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Mr. Douglas-Hogg : We understand that the Yugoslav army has established an observation post in an area where the border between Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is not clearly defined. The United Nations does not regard this as a serious incident and has not alerted member states to any significant change in the pattern of military activity along the border between the two states. UNPROFOR continues to monitor the situation.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much in cash terms and constant prices the Government spent in 1980, 1990, 1991 and 1992 on peace operations in developing countries, involving British military personnel.
The MOD costs for British military personnel participating in peacekeeping operations in developing countries for 1990, 1991 and 1992 were as follows- -constant prices in brackets.
|1990 |1991 |1992 |(£ million)|(£ million) -------------------------------------------------------------------------- MINURSO |0.06 |0.61 (Western Sahara) |(0.07) |(0.66) UNIKOM |0.03 |0.82 (Iraq/Kuwait) |(0.03) |(0.88) UNAMIC/UNTAC |0.01 |0.83 (Cambodia) |(0.01) |(0.89) MFO Sinai |0.08 |0.09 |0.04 (Multinational Observer |(0.09) |(0.10) |(0.04 Force) Iraq: Safe Haven |11.25 |(12.54) Warden |2.59 |4.21 |(2.89) |(4.52) Jural |5.28 |(5.67) Total |0.08 |14.03 |11.79 |(0.09) |(15.64) |(12.66)
In addition, the United Kingdom assessed shares of the United Nations budgets for the peacekeeping operations were as follows :
|1991 |1992 |(US$) |(US$) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- |Nil assessment (costs |taken from existing MINURSO |8,265,226 |funds) UNIKOM |3,542,240 |3,651,915 UNAMIC/ |- |2,010,720 UNTAC |- |48,813,331 Total |11,807,466 |50,824,051 Note:-Cyprus and the former Yugoslavia have not been classified here as "developing countries".
non-departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department which are required to lay their annual reports before Parliament ;
(2) if he will list those of his Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies which the Government are required to consult prior to legislation proposals ; and in respect of which bodies the Government must publish their response to advice supplied by them ;
(3) if he will list his Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies which are required to produce annual reports ; (4) if he will list his Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies which are required to publish their advice to Government ;
(5) if he will list the advisory bodies he has set up in his Department since the publication of "Public Bodies 1993" ; (6) if he will list the advisory non-departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department which have a statutory basis.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consideration has been given by Her Majesty's Government to the request made on 6 June by the Financial Times to obtain details of decisions taken by qualified majority vote at the Foreign Affairs, Internal Market, Social Affairs and Agriculture Councils since 1989, submitted under the provisions of the EU code of conduct on public access to information.
Column 573conduct on access to documents is being considered by the Council. The United Kingdom is arguing that the response to the Financial Times should be as helpful as possible.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to respond to the letter on nuclear proliferation in North Korea and Trident submitted to him by the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent, Greenpeace and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament on 15 June ; and if he will place a copy of his reply in the Library.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to what extent British commercial interests have been affected by ethnic clashes in the Rift Valley in Kenya ; and what representations he has made on this matter.
Mr. Goodlad : Inter-ethnic fighting in Rift Valley province over the past two-and-a-half years has had limited effect on British commercial interests there. We have consistently made clear to the Kenyan Government over this period our concern at the political, economic and social dislocation caused by the fighting ; and our view that it is the prime responsibility of every Government to provide security for their citizens, and to implement long term solutions.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his Department's policy towards the publication of external consultants' reports in relation to market testing.
Mr. Goodlad : The FCO's general policy is not to publish consultants' reports in relation to market testing but specific requests for information would be considered on merit in line with the Department's policy on open government.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will set out the total cost of external consultancy fees incurred by his Department in relation to market testing.
|£ --------------------------------------- Financial year 1992-93 |22,913 Financial year 1993-94 |129,553 |------- Total |152,466
Mr. Fabricant : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the purpose of the destruction of British tanks and armoured cars at Castlemartin army range on 20 to 25 June.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : A total of 37 tanks and 12 armoured combat vehicles were destroyed at the Castlemartin range in order to comply with the United Kingdom's obligations as a state party to the conventional armed forces in Europe treaty. The treaty, which all NATO and former Warsaw pact countries have ratified, is aimed at reducing the possibility of war in Europe and required signatories to reducing numbers of heavy weapons to much lower levels by the end of 1995. In total the United Kingdom is committed to destroying 183 tanks, 30 armoured combat vehicles and four combat helicopters. In comparison the Russian Federation, which has by far the largest reduction liability, will destroy over 3,000 tanks, 5,500 armoured cars, 660 pieces of artillery, 99 helicopters and more than 1,000 combat aircraft.
