|Previous Section||Home Page|
(l) Syria--none ;
(m) United Arab Emirates--The Queen (1979), The Duke of Edinburgh (1991), The Prince of Wales (1989, 1993), The Princess Royal (1984, 1987, 1991), The Duke of Gloucester (1991), The Duke of Kent (1981) ;
(n) Yemen--The Princess Royal (1982).
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list all Chernobyl-type nuclear power stations still in existence, indicating whether they are still in active operation ; what measures have been taken to (a) make them safe, (b) convert them or (c) close them in due course ; and how many such stations have been closed since the Chernobyl disaster.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The nuclear reactor destroyed in the 1986 Chernobyl accident was an RBMK 1000. Eleven reactors of the same type remain in operation in Russia--four at Sosnovy Bor, Leningrad ; four at Kursk ; and three at Smolensk. Two 1000s remain in operation at
Column 427Chernobyl, Ukraine where a third unit has been closed following a fire in 1991. Two RBK 1500s are currently operating at Ignalina, Lithuania. Extensive safety improvement programmes have been carried out on RBMK reactors since the Chernobyl accident. Full details could be provided only by the countries concerned, which are responsible for all safety decisions, including whether or not their nuclear power plants should continue to operate.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The initial report by the special rapporteur, Mr. Rene Degni-Segui, found that the massacres were planned in advance, citing as evidence a systematic campaign of incitement to racial hatred by the interim-Government-controlled media, military training and equipping of the Hutu militias from November 1993, the erection of barriers within 45 minutes of the air crash and lists of targets which correspond with those killed.
A copy of the report has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has about the adequacy of water supplies in South Yemen ; and what initiatives there are by the international community to alleviate suffering from water shortage caused by military activity.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The water supply in Aden has been insufficient to meet the daily needs of the inhabitants. International Committee of the Red Cross, to which we donated £250,000 and the European Union approximately £1.03 million, have done an excellent job in maintaining the supply of some water in difficult circumstances. Now that the fighting is over in Aden we hope that the necessary repairs can be carried out to allow the restoration of normal water supplies.
We are unaware of any problems with the water supply in other areas of Yemen.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Gibraltar does not have an MEP because annexe II of the 1976 EC Act on Direct Elections limits the franchise in European Parliament elections to the United Kingdom. Her Majesty's Government are responsible for representing Gibraltar within the European Union.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans there are for the foreign security services to collaborate with the new office of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation established in Moscow to combat nuclear materials smuggling and nuclear terrorism.
Mr. Hurd : Our security and intelligence agencies work with the intelligence and law enforcement agencies of a large number of countries where we have common interests and concerns. However, for reasons which were explained during the debates on the Intelligence Services Act 1994, it is not the Government's practice to comment on such operational activities.
Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if Her Majesty's Government will declare its support for the proposals in United Nations General Assembly resolutions 36/50 (1981) and 37/30 (1982) ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Goodlad : The hon. Member will know that the United Kingdom abstained on the two UN resolutions that he cites. We did so, in the company of our European Community partners and many other countries, in the belief that by so doing, we would help the process of reconciliation and the search for a diplomatic solution between Portugal and Indonesia. We therefore welcome the current dialogue between Portugal and Indonesia on East Timor's future, which is taking place under the auspices of the United Nations
Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's policy on sales of military aircraft and armaments to Indonesia.
Mr. Goodlad : Our policy on defence sales to Indonesia is based on the principle that all sovereign states enjoy the right, under article 51 of the United Nations charter, to defend themselves. This is a right that we claim for ourselves and it would be inconsistent and discriminatory to deny it to others. All applications for export licences are, none the less, subject to strict controls and scrutinised on a case by case basis. For example, if we believe a prospective purchase is likely to be used for repressive puorposes against a civilian population, the application is rejected.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has on which countries exclude their Roman Catholic diplomats from the position of their representative to the Holy See.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the reasons for his Department's policy of excluding Roman Catholic diplomats from appointment as Her Majesty's ambassador to the Holy See.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps were taken to ensure the people and Government of Gibraltar will enjoy the same or comparable citizenship, rights, liabilities and other opportunities that are extended to the people of
Column 429the Aland Islands under the provisions of the treaty of accession to the European Union and which are consequent upon Finland acceding to be European Union ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The EC treaty applies to Gibraltar by virtue of article 227.4 of the treaty. It enjoys a special status within the Community negotiated at the time of United Kingdom accession. The common agricultural and fisheries policies do not apply to Gibraltar. Nor is Gibraltar obliged to levy VAT. In addition, Gibraltar is outside the Community customs territory and is a third country for the purpose of the common regime for imports. Community rules on the free movement of goods do not apply to Gibraltar.
