Mr. John M. Taylor : My Department does not hold this information. Some information about compensation orders--for example, the number of offenders ordered to pay, is contained in "Home Office Criminal Statistics England and Wales", copies of which are in the Library of the House. Additional information about compensation orders could be collected only at a disproportionate cost.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The Legal Aid Advisory Committee was set up in 1949. Its purpose then was to comment on the way in which the Law Society administered the legal aid scheme and to give the Lord Chancellor advice and recommendations about legal aid. The Committee has done much valuable work over many years and the Lord Chancellor and I are grateful to all its past and present members for the work they have done.
The establishment of the Legal Aid Board in 1989 meant that a significant element of the committee's role no longer existed. The committee was however kept in being in order to establish whether there was a continuing useful role for it to play.
The Lord Chancellor has recently reviewed the position in the light of experience since 1989 and has concluded that the changing circumstances since the Legal Aid Board was established have meant that there is no longer a need for a separate Legal Aid Advisory Committee.
The Lord Chancellor and I have always welcomed advice from any quarter on the operation of the legal aid scheme, and will continue to do so. Unlike the position when the Legal Aid Advisory Committee was established, there are now many bodies and organisations that are interested in, and regularly comment on, developments in legal aid. The Lord Chancellor and I are satisfied that the advice that we receive from them, together with the independent advice, based on its experience of running the legal aid scheme, that we receive from the Legal Aid Board, and the involvement in legal aid matters of the Home Affairs Select Committee, give us access to the widest possible range of views and opinions. We also intend to develop our programme of research into legal aid matters.
The Lord Chancellor will therefore shortly be laying before both Houses of Parliament an order providing for the dissolution of the Legal Aid Advisory Committee.
Mr. Byers : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list the 10 highest contributions made out of the legal aid fund to assist individuals in the last five years, the individuals involved and the nature of the proceedings.
Mr. John M. Taylor [holding answer 25 May 1994] : The table shows the 10 highest gross payments--including VAT--made in individual cases--excluding civil multi-party actions--in the last five years. It is not usually possible to disaggregate payments to individuals in cases involving more than one assisted party.
|£ million ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Barlow-Clowes (fraud) |4.70 2. Strangeways II (riot) |2.77 3. Britannia Park (theft) |2.63 4. Ankara II-Benn & Others (revenue law offence)<1> |2.42 5. Brinks-Matt (robbery)<1> |2.16 6. Actie & Others (murder) |1.88 7. Eagle Starr (fraud)<1> |1.76 8. Hatton & Others (fraud) |1.75 9. Strangeways I (riot) |1.73 10. Aveling-Barford (fraud)<2> |1.52 <1> Subject to redetermination. <2> Subject to appeal.
The table details payments made only in respect of final bills submitted. It does not include cases where proceedings are continuing and where interim payments have been made. Excluding multi-party actions, only two cases involving interim payments of £1 million or more have been identified. In proceedings between Dr. Jawad Hashim and the Arab monetary fund, which concerns the administration of trusts, claims amounting to £4 million have been received to date and some 2.8 million has been paid on account. Some £1.8 million has been paid on account in respect of Graham and Graham, an action for damages to property. In civil proceedings, however, legal aid costs may be recovered, in part or in full, from any costs or damages received on behalf of the assisted party.
(2) if he will publish the names of the employers joined by special advisers who left his Department in each of the last five years ; (3) how many special advisers who left his Department in each of the last five years became (a) management consultants and (b) joined a firm of consultants.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how the Overseas Development Administration's spending on population and reproductive health spending has changed in cash and constant price terms in the past five years.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Spending on population and reproductive health activities is estimated at some £32 million in 1993, compared with just over £17 million in 1989 ; this represents an 83 per cent. increase in cash terms and nearly a 50 per cent. increase in constant price terms.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the countries and the amount of funding given by Her Majesty's Government to help develop projects involving street children in those countries.
Financial year |1991-92|1992-93|1993-94 |£ |£ |£ --------------------------------------------- Albania |- |14,225 |- Bangladesh |27,539 |52,280 |- Bolivia |2,375 |2,375 |- Brazil |8,628 |45,315 |88,527 Bulgaria |- |- |4,595 Chad |11,191 |3,103 |- Egypt |8,048 |2,126 |- Haiti |8,297 |- |- India |- |28,743 |- Peru |- |51,515 |45,893 Philippines |- |7,446 |7,284 Romania |3,000 |5,300 |900 South Africa |- |- |28,054 Tanzania |- |- |8,242 |---- |---- |---- |69,078 |212,428|183,495
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he will take to enable training and enterprise councils to ensure that young people with special training needs receive support including counselling and advocacy which will enable them to complete their training successfully.
