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Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Initial reports of events in Dili on 14 July differ widely. We have asked Her Majesty's embassy in Jakarta for a detailed report. A decision on whether representations are appropriate will be taken in the light of that report, in consultation with European Union partners.
Mr Lidington To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will provide members of Her Majesty's diplomatic service with passports which clarify their diplomatic status in accordance with the practice of other countries.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : This matter was recently reviewed and the Government have decided to issue diplomatic and official passports to members of Her Majesty's service when serving abroad, staff from other Departments on
Column 135long-term attachments at our overseas posts and accompanying dependants. The new passports, for which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will be responsible, are intended to clarify diplomatic status and remove scope for misunderstanding. They will be identical to standard common format passports except for the addition of "diplomatic" or "official" on the cover and two inside pages. This measure will rectify a long-standing anomaly in Britain's passport issuing practice and bring our diplomatic personnel into line with their colleagues elsewhere.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how long a person applying for entry clearance on 31 March or the latest convenient date at each post in the Indian sub- continent could expect to wait, in each queue, for (a) first interview, (b) referral of
Column 136the case to the Home Office and the requested information being received by the post, (c) decision after first interview and (d) for the explanatory statement prepared by the post in the case of appeal against any refusal to be despatched to the immigration appellate authorities in the United Kingdom.
The only information which is available centrally is on expected waiting times to interview for applicants applying in the Indian sub-continent. This information is published in table 2.5 of the Home Office statistical bulletin issue 9/94, "Control of Immigration : Statistics--Third and Fourth Quarters and Year 1993", a copy of which is in the Library. Statistics for the first and second quarters of 1994 will be published in October.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) men, (b) women and (c) children were waiting in each queue at each post in the Indian sub-continent on 31 March or the latest convenient date.
The information requested is given in the table. No information is available centrally on the gender of applicants in queues. In Calcutta there are no applicants awaiting first interview. Information on the number of applicants in Karachi is not centrally available but all applicants are expected to receive a first interview within three weeks.
Number of applicants for entry clearance visas waiting for first interview at 31 March 1994 Number of persons |Bombay |Delhi |Islamabad|Madras<1>|Dhaka<2> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Queue 1 Persons with a claim to the right of abode, dependent relatives over 70 years old, special compassionate cases |- |- |45 |- |330 Queue 2 Spouses and children under 18 years |142 |277 |1,248 |- |2,704 Queue 3 Fiance(es) and others applying for the first time for settlement |321 |162 |209 |- |500 Queue 4 Reapplicants |292 |95 |629 |- |337 |--- |--- |--- |--- |--- Total |755 |534 |2,131 |34 |3,871 <1> Madras does not operate a separate queueing system. <2> Only a proportion of applicants at Dhaka are listed as awaiting first interview. Other applicants will have their applications resolved without interview, where possible.
Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what investigations into the conduct of his Department he proposes to carry out following the acquittal on appeal of Major Reginald Dunk and Mr. Alexander Schlesinger.
Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what changes in the policy and practice of his Department he proposes to institute following the acquittal on appeal of Major Reginald Dunk and Mr. Alexander Schlesinger.
Mr. Byers : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many proposals from local authorities to close or re-organise schools have been awaiting a decision from him for (a) up to three months, (b) three to six monehts, (c) six to nine months, (d) nine to 12 months and (e) more than 12 months.
Mr. Robin Squire : At 15 July, a total of 149 proposals published under either section 12 or section 13 of the Education Act 1980 were under consideration in the Department. Of these, 94 had been awaiting a decision for a period of up to three months, 28 for between three and six months, 14 for between six and nine months, six for between nine and 12 months and seven for in excess of 12 months. Proposals received by the Secretary of State within the last four months may in certain cases fall to the local authority for determination.
Mr. Forth : Returns made to the Department by local authorities about their expenditure on discretionary awards for the academic year 1992- 93 will not be available for publication until August. Data for 1993-94 have not yet been collected.