Article 28 of the Act of Accession provides that the EC treaties shall not apply to the Aland Islands unless the Finnish Government so declare, in which case their relationship to the Community will be governed by protocol 2 to the Act of Accession. The differences between the position of the Aland Islands and that of Gibraltar would reflect their different interests within the Community and the different nature of their relationship with the member state.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the people of the Aland Islands and of Svalbard will be represented in the European Parliament upon the accession of Finland and Norway to the European Union.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : This is a matter for the Governments of Finland and Norway respectively. We understand that arrangements for the representation of Norwegian residents on Svalbard and of the people of the Aland Islands in the European Parliament have yet to be decided.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the people of Svalbard will become citizens of the European Union consequent upon Norway acceding to the European Union ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Norwegian citizens who live on Svalbard will become citizens of the European Union on Norway's accession to the European Union. Svalbard itself will be excluded from the scope of the European Union treaties in accordance with protocol No. 7 of the accession treaty.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the expected cost and consequences to (a) the Commission, (b) the Parliament, (c) the Court of Justice and (d) other European Union institutions of both Bokmal and Nynorsk being given equal status as official languages of the institutions of the European Union's communities and institutions consequent upon the accession of Norway to the European Union.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : There are no proposals to make Bokmal or Nynorsk official languages of the Union. Section XVIII of annex I of the Act of Accession, annexed to the accession treaty, will amend Council regulation 1 to include only Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish as new official languages subsequent to the entry into force of the treaty. The Kingdom of Norway has made a unilateral declaration--No. 38--stating that
Column 430"in the written use of Norwegian as an official language equal status must be given to Bokmal and Nynorsk".
This declaration has no budgetary implications.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the consequences to (a) the European Union and (b) the United Kingdom of the declaration by the King of Sweden on open government and which are incorporated in the treaty of accession to the European Union and consequent upon Sweden acceding to the European Union.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Sweden's declaration in the Final Act attached to the accession treaty welcomes the development now taking place in the European Union towards greater openness and transparency. The declaration notes that open government is a fundamental part of Sweden's constitutional, political and cultural heritage. The Union's declaration in response takes note of the Swedish declaration and adds that the member states of the European Union take it for granted that, as a member, Sweden will fully comply with Community law.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the consequences for (a) The European Union and (b) the United Kingdom of the exchange of letters between the Kingdom of Sweden and the European Commission together with the assurances given, with regard to Swedish practices in the labour market and collective agreements, which are incorporated in the treaty of accession to the European Union.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The exchange of letters between the Kingdom of Sweden and the Commission are mentioned in a declaration by Sweden annexed to the Final Act. The Final Act does not form part of the treaty of accession and the declarations annexed to it do not create binding legal obligations. There are no consequences either for the European Union or for the United Kingdom of the assurances given in the exchange of letters, which simply confirm that Swedish practices in labour market matters are compatible with the agreement of the Eleven.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the citizenship rights of the Sami people consequent upon the accession of Norway, Sweden and Finland to the European Union ; and what special provisions have been made for their interests to be represented in the European Parliament and promoted in other European Union institutions.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : As citizens of Norway, Sweden and Finland, the Sami people will become citizens of the European Union on the accession of these states to the European Union. No special provisions have been made for their representation in the European Parliament, but their interests are recognised in protocol No. 3 of the accession treaty. Norway also made a declaration on the subject.