Mr. Riddick : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress the former Warsaw pact countries are making in achieving the arms reduction targets set by the conventional armed forces in Europe treaty.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Under the terms of the treaty, NATO and the countries of the former Warsaw pact have from July 1992 until November 1995 to meet their reduction obligations. To date over 20, 000 items have been destroyed, 65 per cent. of them by the former Warsaw pact countries, including 4,409 tanks ; 5,970 armoured vehicles ; 25 helicopters ; 713 combat aircraft ; and 2,166 pieces of artillery. The total reduction liability of these countries is twice that of NATO countries--a reflection of the former Warsaw pact's larger holdings of weapons.
Mr. Duncan : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures are being taken to ensure that former Warsaw pact countries are carrying out their obligations under the provisions of the conventional armed forces in Europe treaty.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Monitoring of compliance with the treaty's provisions is carried out by international challenge inspections. It is NATO policy to witness all destruction events carried out by former Warsaw pact countries. For the United Kingdom, this is conducted by the joint arms control implementation group--JACIG. Since the reduction period began in 1992, JACIG has led 46 missions to reduction sites in Eastern Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union, where 67 per cent. of all destructions will take place. As a result of these and similar inspections carried out by other NATO countries we believe that all state parties are currently in compliance with their treaty obligations.
Mr. Rowe : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether, following the European Court of Justice's Surinder Singh judgment in July 1992, he will refund fees to those persons who have been eligible for gratis visas had the European Court of Justice ruling existed at the time the fees were paid.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Yes. My Department will consider written applications for a refund of fees from those non-European Union nationals who paid a fee before July 1992 for the visa granted them to enter the United
Column 575Kingdom with their British citizen spouse who had been working in another member state of the European Union. The amount which may be refunded will be between £7 and £100 and be made up of the value of the fee plus an ex gratia sum in recognition of the time since the fee was paid. Applicants will be asked to provide evidence to support their claim.
Mr. MacShane : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the new Italian Government about their decision to subsidise steel plants in Brescia.
I met the Italian Minister for Industry, Senor Gnutti on 6 June and reiterated the concerns of the United Kingdom Government and steel industry about the proposed aid to the Bresciani. The proposal was discussed at the Industry Council on 22 June, as I reported in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Shoreham (Mr. Stephen) on 28 June, Official Report, column 467.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer of 3 February, Official Report, column 866, how many more nature conservation orders he has granted or refused under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in Wales ; how many are still in force ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer of 8 March, Official Report, column 153, how many further prosecutions have been taken under sections 28 or 29 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in Wales ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many assisted area status grant applications from companies in Wales in each of the years since 1983 have translated into firm projects, with the numbers and amounts of the grants given and the number of jobs created ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : The data are not available in the form requested. Information relating to regional assistance is published each year in the Industrial Development Act 1982 annual reports. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish for each district council, county council and for Wales as a whole, for the latest available date, the average earnings of local government employees.
Sir Wyn Roberts : The A55 in Clwyd is an all-purpose dual two-lane trunk road which is not normally provided with hard shoulders. The operational characteristics of all trunk roads are kept under review and improvements are made only when justified.
Sir Wyn Roberts : The emergency telephone assessment undertaken by the highways directorate of the Welsh Office highlighted the requirement for 19 emergency telephones on trunk roads within Clwyd. Ten of these are on the A55 and they will be the first to be installed under phase 1 of the contract, commencing in August 1994. The remaining nine installations will be undertaken during subsequent phases of the contract.
