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Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 12 July, Official Report, column 527, what is the annual cost of travel for Department of Health and NHS Executive staff between Leeds and London.
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action she has taken to control the prescribing of prednisolone steroids ; what information she has on the possible harmful side-effects of this drug ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Sackville : The side-effects of prednisolone and other corticosteroids are well recognised. Information on the side-effects are widely available in the published literature including the product data sheets, which are authorised by the licensing authority and the British National Formulary which the Department sends free to all prescribers. Information on suspected adverse reactions is also provided to the Medicines Control Agency through the yellow card scheme for spontaneous reporting. Steroid treatment cards are routinely issued to patients which give clear guidance on the precautions to be taken and details of the prescribed drug, including dosage and duration of treatment.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : I have it in mind to make use of the powers proposed by clauses 1-4 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Bill, once enacted, to amend the Weights and Measures Act 1985 so as to make pre- stamping lawful in defined circumstances and subject to prescribed conditions.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what role will be played by his Department in any consultation on disability ; and what plans he has to publish a consultation paper on countering unfair discrimination against disabled people in trade and industry matters.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : My right hon. Friend the Minister for Disabled People announced the publication of a consultation document on 15 July. My Department contributed to its preparation. I welcome the publication of this document and would encourage everyone with an interest in these issues, especially disabled people themselves, to let us have their views.
Mr. O'Neill : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he still intends to introduce legislation to introduce competition to the domestic gas supply market as stated in paragraph 6 of the joint DTI/Ofgas consultative document, "Competition and Choice in the Gas Market" ; and what form that legislation will take.
Mr. Eggar : In the light of responses to the recent consultation on competition and choice in the gas market, my Department is preparing instructions on the legislative changes which will provide the basis for the new regulatory system. Several provisions of the Gas Act 1986 are likely to require modification. The precise sections will be identified in the process of the preparation of the instructions, and the subsequent consideration of them by Parliamentary Counsel.
Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how much of the debt relief given to Jordan by the United Kingdom has been granted on past Export Credits Guarantee Department credits for defence equipment ; and under which departmental budget such costs were carried.
Mr. Needham : The United Kingdom along with other official creditors in the Paris Club has agreed to reschedule Jordan's debts on three occasions. These agreements include debts of £255 million in respect of defence sales covered by ECGD. They provide for the debts to be repaid in full by Jordan, with interests being charged at a commercial rate.
The claims paid by ECGD in respect of these rescheduled debts are met from the ECGD vote for the relevant year. They are also reflected in ECGD's published trading accounts.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the purpose of the reception to mark the Royal Assent to the Coal Industry Act 1994 on 19 July ; who has been invited to this event ; and what is its total cost.
Mr. Eggar : The reception on 19 July is to mark the Royal Assent to the Coal Industry Act 1994 and to thank many of those who have been involved in its passage. Those invited include hon. Members who served on the Standing Committee, including the hon. Gentleman, and others who worked on the Bill. The total cost is expected to be around £1,000.
Mr. McLoughlin : Paving legislation would be required for option 2, a 100 per cent. share sale of Royal Mail, and for option 3, joint ownership by Government, the public and employees, but not for option 1, commercial freedom within the public sector.
Mr. Eggar : The Government intend, subject to the availability of parliamentary time, to introduce legislation to provide the basis for the new regulatory system to come into operation by April 1996. The legislative programme
Column 23for the next Session has not been finalised, so I cannot say at this stage whether time will be found for a Gas Bill in 1994-95.
Mr. Soley : To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) how he regulates cable television companies to ensure that cable laying does not cause serious disruption to other local services and to local residents ;
(2) what monitoring his Department carries out of fracturing of gas, water or electricity mains and other serious damage by cabling companies ; and if he will publish a list of such incidents.
