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Mr. Lang [holding answer 15 July 1994] : No changes have been made to the funding arrangements for this financial year. At present, the six centres which provide wheelchair services are funded by direct allocations from the national services division of the Common Services Agency. The future funding arrangements are under review by that division and any decision will be taken in consultation with health boards which are responsible for assessing the health needs of resident populations and for purchasing the appropriate services. The views and recommendations expressed in the report "How should the Wheelchair Service develop in the Nineties ?" have been noted by the Scottish Office Home and Health Department and have been drawn to the attention of the national services division and health boards.

Community Care

Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what developments are taking place in community care to accommodate psychiatric patients who are currently in hospital.

Mr. Stewart [holding answer 18 July 1994] : The level of provision for community care for every patient will vary and in all cases will reflect and respond to the needs of the individual. The aim is to secure the most effective package of services to meet the needs of patients and carers.

Consultants

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which management consultants have been employed by his Department to assist in the assessment of applications for trust status ; how much each was paid ; and how many assessments they undertook, in each wave.

Mr. Stewart [holding answer 18 July 1994] : The information requested is provided in the table :


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                                                          |Number of Trust                                                                       

                                                          |applicants                  |Payment                                                  

Wave                         |Consultants                 |assessed                    |(including VAT)                                          

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

First                        |None                        |3                           |-                                                        

Second                       |KPMG Managemement Consulting|14                          |£44,885                                                  

Third                        |Coopers and Lybrand         |23                          |£51,183                                                  

In addition, KPMG Management Consulting was paid £3,760 to assist in the assessment of the merger between Royal Scottish National Hospital NHS trust and Forth Valley healthcare unit. They have also been appointed to assist in the assessment of the current fourth wave of NHS trust applicants.

Traffic Offences

Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the total number of speeding offences recorded within Argyll and Bute district in each year since 1987 ; and what was the total number of successful prosecutions in each year.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 18 July 1994] : The available information for 1987 to 1993 is detailed in the table :


Speeding offences, number recorded by the       

police and number of                            

charges proved in Argyll and Bute, 1987-1993    

            |Number of  |Number of              

            |offences   |charges                

            |recorded by|proved                 

            |the police                         

------------------------------------------------

1987        |168        |12                     

1988        |139        |25                     

1989        |137        |17                     

1990        |296        |21                     

1991        |407        |84                     

1992        |383        |59                     

1993        |361        |<1>-                   

<1>Not yet available.                           

Notes:                                          

1. The result of court proceedings may well     

refer to offences                               

committed in earlier years.                     

2. Speeding offences may be dealt with by way   

of fixed penalties in                           

addition to court proceedings.                  

Mr. Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many motorists were (a) charged with and (b) convicted of (i) failure to accord precedence at pedestrian crossings, endorseable offences, (ii) failure to comply with traffic sign, (iii) speed limit offences, (iv) driving after consuming alcohol or taking drugs and (v) reckless driving and so on in Scotland in 1991, 1992 and 1993.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 18 July 1994] : The available information for 1991 and 1992 is given in the Scottish Office statistical bulletins "Motor Vehicle Offences In Scotland 1988-91" and "Motor Vehicle Offences In Scotland, 1992", copies of which are in the Library. Information for 1993 is not yet available.


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DUCHY OF LANCASTER

Permanent Secretaries' Handbook

Mr. Gunnell : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster under what provision of the code of open government it has been decided to keep secret those parts of the permanent secretaries' handbook not related to national security.

Mr. Waldegrave [holding answer 18 July 1994] : In addition to exemption 1 of the code of practice--defence, security and international relations--exemptions 2--internal discussion and advice--7--effective management of the public service--and 8--public employment, public appointments and honours--would be relevant to the handbook's contents.

Mr. Gunnell : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when the last amendments were made to the permanent secretaries' handbook.

Mr. Waldegrave : The handbook is revised as new material becomes available.

Mr. Gunnell : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list the headings of all those sections in the permanent secretaries' handbook which do not relate to national security.

Mr. Waldegrave : I have nothing to add to my reply of 9 March, Official Report, column 256.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Light Bulbs

Mr. Tyler : To ask the Chairman of the Accommodation and Works Committee why more powerful light bulbs have been installed in various rooms and corridors of the Palace of Westminster ; and what assessment he has made of the energy conservation efforts of this practice.

Mr. Ray Powell : The general policy on lighting in the Palace of Westminster over the last four years includes a rolling programme to install low-energy light bulbs wherever safety and the design of lighting allows. The result has been a 63 per cent. reduction in the use of electricity for lighting in those areas where such bulbs are used.

