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Mr. Douglas Hogg : United Nations reimbursement received in financial year 1992-93 totalled £191,663.25, in financial year 1993-94 £20,842,552.45, and in financial year 1994-95 to date £3,158, 323.10.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his policy in respect of the chair of the United States Congress's Africa Sub-Committee's (a) visit to Nigeria and (b) initiative in respect of democracy in Nigeria.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We are not aware of any plans by a United States congressional sub-committee to visit Nigeria, or of any other United States initiative on Nigeria.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what role was played by the Trafalgar House engineering subsidiary at Blockberg in South Africa during the period from 1980 to 1991 in regard to the Iran-Iraq war ; and what assistance was granted by the United Kingdom in achieving that role.
Mr. Needham : I have been asked to reply.
It is for the company concerned to answer for the activities of its South African associates ; I am not aware of any assistance provided by Her Majesty's Government to these associates.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland through which legislative processes any proposed changes to the structure of the Forestry Commission will be made.
Sir Hector Monro : The legislative processes required cannot be identified in advance of decisions to make changes to the structure of the Forestry Commission.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the name, location and area in hectares of each piece of Forestry Commission land sold since 31 December 1992, indicating the date upon which the land was sold and where possible the name and address of the purchaser and the price paid.
Sir Hector Monro : Lists giving details of the areas of forest land sold by the Forestry Commission in each calendar year up to and including 1993 are held in the Library of the House. The lists show the name of the purchaser and the price paid where the purchaser has
Column 757agreed that such information can be made public. The precise date of each sale could be provided only at disproportionate cost. A list of forest land sold in 1994 will be placed in the Library early in 1995.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the future of the Forestry Commission.
Sir Hector Monro : I refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave to him on 9 May 1994, at column 48 .
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the total cost of the Forestry Commission review process.
Sir Hector Monro : The estimated cost of the forest review group was £832,667.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the cost in 1993 in Scotland of payments made under (a) the countryside stewardship scheme, (b) the hedgerow incentive scheme, (c) the countryside premium scheme and (d) the wildlife enhancement scheme ; and what is his estimate of the cost in 1994.
Sir Hector Monro : The schemes to which the hon. Member refers do not operate in Scotland where different schemes are available to meet different environmental concerns and circumstances.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has to change the building regulations for houses in relation to the introduction of requirements for (a) level access at ground floor, (b) minimum sizes of rooms, (c) circulation space and (d) other barrier- free needs ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : My right hon. Friend intends to consult on a range of building regulation requirements which could be applied to the design of new dwellings for the benefit of disabled people ; and we are currently considering comments from a wide range of organisations concerned with disabled people on what topics should be covered in this consultation. Any new requirements would not apply retrospectively to existing dwellings.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with Scottish Homes concerning the introduction of accessible standards as a condition of the granting of housing association grants ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : No specific discussions have taken place. The allocation of, and conditions for, funding to registered housing associations are matters entirely for Scottish Homes. I am, however, aware that Scottish Homes supports the barrier-free concept.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has to revise the design guides, known as housing handbooks ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : We are considering what action might be taken in the context of the
Column 758recommendations of the Ewing committee on housing for people with physical disabilities, published earlier this year, on the handbooks for housing for elderly and disabled people. The advice contained in the handbook on local house condition surveys is being revised by Scottish Homes. There are no plans to review the remaining parts of the "Scottish Housing Handbook".
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will consult Disability Scotland, its member organisations, local authorities, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and other interested parties on the issue of the introduction of a bill of housing of rights for disabled people ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what proposals he has to issue guidelines to Scottish Homes, the new town development corporations and local housing authorities on appropriate conditions of sale for public housing sector stock in relation to the housing needs and requirements of wheelchair users and others with similar needs ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : We are considering the
recommendations of the Ewing committee on housing for people with physical disabilities, and the matters which the hon. Member has raised will be relevant to that process.
Mr. Canavan : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether it is Government policy that the code of practice for water and sewerage authorities and river purification authorities on conservation, access and recreation remains voluntary.
Mr. Canavan : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to reorganise area tourist boards covering central Scotland ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend on 21 March, at columns 46-47 .
Mr. Raymond S. Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when the annual report and accounts of the Registers of Scotland executive agency will be published.
Mr. Lang : Copies of the annual report and accounts were laid before both Houses and are published today.
Mr. Raymond S. Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when the annual report and accounts of Historic Scotland for 1993- 94 will be published.
Mr. Lang : Historic Scotland's annual report and accounts for 1993- 94 are being published today. Copies have been laid before both Houses of Parliament and placed in the Libraries.