Mr. McLoughlin : Under the terms of their telecommunications licences, cable operators are required to carry out their street works in a responsible manner, to maintain effective liaison with other statutory undertakers, and to adhere to all relevant street works legislation. Street works are subject to the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, and its associated regulations. The Act imposes a duty on the cable operator to co- operate with the local highway authority in the interests of safety, to minimise the inconvenience to persons using the street and to protect the structure of the street and the integrity of apparatus in it. The Act makes an undertaker liable to pay compensation for damage caused to another undertaker's apparatus.
Mr. McLoughlin : Franchises are awarded to cable television companies by the Independent Television Commission, which also has responsibility for those franchises awarded by its predecessor, the Cable Authority. All franchisees are required to be licensed under both broadcasting and telecommunications legislation. Review of the terms of broadcasting licences for cable programme services is a matter for the ITC. Responsibility for review of the terms of a telecommunications licence governing the running of a
telecommunications system rests with the Office of
Telecommunications. Review of the terms governing the installation of that system are for DTI to consider.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will set out for each year from 1985-86 to 1993-94 (a) the number of offers made for regional, selective assistance, (b) the value of the offers and (c) the number of requests for regional selective assistance refused.
Mr. Sainsbury [holding answer 7 July 1994] : The number and value of offers made and the number of requests refused for regional selective assistance in England from 1985-1986 to 1992-93 is set out in the table. Information on regional selective assistance for 1993-94 is not yet available.
Offers Made Number of |Number |Value |applications |£ million |rejected ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1985-86 |720 |110.9 |146 1986-87 |1,025 |122.2 |102 1987-88 |1,553 |164.1 |125 1988-89 |1,261 |120.3 |134 1989-90 |1,180 |101.5 |132 1990-91 |906 |98.9 |92 1991-92 |787 |89.4 |154 1992-93 |834 |94.9 |146
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage when he expects to be able to announce the results of his recent consultations about his policy with regard to the British film industry ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Brooke : During the consultation round, and subsequently, I have received numerous proposals aimed at increasing the level of private investment in British film production. Some of the issues raised are not straightforward, and affect the interests of other Departments. I shall make an announcement as soon as practicable.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage (1) what plans he has to extend the current concessions in television licence fees to partially blind people ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what plans he has to give further concessions in the television licence fee for blind people ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Brooke : The Government have no plans to increase the current reduction in the television licence fee for registered blind people, or to introduce a similar concession for registered partially sighted people.
Mr. Brooke : Ministers will be considering a report reviewing the cross-media ownership rules shortly. An announcement about the outcome of the review, including any legislative implications, is likely in the autumn.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how much was earned by the tourism industry in the United Kingdom from foreign tourists ; and how much was spent by United Kingdom residents on tourism abroad, in each of the last five years.
Information on this topic is published each month in "CSO First Release" titled "Overseas Travel and Tourism".
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, as representing the Church Commissioners, what response the Commissioners have made to the Archbishops Commission on the Organisation of the Church of England.
Mr. Alison : The Commissioners have submitted a factual note to the Turnbull commission tracing the way in which the Commissioners' functions have developed through the years. Further evidence may be submitted in due course. The First Church Commissioner, Sir Michael Colman, is a member of the Turnbull commission and has submitted his own evidence.
Sir Michael Neubert : To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, as representing the Church Commissioners, what is his estimate of the current annual cost of official accommodation for bishops and archbishops.