There is an additional programme throughout the Palace to overhaul the lighting in the corridors and to install emergency lighting. The use of modern electrical fitttings in these areas gives more efficient lighting but with a reduction in power consumption. Any instances where more powerful light bulbs have been installed have been at the request of Members.

I will ask the Director of Parliamentary Works to write to the hon. Member about the energy conservation programme.


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Upper Waiting Hall Exhibitions

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee if he has considered an application for an exhibition relating to the skin care campaign to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall.

Mr. Michael J. Martin : I understand that, under procedures agreed by the Administration Committee, arrangements have been made for the exhibition to be held in the Upper Waiting Hall from Monday 21 November to Friday 25 November.

Mr. Butterfill : To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee if he has considered an application for an exhibition relating to the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall.

Mr. Michael J. Martin : I understand that, under procedures agreed by the Administration Committee, arrangements have been made for the exhibition to be held in the Upper Waiting Hall from Monday 28 November to Friday 2 December.


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EMPLOYMENT

Labour Statistics

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his answer of 7 December, Official Report , columns 212-15 , if he will update the information on the number of temporary and permanent vacancies at jobcentres in each region.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service Agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mr. Alan Milburn, dated 19 July 1994 :

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your Question asking for an update of information given earlier about the number of temporary and permanent vacancies at Jobcentres in each region. In my earlier reply, I gave you details of temporary and permanent vacancies notified to Jobcentres from April 1987 to 8 October 1993. The updated information, covering the period 11October 1993 to 8 April 1994, is given in the attached table.

I hope this is helpful.


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Details of permanent and temporary notified vacancies                              

11 October 1993 to 8 April 1994                                                    

                                  Period                                           

                                  11 October 1993     10 January 1994              

                                  to 7 January 1994   to 8 April 1994              

Region                           |Permanent|Temporary|Permanent|Temporary          

                                 |vacancies|vacancies|vacancies|vacancies          

                                 |notified |notified |notified |notified           

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Northern Region                  |15,619   |5,769    |18,809   |5,498              

Yorkshire and Humberside Region  |28,980   |8,466    |32,935   |8,530              

East Midlands and Eastern Region |35,125   |12,076   |40,182   |8,906              

London and South East Region     |99,996   |30,770   |115,843  |24,927             

South West Region                |28,889   |9,637    |37,981   |8,107              

Office for Wales                 |20,909   |13,155   |24,830   |10,413             

West Midlands Region             |32,415   |9,240    |38,040   |7,085              

North West Region                |54,348   |22,229   |63,767   |18,775             

Office for Scotland              |42,347   |16,614   |49,574   |13,534             

                                 |-------  |-------  |-------  |-------            

National total                   |358,628  |127,956  |421,961  |105,775            

Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many construction workers were registered as unemployed in each of the years 1991-92, 1992-93 and 1993-94.

Miss Widdecombe [holding answer 18 July 1994] : Estimates from the labour force survey of the number of ILO unemployment people whose previous employment was in the construction industry are shown in the following table :


Numbers of ILO Unemployed People           

Previously Employed in the                 

Construction Industry (SIC 92-Section F).  

Great Britain  |Thousands                  

               |(Not                       

               |seasonally                 

               |adjusted)                  

-------------------------------------------

Spring 1992    |401                        

Spring 1993    |412                        

Winter 1993-94 |369                        

Source: Labour Force Survey.               


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Disability

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment 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 in employment.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : My right hon. Friend the Minister for Social Security and Disabled People announced the publication of a document entitled "A Consultation on Government Measures to Tackle Discrimination Against Disabled People" on 15 July, to which the Department contributed. This document includes proposals for measures to tackle unjustifiable discrimination against disabled people in the labour market. I would encourage everyone with an interest in these issues, especially disabled people themselves, to let us have their views. We shall be considering the responses that are made to the proposals during the consultation process.


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Training

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will examine the criteria for output-related funding to make possible payment for completion of component units of national vocational qualifications in order to ensure the delivery of appropriate training to young people with special training needs.

Miss Widdecombe : The Department is experimenting with the scope for using units of national vocational qualifications as part of output-related funding pilots with a number of training and enterprise councils. However, TECs are already responsible for ensuring that suitable training is available for young people, including those with special training needs.

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he is taking to develop a national policy on training which would enable the training and enterprise councils, the careers service, local authorities, educational institutions, training providers and industry bodies to co-ordinate fully the delivery of training to young people.

Miss Widdecombe : Training for young people is a strategic priority set out in my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's vocational education and training strategy statement for Great Britain, "Prosperity through Skills" published in December 1993. Within this strategy, the development of specific initiatives such as modern apprenticeships requires all those involved in vocational education and training to work together at local, sectoral and national level. A copy of "Prosperity through Skills" is available in the Library.