Column 431to the Government of Iran regarding the recent murders in Iran of the Reverend Medhi Dibaj and the Reverend Tateos Michaelian ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : With our full support, the EU is asking the Iranian authorities for an immediate and complete investigation into these deplorable murders. We await further information and Tehran's response before considering how to follow up. We are also urgently seeking information about at least two other Christian pastors who are reportedly detained in Iran.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations have been made by the European Union to the Government of Kenya about the importance of democratisation in Kenya ; and what has been the response of the Kenyan Government.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The United Nations Security Council meeting on 30 June adopted a further resolution, UNSCR 932, on Angola. This called on UNITA to accept immediately and unreservedly the compromise proposals for a settlement put forward by the United Nations mediators, and already accepted by the Angolan Government. If, by 31 July, UNITA has not complied, the Security Council has declared its readiness to impose additional sanctions against UNITA as indicated in UNSCR 864. The resolution also extended the mandate of UNAVEM II for three months until 30 September.
Mr. Key : I am keeping in touch with experience in the Netherlands where a high-occupancy vehicle lane has recently been introduced, and I am considering whether there is scope to introduce a trial here. I have no current proposals for high-occupancy vehicle lanes on the M3, M4, or M25.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 14 June, Official Report, column 513, if he will provide a detailed breakdown into component parts and costs of the £147.496 million listed under "Other".
Activity |£'000s ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Travel and Subsistence and other Personnel costs |20,038 Training |3,330 Estate Running Costs |254 Office Services, Postage and Carriage |32,955 Telecommunications |8,042 Office Machinery/Computer Hardware and Software maintenance |5,224 Vehicle Running Costs |989 Consultants and Agency Costs |7,417 Vehicle Licensing Inspection and Testing Costs |2,082 Publicity and Advertising |1,215 Payments to Auxiliary Coastguard and Merchant Navy Reserve |1,689 Medical Services |1,862 Bank Charges |319 DVLA Post Office Costs |59,195 Sale of Vehicle Registration Marks |1,970 Refund of Driver Testing Fees |915 |------- Total |147,496
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many trains left Charing Cross station on schedule between 4.30 pm and 7.30 pm on Monday 6, Tuesday 7, Wednesday 8, Thursday 9 and Friday 10 June ; how many were late or cancelled ; what was the length of lateness in each case on each day ; and what was the cause of lateness or cancellation in each case ;
(2) how many trains left Charing Cross station on schedule between 4.30 pm and 7.30 pm on Tuesday 31 May, Wednesday 1 June, Thursday 2 June and Friday 4 June ; how many trains were late or cancelled ; what was the length of lateness in each case on each day ; and what was the cause of lateness or cancellation in each case.
Mr. Freeman : Railtrack, together with a private sector consortium-- West Coast Main Line Development Company Ltd.--have, since April, been carrying out a study aimed at producing design standards for the line and recommending funding options for the project, consistent with the objectives of the private finance initiative. The study is expected to be completed by the end of the year. A further competition will then be held for the contract to undertake the upgrading work. That contract is expected to be let in mid-1995 and the works will start as soon as possible thereafter.
Mr. Freeman : Total costs incurred before the formal appointments of the Franchising Director and the Rail Regulator, which include the main setting-up costs, were £1 million and £0.5 million respectively. Subsequent expenditure by OPRAF and ORR until 31 March 1994, a small proportion of which included setting up costs, was £2.4 million and £1.5 million respectively.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what has been the cost to his Department of preparing for rail privatisation up to 31 March, identifying separately the costs of external advisers and consultants.
Mr. Luff : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what advice was sought from his Department by Worcester city council in connection with the new cycle and footbridge over the River Severn, now known as the Sabrina bridge.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to seek to legislate at the earliest opportunity to prevent any public service vehicle available for hire from being used by school-age children without a seat belt each and in numbers greater than one person per fixed seat ; and if he will do this without awaiting EU legislation.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his policy on the seating of school age children on buses to travel to and from school and to go on school outings, and on the wearing of seat belts, for each year group up to 16 years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Key : The Public Service (Carrying Capacity) Regulations 1984 permit three seated children under the age of 14 to share a double seat and count as two passengers. This concession has been considered as part of the review of the technical and cost implications of fitting seat belts to all seats in minibuses and coaches recently undertaken by my officials, the report and conclusions of which we hope to publish before the summer recess.