Mr. Raymond S. Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when the accounts statement of the Scottish Record Office executive agency will be published.
Mr. Lang : Copies of the accounts statement for 1993-94 have today been placed in the Library.
Mr. Gallie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when the annual report and accounts of the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency will be published.
Mr. Lang : I have today published the report, copies of which have been laid in both Houses.
Mrs. Angela Knight : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when tenders for the proposed sale of the royal dockyards will be sought.
Mr. Aitken : My Department has today invited tenders from industry for the proposed sale of the royal dockyards at Devonport and Rosyth. A memorandum of information has been issued to the trade unions, and I am arranging for copies of this to be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. John Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are his plans for the future role and size of the Territorial Army.
Mr. Rifkind : In June last year, I explained to the House that changes in the international situation had provided us with the opportunity to introduce new roles for the reserves, and I announced detailed proposals for changes to the structure of the Navy's and RAF's reserves. I said that we were also examining the operational requirement for the Army's reserves and hence the size and shape of the Territorial Army. We have now reached certain conclusions. The role of the Territorial Army will be to act as a general reserve to the Army. It will remain an integral component of our defence forces on mobilisation, and we intend to make greater use of volunteers in peacetime. My announcement in April about the deployment of a composite TA platoon and company to the Falkland Islands was one example of this. We shall also be examining the scope to utilise the TA in new tasks, such as providing exercise opposition forces and in public duties. A specific new role will be to transfer the flying support to the Field Army currently provided by 658 Squadron Army Corps to 666 Squadron (Volunteer) at Netheravon. As a consequence 658 Squadron will be disbanded from April 1995. Two other new tasks will be to role a TA unit as the Army's Nuclear Biological and Chemical Defence Regiment equipped with the Fuchs armoured vehicle ; and another as an armoured delivery regiment. These will be challenging and exciting roles for the units concerned.
The formed units of the TA will be retained at their present planned size of 59,000. The recruits pool of 4,500, which was introduced in 1992 as a margin to enable the TA
Column 760to hold untrained TA personnel above its establishment, is no longer necessary because of the reduced threat to the United Kingdom and the consequent reduction in the level of readiness required of the TA. The recruits pool will therefore be abolished. The detailed structure of the TA is also being examined. This may lead to proposals for re-roling units or other changes. The TA itself will continue to be directly involved in this work, and a further announcement will be made later in the year.
Mr. Brandreth : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a further statement about the Army personnel centre.
Mr. Hanley : In common with other support functions, the Army personnel centre, APC, was closely re-examined in the course of the defence costs study. This further work has confirmed that Kentigern house remains the most cost-effective solution for the APC, and work will now continue towards its establishment although we envisage that fewer staff will be required ; this will be subject to consultation with the trade unions in the normal way. It is now planned that the APC will be established in May 1996 with the takeover of functions complete by early 1997, a year later than was previously intended.
Mr. Brandreth : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, further to his answer to the hon. Member for Dorset, West (Sir J. Spicer), of 15 December 1993, Official Report , columns 738-39 , whether he is in a position to publish the report of the Ministry of Defence Police study team led by Sir John Blelloch.
Mr. Hanley : Sir John Blelloch's study team was set up at the end of 1993 to review the roles, aims, objectives, structure, pay and conditions of the Ministry of Defence Police, MDP. This work has now been completed and I am placing a copy of the final report in the Libraries of the House.
The report recommends criteria for my Department's consideration for determining the circumstances in which an MDP presence at defence establishments would be likely to be justified by the MDP's constabulary capability or by its ability to meet armed tasks. The report predicts that the MDP will continue to provide an essential in-house constabulary capability, and that if the MDP were to reduce in size, it would then focus more precisely on tasks requiring constabulary powers. It further concludes that the requirement for such powers needs to be considered on a case-by- case basis. The study team considered various alternatives to the MDP in those of its armed roles which do not require a constabulary capability, and concluded that the use of regular service personnel on new military home service engagements, MHSE, or on local service engagements, LSE, was an option which deserved further study. Subject to further scrutiny, the report supports existing proposals to change the structure of the MDP to a two-tier one, comprising headquarters and basic command units. It recommends continued study of the MDP's headquarters arrangements, its training organisation, CID, operational support unit and dog services.
The report recommends that the MDP's pay should continue to be linked with that of the Home Department
Column 761police and that their new pay structure should be used as a basis for determining MDP pay. It also makes recommendations on how the chief constable's pay should be assessed. The report also makes proposals for overtime, rest day and public holiday working reflecting the new Home Department police arrangements, and it also recommends rostering on a "best practices" basis, and that retirement ages and pension arrangements should be reviewed in the light of any further changes to provisions for Home Department police. Finally, the report proposes that consideration be given to extending and clarifying the MDP's jurisdiction when a suitable opportunity arises.