Miss Widdecombe : Training and enterprise councils are obliged through their contract with the Department to arrange for young people entering training to be assessed and given an individual training plan suited to their needs and abilities. Where special training needs are identified, the training plan must be individually designed to give the support and help required to enable the young people to make such progress towards general and vocational competences as lies within their reach. Training plans and progress against them are regularly reviewed and any necessary changes agreed between the trainee and the training provider.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what plans he has to ensure that young people with special training needs will be able to take full advantage of the modern apprenticeship scheme.
Column 226apprenticeships open equally to all young people. We are asking industry training organisations to take account of all aspects of equal opportunities in apprenticeship models they develop including provision for the assessment and endorsement of special training needs. We shall continue to place a contractual requirement on training and enterprise councils to ensure equality of opportunity in all their activities.
Mr. Marlow : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment pursuant to his answer of 11 July, Official Report , column 406 , whether he is satisfied with the apparent discrimination against the employment of men at the Equal Opportunities Commission.
Miss Widdecombe : Employing more people of one sex than the other does not of itself prove discrimination. The Commission follows good equal opportunities practice in recruiting its own staff, and as one would expect, considers all candidates on their merits regardless of gender, race or other factors.
Number of ILO unemployed people by gender and ethnic origin Thousands Not seasonally adjusted Great Britain |Spring |Spring |Winter |1992 |1993 |1993-94 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- All people |2,649 |2,804 |2,737 White |2,422 |2,528 |2,461 Non-white |224 |276 |276 Black |86 |110 |103 Indian |59 |58 |61 Pakistani/Bangladeshi |43 |61 |58 Mixed/other origins |36 |48 |53 Men |1,785 |1,904 |1,833 White |1,633 |1,721 |1,650 Non-white |151 |183 |183 Black |60 |73 |65 Indian |34 |37 |37 Pakistani/Bangladeshi |34 |46 |45 Mixed/other origins |23 |27 |34 Women |863 |900 |904 White |789 |807 |811 Non-white |73 |93 |93 Black |27 |37 |37 Indian |25 |21 |24 Pakistani/Bangladeshi |<1>- |15 |13 Mixed/other origins |13 |21 |20 <1>- Estimate less than 10,000 not shown. Source: Labour Force Survey.
Miss Widdecombe : The Race Relations Employment Advisory Service does not keep records on the number of inquiries it receives. It has made the following advisory visits to employers : 1,113, 1991-92 ; 1, 075, 1992- 93 ; 1,177, 1993-94 ; and 320 in the currrent operational year, from 1 April to 30 June 1994.
Miss Widdecombe : In common with all parts of the Employment Department, the Race Relations Employment Advisory Service agrees an annual operational plan with its departmental line management. All such plans run from April to March and seek to implement the Employment Department's objectives.
The aim of RREAS for 1994-95 is to provide advice and guidance on racial quality in employment to those employers who are either unaware of or initially resistant to equal opportunities or at an early stage in the development of an effective policy and require expert strategic advice and guidance in taking it forward. Plans for the service for 1995-96 will be agreed early in 1995.
1989--none joined, one left ;
1990--one joined, none left ;
1991--no joiners and no leavers ;
1992--two joined, two left ;
1993--one joined and one left.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many special advisers who left his Department in each of the last five years became (a) management consultants and (b) joined a firm of consultants ;
(2) if he will publish the names of the employers joined by special advisers who left his Department in each of the last five years.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what proposals the Government have for further reform of the national vocational qualification system assessment and monitoring procedures.
Column 228the criteria for the assessment and quality assurance of national vocational qualifications, and Scottish vocational qualifications in Scotland. At my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's request, the NCVQ is currently reviewing the criteria.
The White Paper on competitiveness, announced on 24 May by my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, provides for NCVQ to strengthen its role in the local quality assurance arrangements for national vocational qualifications.
The White Paper also included proposals for further work to enhance and improve the NVQ system.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he intends to establish a departmental inquiry into allegations of inadequacies in vocational training in colleges of further education.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : As a next steps agency, the Employment Service is subject to the normal prior options tests set out in the 1993 "Next Steps Review", Cm. 2430. A prior options review of the Employment Service will now be undertaken, with the aim of reporting to Ministers by the end of March 1995.