Mr. Alison : The Commissioners have budgeted £2.1 million in 1994 for the upkeep of the 45 official residence of diocesan bishops and the two archbishops, with a further £0.7 million for possible capital works. The cost of maintaining the 69 houses occupied by suffragan bishops is estimated at £0.4 million, though these costs are shared equally with dioceses.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made on the outcome of the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development talks on the future of Sudan and on the desirability of a new international initiative.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We support the IGADD initiative which is still continuing. The third round of talks between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Army factions is due on 18 July in Nairobi.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action the United Nations is taking in Burundi to stop (a) the operators of radio stations and (b) political parties promoting genocidal activity.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We are aware of reports of radio stations in Burundi inciting Burundians to inter-tribal violence. The United Nations has yet to confirm these reports, but if such activities were found to be taking place it would strongly condemn them and call for them to cease forthwith as it has done in the case of Rwanda.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has about extrajudicial killings on a tribal basis in Bujumbura in Burundi ; and what representations are being made and what actions are being taken by international organisations.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We are concerned at reports that tribal killings may have taken place in Bujumbura and other areas of Burundi. The United Nations Secretary-General will advise on appropriate action if these reports are confirmed by the United Nations or the Organisation of African Unity presence in Burundi.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Australian and Canadian high commissions concerning their use of enforced subject access, in the manner described in the 10th report of the Data Protection Registrar ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Procedures used by other Governments to satisfy themselves as to the suitability of prospective immigrants from the United Kingdom are a matter for them--provided, of course, that they are consistent with British law.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will initiate measures to prevent the Government of Rwanda taking over the presidency of the United Nations Security Council in September.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the United Nations is on schedule to take over responsibility from the French Government's Operation Turquoise at the end of this month ; how many troops have been committed ; and whether the necessary logistical support has been pledged.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The UN is continuing to strengthen UNAMIR pursuant to its mandate under SCR 918. UNIMAR currently consists of 328 troops, including an advance contingent of 206 Ghanaian troops who arrived in Kigali on 6 July, a Canadian signals unit and a Bangladeshi company as well as 250 military observers from a wide range of countries.
Canada, Senegal, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Tunisia have pledged further troops. The UN has received offers of logistical support from a number of countries, including the United States, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Column 27the basis of a connection with Hong Kong have been (a) received, (b) granted and (c) refused in 1993 and 1994 to the nearest available date.
|1993 |<1>1994 ---------------------------------------------- Applications received |12,280 |9,435 Applications granted |2,332 |1,954 Applications refused |137 |93 Outstanding |9,739 |7,388 <1>First six months.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many British Dependent Territories citizens from Hong Kong have applied for and been granted the status of British national, overseas, in 1993 and 1994 to the nearest available date.
|1993 |<1>1994 ---------------------------------------------- Applications received |523,767|496,613 Applications granted |471,379|400,844 Outstanding |52,388 |95,769 <1>First six months.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Under Security Council Resolution 827 which established the war crimes tribunal for former Yugoslavia, the tribunal has power to prosecute and try persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in former Yugoslavia since 1991.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who are the judges who have been appointed to the United Nations tribunal on war crimes in the former Yugoslavia ; and what is the British contribution to the work of the tribunal.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : I refer to the answer that I gave the hon. Member for Liverpool, West Derby (Mr. Wareing) on 7 July at column 288 for the details of the judges of the tribunal. The United Kingdom has submitted four batches of evidence of alleged atrocities to the United Nations Commission of Experts, which has passed its findings to the tribunal. The United Kingdom will submit any further evidence direct to the tribunal. The United Kingdom will contribute funding to the tribunal through its share of the United Nations regular budget which amounts to 5.02 per cent. of the costs. We have also contributed £20,000 worth of computer and camera equipment to the prosecutor's office.
Column 28awaiting typing at each post in the Indian sub-continent, in Manila, Kingston, Bangkok, Lagos and Accra at the latest available date ; how many staff are employed, both full time and part time, to type statements ; and when he expects the backlogs to be cleared.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how long a person, applying for entry clearance for settlement at the British post in (a) Manila, (b) Accra, (c) Lagos, (d) Kingston, (e) Nicosia, (f) Cairo, (g) Bangkok, (h) Rabat and (i) each post in each country of the Indian sub-continent on 31 March or the latest convenient date, could expect to wait for (i) interview, (ii) referral of the case to the Home Office and the requested information being received by the post, (iii) decisions and (iv) an explanatory statement prepared by the post in the event of an appeal against a refusal to be despatched to the immigration appellate authorities in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many applications for (1) single entry and (2) multiple entry visit visas were (a) received, (b) granted and (c) refused at each post in the Indian subcontinent, Ghana, Nigeria, the Philippines and Jamaica in each quarter of 1993 and the first quarter of 1994 ; and what was the delay between application and interview for those whose applications were felt to need a second or long interview at each of the above posts in (i) June 1993, (ii) January 1994 and (iii) June 1994 or the nearest available date.