Mr. Byers : To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to his answer of 8 July, Official Report, columns 327-28, how many delegates attended each of the conferences on special educational needs.
Location |Date |Number -------------------------------------- London |15 June |218 Manchester |21 June |200 York |24 June |214 Cardiff |1 July |129 Bristol |5 July |166 Birmingham |7 July |217
Mr. Forth : I am pleased to be able to announce that regulations governing the tribunal's procedures have today been laid before the House. In addition, a guide to the tribunal, entitled "Special Educational Needs Tribunal : How to Appeal", which has been awarded the crystal mark by the Plain English Campaign, will be published shortly. The guide will suggest easy-to-follow steps for parents wishing to appeal to the tribunal. I am arranging for proof copies of the guide to be placed in the Library.
Column 138and colleges about means of ensuring that postgraduate students and researchers from countries of proliferation concern do not gain access to technologies which could assist in the development of weapons of mass destruction.
Mr. Boswell : I have written today to the chairmen of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, representing universities, and the Standing Conference of Principals, representing the higher education colleges, about the need agreed with them for careful consideration of applications from certain visiting researchers from overseas at postgraduate and post-doctoral levels in certain fields of scientific research. The Government have agreed to provide information and guidance to the universities and colleges on the countries and technologies of concern, for them to take into account when reaching their decisions. Copies of those letters have been placed in the Library.
Mr. Forth : The last full survey of the provision of road safety education was undertaken in 1986-87 by Reading university, under contract to the Transport and Road Research Laboratory. The project was funded wholly by Government funds. The results were published in 1989.
Ms Estelle Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will ask the Office for Standards in Education to undertake a review of road safety education and to make recommendations on good practice and how road safety education can be improved.
Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what percentage of parents obtained their first choice of school for their children on transfer at 11 years in each of the last five years.
Mr. Robin Squire : Data on the percentage of parents securing their first choice of school for their children on transfer at 11 years are not collected centrally. Surveys commissioned by the Association of Metropolitan Authorities in 1992 and by The Times in 1993 suggest that some 90 per cent. of parents gain places for their children at their first choice of secondary school.
Mr. Robin Squire : The changes taking place in our schools are of great importance to everyone, not just to the parents of school-age children. Independent research carried out last year among a representative sample of parents supported the view that distribution by national doordrop would be the right course of action.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what was the total public expenditure on (a) nursery schools and classes and (b) children under five in reception classes, in each year since 1989-90 ; and what was the total public expenditure on these services as a percentage of the gross domestic product for England ; (2) what was the average cost in 1993-94 of a full-time equivalent place in (a) a nursery class and (b) a nursery school.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Euducation what work has been, or is being, undertaken to examine the relative costs and benefits of providing education and day care services for children under the age of five years.
Mr. Robin Squire : The Government are exploring a range of possible ways of making education provision for children under five years old more widely available as resources allow. The review is examining the relative cost-effectiveness and quality of different forms of provision, bearing in mind the rich diversity of current provision and the preferences of parents. Day care provision for children is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will make a statement on the achievements of (a) his policies and (b) his Department in helping small businesses over the last 12 months as against the previous 12 months ; if he will publish the performance indicators by which his Department monitors those achievements and the statistical results of such monitoring ; and if he will set out his targets to help small businesses in the next year.
Mr. Forth : The Government recognise the crucial role played by small firms in the United Kingdom economy. They help small firms by keeping inflation and interest rates low and by reducing legislation and administrative burdens. They also provide direct assistance where appropriate and are currently establishing a network of business links to provide high quality business support across the country. The Government's policies for increased participation in further education and vocational training, reinforced by their support for the national targets for education and training, will help small firms to improve the skill levels of their emloyees. The charter for further education sets out what employers have a right to expect from colleges in the further education sector.
Column 140The Department encourages small firms to tender for its contracts. It abides by the CBI prompt payment code ; and each contract also includes a requirement to ensure sub-contractors are paid promptly. The Department monitors both the number and value of its contracts let to small firms. In the first four months of 1994-95, 58 per cent. of contracts were placed with small firms--35 per cent. by value. The corresponding figures for the previous 12 months were 46 per cent. and 22 per cent.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Education 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 education.
