects in the following paragraphs, in partiular including full details of the kiln and its operating characteristics, and of the emissions to the environment during normal operation.
Trials will be run in accordance with a schedule of conditions to be agreed in advance with HMIP. This schedule will be placed on the public register. Operators will be required to make on-going reports on the progress of all trials and in particular to clear with HMIP any reasons for slippage in the progress of any trial. HMIP's agreement will be needed to any proposals to use substitute fuels for longer periods than agreed in the trial schedule. Operators will be expected to discontinue any trial in the event of developments which might adversely affect the environment. For monitoring purposes, HMIP will impose an enhanced and stricter regime to meet the particular circumstances of the trials.
Only substitute fuel that can meet a suitable specification, agreed in advance with HMIP and covering, for example, chlorine, polychlorinated biphenyls, sulphur and heavy metals content, will be allowed to be used in the trials. All deliveries of the substitute fuel will be required to meet the agreed specification. Storage to an agreed standard and with adequate control systems will be needed for the substitute fuel. This may call, for example, for tank level indicators, suitable bunding of containment, instrumentation for controlling and measuring the flow of the substitute fuel, appropriate emergency cut-outs and other features.
Column 260HMIP will insist on being satisfied in advance of relevant aspects of the trial operations. Details of kiln operating characteristics covering, for example, temperatures in the kiln, percentage recycled electrostatic precipitator dust, oxygen concentration, fuel rate, trip history and feed rate, will need to be supplied to HMIP. Information on the EP make, number of zones, electrical details for each bank, temperature and carbon monoxide concentration will also be required.
The trials will be principally concerned with the testing and monitoring of releases. Continuous monitors for particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and oxygen, calibrated to the satisfaction of HMIP, will have to be installed before trials commence. Where emissions, for example, of hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride and total organic carbon are concerned, it may be necessary for operators to hire or import continuous monitors or to use recognised test methods, all in agreement with HMIP. Other testing as specified by HMIP will be needed on the kiln feed, EP dusts, and clinker. The operator will be expected to undertake adequate local area monitoring. Operators will be required to make on-going returns of trial monitoring data to HMIP which, in accordance, with the requirements of the legislation, will enter them on the public register. HMIP will carry out independent testing to verify the results of the trials.
On completion of the agreed trials schedule, operators will be required to revert to routine manufacture not using substitute fuel. If, following completion of the trials, an operator wishes to use substitute fuels on a permanent basis he will have to apply for a variation of the existing authorisation. In this circumstance, the operator will have to provide HMIP with an assessment of the outcome of the trials to justify his proposals. If the proposed variation amounts to a "substantial change" to the process, the application will have to be advertised and be subject to consultation with statutory consultees and the public. The outcome of individual applications cannot be anticipated, but policy in principle will be to require appropriate improvements to the plant, in order to guard against adverse effects on the environment from the burning of substitute fuel.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the United Kingdom ambassador to the Yemen made in his meeting with the chairman of the Presidential Council in Sanaa.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : In his meeting with President Saleh on 8 June, the British ambassador urged the President to comply with the terms of United Nations Security Council resolution 924 ; in particular to agree to an immediate cease fire to allow dialogue to take place.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the progress being made in the United Nations voter identification programme for the referendum in the Western Sahara.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The United Nations identification commission announced on 1 June that it had completed the preliminary analysis of applications for registration received so far, and was launching the identification and registration process both in Western Sahara and in the refugee camps in the Tindouf area.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what safeguards are being put in place by the United Nations to prevent Moroccan citizens from wrongly taking part in the Western Sahara referendum.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Only those individuals identified and registered by the United Nations identification commission will be eligible to vote in the referendum. One of the duties of MINURSO will be to ensure the proper conduct of the referendum.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what stipulations have been made by the United Nations about residence and other qualifications to take part in the Western Sahara referendum.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Security Council resolution 907 of 29 March 1994 endorses the criteria for eligibility to participate in the referendum proposed by the United Nations Secretary-General in his report to the Security Council of 28 July 1993--document 2/26185, available in the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if Her Majesty's Government will agree to the Russian proposal for an international conference to discuss the Korean crisis ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : In the Security Council we are consulting other member states on the timing, tactics and substance of council action, including the imposition of sanctions. We shall continue to consult the other states in the region.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the use of DNA examinations in Somalia for proposed entrants to the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Somalis applying for entry clearance as dependants of those settled in the United Kingdom are eligible for DNA testing in the same way as other nationals. DNA tests will be offered free of charge, under the Government-sponsored scheme, to first-time