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he is taking to secure an improvement in co-ordination between all those organisations involved in the delivery of training to young people.

Miss Widdecombe : Improvement in the delivery of training for young people requires concerted action by all those involved in vocational education and training at local, sectoral and national level. A series of strategic level indicators, some of which are linked to the national targets for education and training, are set out in "Prosperity through Skills"--my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's statement of vocational education and training strategy. Those indicators are intended to help planners and practitioners assess how vocational education and training activities are achieving progress in line with the statement, and identify scope for improved co-ordination. A copy of "Prosperity through Skills" is available in the Library.

Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many (a) men and (b) women were serving an apprenticeship with companies or industries within the Greater London area at the latest available date.

Miss Widdecombe : Available information from the labour force survey shows that, in winter 1993-94, 14,000 men resident in the Greater London area, who were in employment, were undertaking apprenticeships. The sample size does not allow reliable estimates for women in this geographical area. Information based on the workplace is not collected.


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FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Africa (Parliamentary Statements)

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the occasions since 1979 when a Foreign Secretary made a statement to the House on matters to do with Africa.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The information requested as recorded in the JUSTIS database is :

(1) 9 and 12 July 1984 : Statements (further to that of the Home Secretary on 6 July) about the abduction of Mr. Umaru Dikko, the Nigerian ex-Minister on 5 July and subsequent developments to date. (

(2) 19 May 1986 : Statement on South African incursions into Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

There have additionally been a number of other general statements in which reference to Africa has been made.

Falkland Islands

Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in what circumstances Her Majesty's Government will re -open discussions with Argentina concerning the sovereignty of the Falkland islands.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs informed the House on 4 May, he was able to reassure the Falkland islanders during his recent visit that sovereignty of the islands is not for discussion. We have no doubts about our sovereignty and we have made it clear to Argentina that the matter is not for negotiation. We support the right of the islanders to self- determination.

Vietnamese Boat People

Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Vietnamese boat people have been repatriated to Vietnam from Hong Kong in each of the last five years.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The information requested is as follows :


        |Numbers        

------------------------

1989    |874            

1990    |5,387          

1991    |7,747          

1992    |11,668         

1993    |12,751         

Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what compensation has been paid to Vietnamese boat people who lost possessions during the disturbance at the Whitehead detention centre, Hong Kong ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : No compensation has been paid to Vietnamese migrants who claim that they lost possessions during the operation carried out in the Whitehead detention centre in Hong Kong on 7 April. The question of civil liability and damages, if any, will be considered only if and when any claims are received and will be determined by the courts of Hong Kong.

Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the total number of


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police and security forces that were used to quell the disturbances at the Whitehead Vietnamese detention centre, Hong Kong ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : A total of 1,349 police and Correctional Services Department officers were involved in the operation which took place in the Whitehead detention centre on 7 April. The Governor of Hong Kong ordered an independent inquiry into the operation which concluded that the Correctional Services Department had acted correctly in deploying such a large contingent.

Haiti

Mr. Mike O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what sanctions he will support against Haiti ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The United Kingdom voted in favour of Security Council resolutions 841 and 917. These resolutions prevented the sale and supply of petroleum products and arms ; imposed an import and export ban, subject to minor exceptions for humanitarian purposes ; prohibited aircraft flights, except for scheduled passenger flights, taking off from, landing in, or overflying the United Kingdom if they are destined for or have come from Haiti ; and restricted payments under bonds. The necessary legislation has been passed to bring these measures into effect.

Mr. Mike O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to support the United States Government efforts to restore democracy to Haiti.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Along with our European Union partners, we have consistently reaffirmed our commitment to the restoration of democratic government in Haiti. We support the efforts of the Organisation of American States and the United Nations to bring about a political settlement. We are taking steps to implement United Nations Security Council resolution 917, which was adopted by the United Nations on 6 May 1994 to impose sanctions on Haiti.

Chinese Hydrogen Bomb Test

Mr. Mike O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contact he has had with the United States of America in relation to its criticism of the Chinese hydrogen bomb test on 10 June.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Officials are in regular contact with their United States counterparts on all aspects of nuclear testing, including the Chinese nuclear test on 10 June.

Mr. Mike O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the implications for the Government's policy in relation to the test ban negotiations of the nuclear test by China on 10 June.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : We have made it clear that we regret the nuclear test carried out by China on 10 June. China is nevertheless contributing to the present negotiations for a comprehensive test ban treaty ; we welcome this. We are committed to concluding, at an early date, a treaty which will make an effective contribution to the non-proliferation regime.


Column 132

Mr. Mike O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to China regarding its explosion of a hydrogen bomb underground in a test on 10 June ; and what are his reasons for any action or inaction in this area.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary on 8 July, Official Report, column 362.