Mr. Forth : My right hon. Friend the Minister for Social Security and Disabled People announced the publication of a consultation document on 15 July. The Department for Education 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.
There are no further plans for specific consultations on countering unfair discrimination against disabled persons in education since comprehensive new measures have been introduced by the Education Act 1993. In particular, the code of practice on the identification and assessment of special education needs, published by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in May this year under the 1993 Act, reflects extensive consultation with schools, local education authorities, the health service and voluntary agencies.
Mr. Robin Squire : The latest figures available on a comprehensive basis were collected by the Department through a detailed survey of local education authorities in 1991. For figures derived from that survey, I refer the hon. Member for Warwickshire, North (Mr. O'Brien) on 31 January 1994, Official Report, columns 517-21. The total number of surplus places in primary schools in 1991 according to our survey was 639,696.
Surplus places figures for 1994 will be available later this year once we have completed our analysis of the first information returns made by LEAs and the Funding Agency for Schools in accordance with the requirements of regulations made under section 21 of the Education Act 1993.
Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what are the figures for (a) school leavers, (b) further education leavers and (c) higher education leavers for (i) 1993-94, (ii) 1992-93, (iii) 1991-92, (iv) 1990-91 and (v) 1980-81.
Column 141or 1992-93. The estimated numbers of school leavers in England in 1991-92, 1990-91 and 1980-81 were 519,200, 541,900 and 734,000 respectively. Comprehensive data on leavers from further and higher education are not collected centrally.
Mr. Robathan : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what discussions he has had with his colleagues at the Departments of Health, of Transport and of the Environment about encouraging children to bicycle to school, in order to reduce pollution and congestion, while encouraging health.
representatives of the fishing industry to discuss various aspects of fisheries policy. On 23 May I chaired an important seminar on fish marketing, with representatives from a wide range of interested parties.
Mr. Butcher : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what investigations her Department is undertaking in respect of the condition of deer frequenting the deer sanctuary at Baronsdown ;
(2) when she will report on the effect of administering uncontrolled doses of Panacur at the deer sanctuary at Baronsdown.
Mr. Soames : I am looking into several complaints which have been received about deer management on Exmoor and in particular the apparent administration of the drug Panacur to deer at the Baronsdown sanctuary.
Column 142currently specifically licensed for administration to deer. Under European legislation however, and in line with the code of practice adopted by the British Veterinary Association in 1991, a veterinarian may prescribe a veterinary medicine licensed for another species for administration to animals under his care.
Mr. Butcher : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessments she has made of the effect of administering (a) uncontrolled under-doses and (b) uncontrolled overdoses of the drug Panacur to wild deer.
Mr. Soames : It is for manufacturers of veterinary medicines to assess the proper dose rate for their product as they seek to satisfy the efficacy criterion to obtain the necessary license. Panacur does have a reasonable safety profile and moderate changes in dose rates should not give rise to unacceptable risks. Underdosing may, however, involve a theoretical risk of creating resistance to the drug in the target worms.
Mr. Soames : The occurrence of BSE in siblings has naturally been an integral part of research studies to determine whether susceptibility to BSE has a genetic component. To date, these studies have revealed that the genetic make-up of cattle does not play a major role in their susceptibility to BSE.
Ms Corston : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many people in the population were estimated in her Ministry's 1994 report of the 1986-87 dietary and nutritional survey to be below the lower reference nutrient intake recommended for energy, by age and sex, representing the lowest intakes which will meet the needs of some individuals in the group set out in paragraph 1.3.8 of the report of the panel on dietary reference values ; and which family and socio-economic categories were disproportionately represented among them.
Ms Corston : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will list the energy requirements defined for children of different age and sex and the minimum cost at standard market prices of meeting those requirements in 1994.