Column 262applicants where the entry clearance officer has doubts about the claimed relationship at the time of the application. In 1993, 19 DNA tests were conducted in Addis Ababa on Somalis applying to join family in the United Kingdom for settlement, and seven in Nairobi. The British embassy in Mogadishu is temporarily closed.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations Her Majesty's Government have made to Pakistan in its capacity as a member of the Commonwealth to repeal discriminatory laws against women and offer equal opportunities for women in all fields.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We regularly urge the Government of Pakistan to ensure the protection of the human rights of all Pakistanis. The United Kingdom aid programme in Pakistan promotes the status of women, which is one of ODA's seven priority objectives.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations Her Majesty's Government have made to Pakistan in relation to the ending of child labour and for a free and compulsory education system.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The Government of Pakistan are aware of our expectation that they will meet their obligations as a signatory to the UN convention on the rights of the child, and enforce their own Bonded Labour Systems (Abolition) Act. The United Kingdom's aid programme in Pakistan includes assistance for children's education.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations Her Majesty's Government have made to Pakistan on the ending of discrimination on the basis of religion, with particular reference to the law requiring indication of religion on the national identity card.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We have frequently urged the Government of Pakistan to protect the constitutional rights of religious minorities. There is no current requirement in Pakistan for religious affiliation to be indicated on national identity cards.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations Her Majesty's Government have made to Pakistan about equal rights for religious minorities in Pakistan.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations Her Majesty's Government have made to Pakistan in relation to reports of recent human rights violations in Karachi ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We regularly urge the relevant Pakistani authorities to safeguard human rights. On 11 May Her Majesty's deputy high commissioner in Karachi, along with other EU representatives, discussed the situation there with the Chief Minister of Sindh.
Mr. Winnick : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if it is the practice for Ministers to write personally to hon. Members regarding the refusal of visitors' entry clearance ; and if he will ensure that all correspondence from hon. Members to Ministers receive a ministerial reply.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Ministers reply personally to all Members on questions of policy affecting the entry clearance operation at our posts overseas but not on individual cases. Usually officials in the migration and visa correspondence unit write direct to hon. Members on factual inquiries about most visa cases.
These arrangements were described in my letter of 7 July 1993 to all hon. Members. It enclosed a guidance booklet "Representations by Members of Parliament in Visa and Immigration Cases". I am sending the hon. Member another copy of each.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Of the four applicant states, only Norway has a whaling industry. As part of its terms of accession to the European Union, Norway agreed that its policy on whales will fully respect the European Community's existing legislation.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The talks continue, but agreement has still not been reached on the issue of UNITA's participation in Government. The Angolan Government broadly accepted compromise proposals from the mediators about which posts should be given to UNITA. But UNITA has not yet accepted them. We have urged UNITA to respond positively.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Since February, there has been a rise in military activity by both the Government of Angola and UNITA forces. There is particularly heavy fighting around the cities of Kuito and Malanje, and Huambo has been bombed. This has resulted in an indefinite suspension of humanitarian relief flights. We have expressed concern to both parties and urged them to respect United Nations Security Council calls for all offensive military operations to cease.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the military authorities in Nigeria about the need to restore democratic Government ; and what response he has had.
Column 264Minister on 20 May, urging the military to take concrete steps towards a restoration of democratic civilian rule. The Foreign Minister gave assurances of the military's commitment to the national constitutional conference, due to begin on 27 June, and to hand over power.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports have been made by the United Nation's special envoy to Somalia about whether progress is being made in respect of a constitutional conference on the future of Somalia.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The Secretary-General's special representative reports regularly to the Secretary General on the political, humanitarian and military situation in Somalia. These updates form the basis of the Secretary-General's reports to the Security Council. The last such report was on 24 May. The Secretary General's special advisers also brief Security Council members and troop contributors on developments.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Security Council resolution 923 of 31 May urged all parties to pursue negotiations aimed at achieving national reconciliation. We welcome the agreement signed on 18 June in Kismayo on reconciliation in the Lower Juba region. The international community are concerned at the continued delays in convening a national conference and hope that Somalis will build on the progress made in Kismayo to facilitate a national settlement.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will make it his policy to set up an independent regulator for Football Association Premier and Football League clubs in England.