Applications 1993 |Applied for|Issued |Refused ------------------------------------------------------------ Accra Single |10,466 |6,364 |3,883 Multiple |4,710 |4,354 |46 Bombay Single |16,354 |13,366 |2,774 Multiple |17,268 |16,752 |390 Islamabad Single |25,937 |18,730 |6,561 Multiple |8,313 |6,568 |81 Karachi Single |15,673 |12,601 |1,955 Multiple |8,150 |7,697 |174 Kaduna Single |4,307 |2,649 |1,139 Multiple |1,936 |1,808 |35 Manila Single |9,980 |8,928 |812 Multiple |2,508 |2,329 |87 Kingston Single |2,272 |1,594 |688 Multiple |148 |147 |1 Lagos Single |28,351 |15,721 |8,927 Multiple |14,266 |12,697 |481 Madras Single |4,754 |4,568 |182 Multiple |4,344 |4,312 |19 New Delhi Single |22,576 |18,097 |3,090 Multiple |12,558 |12,053 |102 Dhaka Single |10,406 |7,125 |3,187 Multiple |3,887 |3,887 |- Calcutta Single |3,259 |3,048 |186 Multiple |3,264 |3,155 |38
I am seeking the other information requested.
Mr. Miller : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many visa applications from residents of the republics of the former Soviet Union have been granted since April 1992.
Precise information on how many of these were granted to residents of the FSU is not available, but no doubt the great majority would have been.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many applications for entry clearance as (a) wives, (b) husbands, (c) fiance s, (d) fiance es in each British post in all countries for which figures are available apart from those of the Indian subcontinent were (i) granted and (ii) refused in each quarter since January 1993 ; how many such applications in each category, at each post and in each quarter were refused (1) wholly and (2) partly because of the primary purpose rule ; what was the refusal rate at each post ; and what percentage of those refusals were (x) wholly and (y) partly on primary purpose grounds.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The information could be provided in the form requested only at disproportionate cost. However, in 1993 a total of 15,228 entry clearances for settlement were issued and 2,759 refused by posts other than those in the Indian sub-continent.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has concerning the discrepancies in eligibility of the United Kingdom's representatives to the Committee of the Regions from Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England, to claim re -imbursement of expenses incurred by themselves in pursuance of their duties ; and what proposals he has to remove those discrepancies.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We are not aware of any such discrepancies. All United Kingdom full members and alternate members of the Committee of the Regions will be entitled to the same allowances for meetings they attend in Brussels on official Committee of the Regions business.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the name of the Malaysian Defence Minister who visited the United Kingdom during the period 4 to 11 July ; and which United Kingdom officials or Ministers he met or communicated with.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : During a private visit to the United Kingdom from 29 June to 3 July the Malaysian Defence Minister, Dato Sri Najib, called on my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Defence and my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the Malaysian Prime Minister last visited the United Kingdom ; and which United Kingdom officials or Ministers he communicated with.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : I refer the hon. Gentleman to my answer of 18 April 1994 at column 376 . In recognition of the fact that tigers are endangered, we would be prepared to consider providing support for tiger conservation. At the United Kingdom's instigation, European Environment Ministers issued a statement in June expressing concern about pressure on tiger populations, condemning the illegal trade in tiger products and undertaking to be particularly vigilant in enforcing CITES for this species.
Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs by what legal authority the Governor of St. Helena was acting in excluding a German national, Mr. Timmreck, from St. Helena ; and what assessment he has made of the effect of United Kingdom obligations under the human rights convention.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The acting governor made an exclusion order against the German national, Mr. Timmreck, in exercise of the power vested in him by section 10(1) of the Immigration Ordinance 1972. We are satisfied that the action of the acting governor in this case is entirely consistent with the United Kingdom's international human rights obligations.
Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 11 July, Official Report, column 427, what plans he has to arrange for a United Kingdom Member of the European Parliament to look after the interests of Gibraltar in the Parliament.