Age Males Females |MJ/day |kcal/day|MJ/day |kcal/day ---------------------------------------------------------- 0-3 months |2.28 |545 |2.16 |515 4-6 months |2.89 |690 |2.69 |645 7-9 months |3.44 |825 |3.20 |765 10-12 months |3.85 |920 |3.61 |865 1-3 years |5.15 |1,230 |4.86 |1,165 4-6 years |7.16 |1,715 |6.46 |1,545 7-10 years |8.24 |1,970 |7.28 |1,740 11-14 years |9.27 |2,220 |7.72 |1,845 15-18 years |11.51 |2,755 |8.83 |2,110
The minimum cost of meeting these requirements would require a diet consisting entirely of the cheapest sources of energy such as lard, sugar or flour. Such a diet would not be recommended as it would not meet children's need for a balance of nutrients.
Mr. Soames : There are 468 red meat and 99 poultry abattoirs licensed in England and Wales at the present time. I am depositing a list of these today in the House Library. The licensed poultry abattoirs have been licensed under the Poultry Meat (Hygiene) Regulations 1976, as amended, and the list is likely to change on 1 August 1994 when abattoirs will be licensed under the Poultry Meat, Farmed Game Bird Meat and Rabbit Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1994. These regulations will bring more poultry abattoirs into the list of licensed premises, and will require rabbit and farmed game bird meat abattoirs to be licensed for the first time.
Mr. Jack : In 1993, the set-aside requirement in all member states was 15 per cent. of the area on which arable area payments were claimed under the main scheme. The percentage of land set aside in each member state as a percentage of the total area claimed under both the main and the simplified scheme is as follows :
|Per cent. ---------------------------------------- Belgium |4.63 Denmark |11.36 Federal Republic of Germany |11.40 Greece |1.34 Spain |10.78 France |12.30 Republic of Ireland |8.92 Italy |5.60 Luxembourg |5.56 Netherlands |2.40 Portugal |11.40 United Kingdom |13.98 EC (Total) |10.83
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether imported beef, cheese, butter and meat products from EEC countries are examined for bovine immunodeficiency virus ; and what evidence of bovine immunodeficiency virus has been found.
Mr. Soames [holding answer 18 July 1994] : The Food Advisory Committee has recommended to the Government that information about methods of animal welfare should be conveyed to consumers by means other than labelling. The Government, therefore, have no plans to make statutory provision in this area, but have no objection to voluntary labelling schemes so long as the information is not presented misleadingly.
Ms Corston : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will list (a) the estimated average requirements recommended by the 1991 panel on dietary reference values of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy, (b) the recommended daily amounts defined previously 1979 to 1991 and (c) the corresponding recommended daily amounts in the United States for energy for (i) males and females of different age and (ii) males and females of different age and different levels of activity, as defined in annex 4 of the 1991 panel report.
In the report from the Committee of the Medical Aspects of Food Policy "Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom" published in 1991, the estimated average requirement--EAR--is defined as an overall energy expenditure as a multiple of basal metabolic rate. EARs for energy for children and adolescents, and for men and women, at different activity levels are given in tables 1.1, 2.5 and 2.7 of the report. Different EARs for energy for children under 10 years of age were not made according to activity level.
The 1979 COMA recommendations are listed in table 1 of the report "Recommended Daily Amounts of Food Energy and Nutrients for Groups of People in the United Kingdom". Copies of both reports are available in the Library. The 1989 United States recommended dietary allowances are shown in the table. The values in the three reports are derived in different ways and therefore are not directly comparable.
United States recommended dietary allowances for energy: 1989 Age (years) |Kilocalories |daily --------------------------------------- Infants 0 - 0.5 |650 0.5 - 1 |850 Children 1 - 3 |1,300 4 - 6 |1,800 7 - 10 |2,000 Males 11 - 14 |2,500 15 - 18 |3,000 19 - 24 |2,900 25 - 50 |2,900 51 + |2,300 Females 11 - 14 |2,200 15 - 18 |2,200 19 - 24 |2,200 25 - 50 |2,200 51 + |1,900