The report's conclusions are now being carefully considered by my Department and further work has been set in hand where this has been proposed, such as establishing the total requirement for armed guarding and armed security tasks and for a dedicated constabulary presence ; completion of the validation of the MHSE/LSE concept ; and to complete certain other studies which could affect the organisations dealing with policing and security within my Department.
No conclusions have been reached and further announcements will be made in due course on any proposals, which will be subject to consultation where appropriate.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many vacant dwellings are owned by his Department in each parliamentary constituency in Lincolnshire and Humberside ; and how many are (a) service married quarters, (b) Ministry of Defence civilian houses and (c) former married quarters in the process of sale.
Mr. Hanley : As at 30 June 1994, my Department owned the following vacant dwellings in each parliamentary constituency in Lincolnshire and Humberside :
Parliamentary |Service married|Former married |Total constituency |quarters |quarters in the |process of sale -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lincolnshire East Lindsey |78 |0 |78 Gainsborough and Horncastle |158 |0 |158 Grantham |212 |155 |367 Holland with Boston |1 |4 |5 Lincoln |2 |0 |2 Humberside Beverley |20 |0 |20 Bridlington |7 |0 |7 Brigg and Cleethorpes |5 |0 |5
Mr. Mudie : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence under which vote head of the Appropriation Accounts the official residences of senior officers are listed in respect of (a) maintenance and refurbishment, (b) staffing and (c) other items.
Mr. Hanley : The running costs of official residences for senior staff are listed in the following voteheads of the appropriation accounts :
Column 762(a) Maintenance and refurbishment Vote 4 section A.
(b) Staffing Vote 1 section A for Navy staff, section B for Army staff, section C for RAF staff and Section D for civilian staff. (
(c) Other items such as electricity and other services would fall to a variety of different voteheads.
Mr. Gunnell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total of actual payments made as salaries to British troops for their service in the former Yugoslavia to 30 June.
Mr. Hanley : The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Gunnell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what costs his Department has incurred through the deployment of British troops in former Yugoslavia.
Mr. Hanley : The cost of the British troop deployment in the former Yugoslavia to date is some £143 million. In accordance with long- established interdepartmental arrangements, my Department recovers the additional cost of United Kingdom participation for peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans there are to market test the military corrections training centre at Colchester.
Mr. Hanley : A study by my Department is currently considering the feasibility of market testing the military corrective training centre at Colchester.
Mr. Austin-Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received from the Woolwich Garrison Angling Society and others regarding possible contamination of the lakes on his Department's land at Woolwich.
Mr. Hanley : My Department has received one letter from the hon. Member concerning the lakes and one from a local resident concerning contamination of land at the Woolwich garrison.
Mr. Austin-Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about land contamination on his Department's land at Woolwich.
Mr. Hanley : A small amount of low-level radioactivity has been found in the ground in parts of the Woolwich garrison site. This has arisen from paint used in luminising operations carried out during the 1950s and 1960s in a workshop that has since been decontaminated. The full extent of the ground contamination is being assessed so that any necessary remedial action can be undertaken.
Mrs. Lait : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what additional equipment will be available to Her Majesty's forces consequent upon his decisions on "Front Line First".
Mr. Aitken : I refer my hon. Friend to the announcement made earlier today by my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Defence.
Sir Nicholas Bonsor : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish a breakdown of the estimate of the amounts required to complete fighting ships on order and to be ordered as published in table 1 to class 1, vote 3 of the 1994-95 supply estimates.
Mr. Aitken : While, for internal planning purposes, programme and budgetary projections are made over a 10-year period, these lack the status of a ministerially approved programme. It is, therefore, not our practice to make available estimates of expected expenditure on individual projects beyond that approved for the current financial year.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) whether his officials will vote in favour of the implementation of the EC import ban on furs from countries which continue to use the leghold trap or which do not have internationally agreed humane trapping standards from 1 January 1995 ;
(2) what action his officials are taking to support EC regulation No. 3254 against the Canadian Government's claims that the regulation is illegal under the GATT.