Seat belts must be worn in minibuses with an unladen weight not exceeding 2,540 kg, and specified front seats in larger vehicles. We will be reviewing the position on wearing, but it raises complex issues of responsibility in the case of children on larger vehicles.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions his officials are having with their counterparts in the European Union with a view to legislating to fit seat belts and keep numbers to one person to each fixed seat on all public service vehicles available for hire for school-age children ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Key : Following the announcement of the European Commission's strategy for improving bus and coach safety, my officials are taking part in the discussions of the working group convened to consider the technical requirements for belts in vehicles which do not carry standing passengers.
The number of passengers who may be carried is a question for individual member states.
Mr. Kaufman : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the Highways Agency was established ; for what reasons it was established ; what are its annual administrative costs, including salaries ; what were the equivalent annual costs when the work was done within the Department of Transport ; what are the annual salaries and emoluments of, respectively, the chief executive and other principal officers ; and what were the annual salaries and comparable payments of those officials who carried out analogous and comparable duties when the work was done within his Department.
Mr. Key : The Highways Agency was established on 1 April 1994 as an executive agency of the Department of Transport, to manage and maintain the existing motorway and trunk road network in England and to deliver the Government's road programme. The agency was established as part of the Government's next steps programme, with the aim of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of this major executive business. Copies of the agency's framework document and 1994-95 business plan have been placed in the Library.
The total provision for administration cost in 1994-95 including pay is £87.8 million, compared to provision of £88.5 million in 1993-94. The chief executive was appointed for a five-year term following an open competition at a salary of £100,000 per annum. He is also eligible for performance pay. The chief executive has additional responsibilities to those of the grade 2 officer who headed the former Highways Safety and Traffic Command within the Department. Other principal officers who transferred to the Highways Agency did so on existing civil service terms and conditions.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what recent discussions he has had with Railtrack concerning the educational programmes carried out by the safety and school liaison unit ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what recent discussions have taken place with Railtrack and other interested parties concerning the implementation of anti-vandalism programmes ; and if he will make a statement ; (3) what proposals he has to combat and contain acts of vandalism on railway lines in (a) Strathclyde, (b) Scotland and (c) Great Britain ; and if he will make a statement.
On 1 April Railtrack took over from British Rail responsibility for the trespass and vandalism campaign, including the related programme of school visits. It has made it clear that it is committed to continuing with, and indeed developing further, this activity, both to broaden its approach beyond schools, and to ensure that specific problems are targeted in the areas where they are most likely to occur.
Railtrack, working closely with British Rail and the British Transport police, is identifying what further action might be employed to deter the specific problem of vanalism, with particular focus on the known urban problem areas. It is in the course of consulting individuals and organisations to explore the potential for more effective measures.
In Scotland both ScotRail and the BTP are actively involved in promoting safety on the railways through the safety and schools liaison unit and their involvement in the crucial crew exercises which bring home to school children the dangers.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many reported cases of endangering safety or obstructions there were in each of the past five years in (a) Strathclyde, (b) Scotland and (c) Great Britain ; how many of these led to criminal convictions ; what was the range of sentences imposed upon those convicted ; and if he will make a statement.
Endangering Safety |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 -------------------------------------------------- Number of reported offences Strathclyde |n/a |n/a |n/a |11 |15 Scotland |n/a |21 |8 |19 |30 Great Britain |1,067|848 |783 |642 |754 Number of convictions Strathclyde |n/a |n/a |n/a |5 |6 Scotland |n/a |n/a |n/a |5 |6 Great Britain |n/a |n/a |n/a |26 |71
Over the past two year period 1992 and 1993, the range of sentencing that has been implemented for the offence of Endangering Safety is as follows :
Fines From £12 to £500.
Community Service From 50 to 200 hours.
Imprisonment From 28 days to 2 years.
Probation From 6 months to 3 years.
Apart from the above, some cases have involved the accused being bound over, conditionally discharged or sent to an attendance centre.