Asil Nadir

Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions his Department has had and with whom regarding the return to the United Kingdom of Mr. Asil Nadir ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Officials of the Serious Fraud Office have pursued their investigations in both northern Cyprus and Turkey. We have been in close touch with those involved in the investigation here and in Cyprus and Turkey.

Malaysia

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent contacts Her Majesty's Government have had with the Malaysian Government about the role of the British press, its editors and proprietors in relation to United Kingdom Malaysian relations ; what was discussed ; what action was taken (a) formally or (b) informally ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The Malaysian Government are well aware of our concern that inaccurate reporting and speculative allegations in the press can be deeply damaging to British interests. They also fully understand that the British Government do not seek to intervene in or influence the editorial or management policy of the press.

Sudan

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development conference which meets in Nairobi on 18 July to consider the future of Sudan ; and what they were.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : We have given strong political support to the IGADD initiative but have made no representations to the IGADD Governments on points of detail in advance of the third round of talks. Such points will be for the parties themselves to resolve. We are providing £25,000 in financial support for the IGADD secretariat.

North Korea

Mr. Mike O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussion he has had with the United States Government on the future of the nuclear programme in North Korea ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : We discuss the issue of North Korea's non- compliance with its International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards agreement regularly with the


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United States Administration. Following the death of Kim Il-Sung we hope that talks between the United States and North Korea aimed at resolving this crisis will be rescheduled very soon, and that a new date for a summit between the leaders of North and South Korea will also be set. We believe that any solution to this crisis must reaffirm the IAEA's right to inspect all North Korea's nuclear facilities to the agency's satisfaction.

Mr. Mike O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what evaluation he has made of the threat posed by the current North Korean nuclear programme ; and what action he plans to take.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : As a result of North Korea's consistent failure to co-operate fully with its International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards agreement, the agency's director general has stated that he cannot conclude that nuclear material has not been diverted for military use in North Korea. We urge North Korea to allay suspicions by complying fully with its IAEA safeguards agreement and affirming unequivocally its commitments to the nuclear

non-proliferation treaty. If dialogue between North Korea and the United States and South Korea fails, then we are ready to support further consideration of the matter by the United Nations Security Council including the imposition of sanctions.

Algeria

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the security situation in Algeria ; what estimate he has made of the risk to British citizens ; and what are the implications for regional security.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The security situation in Algeria is serious. British citizens are at risk. We are advising that visitors should not travel to Algeria and that British residents should leave unless they have compelling reason to remain. So far, there is no evidence that the conflict has had any destabilising effect in other countries.

European Union

Mr. Marlow : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will seek representation for members of national Parliaments on the reflection group of representatives of Foreign Ministers ; what is his assessment of the extent to which the group's discussions could be biased by association with the European Parliament only ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Details of the work and membership of the study group of Foreign Ministers' representatives have not yet been decided, but the Corfu European Council agreed that two representatives of the European Parliament will also participate in the work of the group. The study group would become unwieldy if each national Parliament was separately represented. We can see no reason, however, why national Parliaments should not put their own ideas to the study group, and my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has suggested that the appropriate Select Committees should make representations in due course.


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European Union (Accessions) Bill

Mr. Gill : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his statement in the House of 11 July, Official Report , column 692-93, on Chancellor Kohl's views on the old idea of a United States of Europe, what assessment he has made of the new German policies for the future of Europe and of the recent comment by the German ambassador to Moscow, Otto von der Gablentz, on national sovereignty.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : We look forward to close co-operation with the Germans during their presidency on such issues as competitiveness, deregulation, closer co-operation with central Europe, open markets and subsidiarity. I have not seen a text of what the German ambassador in Moscow is suggested to have said, but I certainly would not agree that

"national sovereignty is becoming irrelevant and meaningless". Such comments would be hard to reconcile with statements by Chancellor Kohl, first, in a speech in Schwa"bisch hall on 4 May 1994, that he

"does not want a European superstate In the Europe of the future, we will remain securely rooted in our homeland."

or secondly, in a speech to the Bundestag on 11 November 1993, that

"Unity in diversity is the only sensible alternative to dreary centralism."

East Timor

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the information he has regarding the arrests and killing of students at the university of East Timor by Indonesian Government forces on 14 July.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We are concerned about reports from East Timor of renewed clashes between students and the military, but the facts surrounding the events of 14 July are still far from clear. We have asked Her Majesty's embassy in Jakarta for a detailed report.

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to (a) the Indonesian diplomatic mission in London and (b) the Indonesian Government regarding the killings and arrests by Government forces at the university of East Timor on 14 July.


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