Mr. Atkins : The Government strongly support EC measures to end the use of leghold traps, laid down in regulation (3254/91) adopted by the Council of Ministers on 4 November 1991. The ban on the import of furs from countries which still use leghold traps is due to take effect on 1 January 1995. However, the regulation allows a one-year suspension of the ban for countries which have made sufficient progress towards developing alternative, humane methods of trapping. The United Kingdom supported steps by the European Commission to identify which countries had made such progress through a questionnaire. However, the Commission subsequently proposed to the management committee of officials that a one-year suspension of the ban should be offered to all countries, irrespective of the progress they had made. The United Kingdom abstained on this proposal, with the support of one other country, and made it clear that we believed that a blanket exemption exceeded the power granted to the Commission and the committee of officials by regulation 3254/91. However, the Commission's proposal was adopted by qualified majority. The United Kingdom will continue to support the objectives of the regulation. At a preliminary GATT hearing earlier this year, the European Commission made clear its view that regulation 3254/91 was required to implement the Community's obligations under the Berne convention on the conservation of European wildlife.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make representations to the intergovernmental panel on climate change to ensure that
Column 764cost benefit analyses applied to the issue of global warming do not value the lives of people in different parts of the world unequally.
Mr. Atkins : The intergovernmental panel on climate change is currently preparing a revised assessment of scientific, technical and socio -economic information relevant to understanding the risks of human induced climate change, which will cover inter alia an assessment of methods for determining the costs and benefits of action to mitigate climate change. Drafts of IPCC's assessments will be subject to detailed review by experts and governments, and in reviewing the material that IPCC produces in this area, the Government will give careful consideration to the different assumptions that have been made.
Ms Armstrong : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many single regeneration budget outline bids have been submitted to each regional Government office ; and if he will list all the organisations, by region, which have submitted an outline bid.
Mr. Baldry : Several hundred approaches, varying considerably in type and in their state for preparation, have been made to Government offices for the regions. Each regional office will make available summary information about outline bids as soon as possible.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will make a statement on existing Government policy for the disposal of radioactive waste ; and if he will list the legal instruments and policy statements on which this is based ; (2) if he will make a statement on the existing Government policy for the interim storage of low-level, intermediate-level and high-level radioactive wastes ; and if he will list the legal instruments and policy statements on which this is based ; (3) if his Department is considering shallow burial of radioactive waste as an option within the radioactive waste management review ; (4) when his Department has taken a decision to rule out shallow burial as an option for the disposal of low-level and short-lived intermediate level radioactive waste.
Mr. Atkins : The preliminary conclusions of the review of radioactive waste management policy will be published later in the summer as a basis for consultation. The consultation document will set out the issues covered by the review against the background of existing policies.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list all the sites of special scientific interest in England, showing who has ownership or responsibility for the management of those areas and what financial support for their upkeep was given by his Department in the last year for which figures are available.
Mr. Atkins : Information on individual SSSI management agreements is confidential. The number of SSSIs with management agreements and the total amounts of
Column 765payments for England are detailed in the second annual report of English Nature. The total cost of these payments in 1993-94 was £7.2 million which came from the grant in aid provided to English Nature by my Department.
Mr. Mudie : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the terms of the lease on 1 to 19 Victoria Street.
Mr. Baldry : Following completion of the refurbishment by the Department of Trade and Industry, a new lease will be taken from Legal and General Assurance Society Ltd. for 25 years from February 1996. The agreed market rent is subject to open market reviews at the 10th, 15th and 20th years. The tenant is responsible for maintenance and insurance. The remaining terms reflect current market practice.
Mr. Fabricant : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what measures his Department is planning to take to ensure that lavatory cisterns in the United Kingdom continue to be fitted only with flushing apparatus which prevents the waste of water ; (2) what assessment his Department has made of the increase in the amount of water wasted annually in the United Kingdom of lifting existing byelaw requirements for water waste prevention in lavatory cisterns ; and what would be the effect of such an increase on the price of water to consumers.
Mr. Atkins : The Government are committed to promoting the efficient use of water. In preparing measures to replace the current water byelaws in England and Wales we will also need to have regard to the requirements of the European Union's single market legislation and to European product standards. My Department has recently invited tenders for a research project on water economy, which includes an evaluation of various flushing devices such as those commonly used in mainland Europe.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 29 June, Official Report, column 560, if he will list the organisations or individuals from whom he has received representations on THORP, indicating in each case when he responded to the respective representations.
Mr. Atkins : Since the judgment on 4 March, the following organisations have sent letters about the environmental risks associated with the operation of THORP :
Kvennalistin Group and the Women's Alliance, reply sent on 23 March ;
Trinity College Dublin Environmental Society, reply sent on 30 March ;
Saffron Walden Group Against Nuclear Weapons, reply sent on 1 April ;
Plutonium Action Hiroshima, reply sent on 5 April.
Greenpeace, reply sent on 29 June.