Mr. Rod Richards : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make available the recommendations of the efficiency scrutiny of the sponsorship of non-departmental public bodies in Wales, and his response to them.
Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what estimate he has made of the number of jobs currently created on road schemes in the Merthyr borough and Rhymney district ; and how many of these are local employees ;
(2) what estimate he has made of the number of jobs created by his Department's current road schemes within each county of Wales ; and what is his estimate of the number of Welsh employees on those schemes.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what research he has commissioned examining the outcome and effectiveness in terms of jobs gained and qualifications awarded of each job creation and training programme run by his Department since 1979.
Column 577programmes run by my Department since 1979. These have provided information on the number of participants who have found jobs since leaving the programme and, where appropriate, on the numbers who have achieved a qualification. More detailed research has been carried out periodically to compare employment rates amongst ex- participants with those amongst a group of non-participants. The results of the current regular surveys for training for work and youth training are published each month in the Employment Gazette.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people there are employed in television and radio broadcasting in the United Kingdom ; and how many of these are employed directly or indirectly by the BBC.
Miss Widdecombe : The latest reliable information is from the 1991 census of employment. The most detailed data available covers radio and television services and theatres--code 9741 from the 1980 standard industrial classification. In September 1991, there were 75,800 jobs in this activity in the United Kingdom.
The Statistics of Trade Act 1947 prohibits the disclosure of information about individual employers. I cannot, therefore provide the information requested about the BBC.
Miss Widdecombe : My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State has discussed the funding of training and enterprise councils with Cabinet colleagues in the course of negotiations for the public expenditure survey.
The amount of funding TECs will receive in 1995-96 will be announced following my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer's unified Budget statement.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the policy adopted by his Department towards the publication of external consultants' reports in relation to market testing.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a table indicating how much central Government expenditure was spent in (a) England, (b) Northern Ireland, (c) Scotland and (d) Wales for the most recent available year, both in total money terms and on expenditure per capita.
Column 578having been incurred on behalf of the population of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. The information given is consistent with that published in tables 7.6 A and B of "Public Expenditure, Statistical Supplement to the Financial Statement and Budget Report 1994-95" (Cm 2519).
2 Central Government expenditure, 1992-93 £ million |Cash |Per capita -------------------------------------------------- England |104,678 |2,171 Scotland |13,448 |2,633 Wales |7,369 |2,549 Northern Ireland |7,135 |4,475 United Kingdom |132,630 |2,295
Mr. Dorrell : My right hon. and learned Friend and I were naturally disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision on the Barclays case. The Government have always strongly opposed the imposition of world-wide unitary tax on United Kingdom-owned companies and supported Barclays throughout this litigation.
As my right hon. and learned Friend said last September, the legislation passed by California to modify its tax law is a major step forward and it should ensure that in future no United Kingdom-owned company is exposed to damage there from the imposition of world-wide unitary tax. We will be following closely the detailed regulations and the practical implementation of this law. I share the concerns of British business that the details of the Californian legislation have not yet been fully imple-mented. Consequently, the United Kingdom will retain its retaliatory powers against the possibility that states might damage United Kingdom-owned companies at some time in the future.
My right hon. and learned Friend and I also welcome the clear commitment to the internationally accepted arm's-length principle which has been shown by the Federal Administration. We regard such support for the international consensus as of major importance in expanding trade and investment throughout the world.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many contracts and for what total sum were let out by his Department and 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) Pannell Kerr Forster for (i) privatisation, (ii) market testing, (iii) management advice, (iv) accounting, (v) audit, (vi) consultancy and (vii) other services in (1) 1980 to 1983, (2) 1984 to 1987, (3) 1988 to 1991 and (4) 1992-93.
Mr. Nelson : The following table gives the total value and number of contracts let by HM Treasury for 1991-92 and 1992-93 for the subject headings and companies requested. In this period no contracts were awarded to
Column 579Arthur Andersen, Grant Thornton, Robson Rhodes and Pannell Kerr Forster. I regret information going back beyond this date can be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The table is not specifically broken down by company, as information given to this detail would breach our commercial-in-confidence rules.
Column 580Contracts let with the following companies : Coopers and Lybrand, KPMG Peat Marwick, Ernst and Young, Price Waterhouse and Touche Ross, during 1991-92 and 1992-93 were as follows :
1991-92 1992-93 Subject |Number of |Value |Number of |Value |contracts |(£ thousand)|contracts |(£ thousand) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Privatisation |3 |1,184 |6 |277 Market-testing |1 |23 |1 |20 Management advice |- |- |- |- Accounting |- |- |- |- Audit |- |- |4 |137 Consultancy |1 |20 |- |- Other services |- |- |3 |119
Mr. Alton : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer by what amount, above projected costs, it has cost to construct the value added tax office in Liverpool ; what occupancy was originally planned for the building ; how many staff are actually based there ; how many and which staff commute from London to work in the office ; who pays their travel costs ; what is the total ; how long they have been sustained ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir John Cope : In October 1990 independent quantity surveyors estimated the construction costs of the VAT headquarters building in Liverpool at £25.1 million. The estimate was based on a sketch design and was at October 1990 prices. This price excludes land, professional fees, fixtures and fittings, furniture and VAT. The main part of the final account for the construction has not yet been agreed by the contractor but the Department's project cost control quantity surveyors have prepared draft final accounts and advise that the construction costs will be within the estimate. Exact figures cannot, at this stage, be given for reasons of commercial confidentiality.
The planned occupancy specified in the building brief prepared by Customs and Excise was 1,775.
Currently there are 752 staff based in the building. A further 39 posts are scheduled to be relocated from Southend by December 1994, but much of the work involved will be absorbed by existing staff who would otherwise be surplus. Four hundred and ninety Customs regional HQ and operational staff will move into the building in September 1994. This creates a need to provide space for facilities for public callers, VAT traders and shipping agents from September 1994. The space not required by Customs has been re- allocated to the Charity Commission by Property Holdings, the managers of the Government's estate. The
Column 580Charity Commission intends to move 236 staff into the building in November 1994. There are no staff who commute from London to work in the office.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what is the Government's objective in raising the real exchange rate against the ecu above the February 1993 level ; and what assessment he has made of the effect this has had on (a) the profitability of manufacturing in the United Kingdom and (b) exports of manufactures to the EEC ;
(2) what was the nominal exchange rate against the ecu in (a) August 1992, (b) February 1993 and (c) June 1994 ;
(3) what was the percentage increase in the nominal exchange rate against the ecu between February 1993 and January 1994 ; and what is his estimate of the effect of the increase on the volume of (a) imports and (b) exports of manufactures to the EC.
(4) what account the Government's policy on the rate of exchange against the ecu takes of the United Kingdom share of the market for manufactures in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) the EC.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 28 June 1994] : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 21 March 1994, Official Report, column 15, which provides a reference to data which can be used to calculate the sterling exchange rates and percentage change requested.
In the same answer I also made a statement about the role of the exchange rate in monetary policy. The Government have no objective to raise sterling's real exchange rate against the ecu.
Column 581The exchange rate is only one factor affecting the volume of imports and exports. It is difficult to isolate the effect of changes in the exchange rate from that of other factors, such as relative prices and activity in the United Kingdom and its trading partners.
Mr. Jon Owen Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what specific guidelines and advice there are for patients concerning the prescription and the possible side effects of the synthetic corticosteroid Prednisone.
corticosteroids do not abruptly stop taking the drug, as this may have serious consequences. This advice is provided to patients through steroid treatment cards which give clear guidance on the precautions to be taken. They also provide details of the prescriber, drug, dosage and duration of treatment. Steroid treatment cards are routinely given to patients taking systemic corticosteroids. Information and advice on possible side effects are also available in patient information leaflets. I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Bristol, South (Ms Primarolo) on 2 December, Official Report , column 702 . However, in the light of the recent recommendations of the Committee on Safety of Medicines regarding severe chickenpox in association with corticosteroids, I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Mr. Blunkett) on 12 May, Official Report , columns 216-17, product information for corticosteroids is being revised. All pharmaceutical companies manufacturing systemically administered corticosteroids have been approached and asked to revise or introduce patient information leaflets without waiting until renewal of the product licences.