Comments and contributions from those with an interest in the Employment Service and its work would be welcome and should be sent by 28 October 1994 to Peter Makeham, Director of Strategy and Employment Policy Division, Employment Department, Caxton House, Tothill Street, London SW1H 9NF.
Mr. David Hunt : In her statement of 14 July, Official Report, column 715, concerning the future of the Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales, my right hon. Friend the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food referred to the need for the Government to be free to make suitable arrangements for the industry when considering the board's future. This reflects calls by employers in the industry for the Government to denounce International Labour Oganisation conventions 99 and 101 so that the requirements of the conventions will not present any obstacle to the development over the next few years of more flexible working arrangements within the industry. The Government propose to denounce both conventions. The denunciations will take effect 12 months after the date on which they are registered with the ILO.
Miss Widdecombe [holding answer 14 July 1994] : Learning for work will not be replaced by another scheme next year. The Department, through training and enterprise councils and the Employment Service, provides a range of programmes and services to help unemployed people prepare for work. Training for work, career development loans, job clubs and restart courses all play an important part in this package of help.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 14 June, Official Report columns 400-1, which other officials of the Hong Kong Government, including officials of the Law Officers' Department such as Crown prosecuting counsel, visited Malaysia in connection with the affair generally known as Carrian ; on what dates ; and on how many occasions, and for what purpose in relation to the Carrian investigation Mr. Warwick Reid visited Malaysia.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : There are very few, if any, visits to Malaysia by members of the Attorney-General's chambers in connection with the Carrian case. Full details could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the view of the credibility of Ibrahim Jaafar as expressed by judges of the Hong Kong High Court from time to time ; and whether Mr. Jaafar adhered to the terms of his grant of immunity by co- operating with the relevant Hong Kong authorities.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 14 June, Official Report columns 397-98 , on what dates and to whom parts of Mr. Mak's statement was relayed at any other time prior to his trial to parties other than those involved in the investigation.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 14 June, Official Report column 397 , whether it is the policy of the Hong Kong Government to have the contents of statements made by suspects in custody relayed to Government Departments in London.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : There is no reason why the content of a statement taken by law enforcement agencies in Hong Kong should not be relayed to Government Departments in London if it is in the public interest to do so.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the name of the Hong Kong official who granted immunity from prosecution to Mr. Ibrahim Jaafar ; and what was the relationship between that official and Mr. Warwick Reid.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The immunity was granted by the then Director of Public Prosecutions in Hong Kong in consultation with the Hong Kong Attorney-General. The letter offering immunity was signed by Mr. Reid in his capacity as head of the commercial crimes unit of the prosecutions division of the Attorney-General's chambers.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 21 June, Official Report column 99, why Mr. Warwick Reid was dismissed from his post in January 1990 ; whether Mr. Reid was prosecuted ; what process of law was used to obtain the return of Mr. Warwick Reid from the Philippines to Hong Kong ; and which Government requested, and which Government executed, that legal process.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Mr. Reid was dismissed from his post in the Attorney-General's chambers when it was discovered that he had breached the conditions of his bail by absconding from Hong Kong. On his return to Hong Kong he was prosecuted, and convicted, for an offence of having in his control pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to his official emoluments contrary to section 10 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. Mr. Reid was deported from the Philippines when he was found to have entered that country on a forged travel document and was repatriated to Hong Kong as his last known place of residence in accordance with procedures in the Philippines.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those occasions on which the Malaysian Attorney-General, Mr. Abu Talib, approached his Department or other Government Departments in London, in relation to the prosecution of Lorrain Osman ; and if he will list those occasions on which the Malaysian Attorney -General approached Government officials in Hong Kong in relation to the prosecution of Lorrain Osman.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 14 June, Official Report , columns 397-98 , which parties named by Mr. Mak Foon Than were interviewed subsequently in relation to his statement ; and on which dates they were interviewed.
Lorrain Osman on three occasions in July and August 1983 ; Henry Chin on seven occasions in July and August 1983 and on one occasion in March 1984 ;
Ibrahim Jaafar in August 1983 ;
Chueng Suk-Kwan on 8 August 1983 ;
Raja Nasron on 15 September 1983 ;
Tan Keng-Cheng on 16 September 1983 ; and
Lee Chong-Kay on 19 September 1983.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the name of the Hong Kong official who made the charges initiated against Mr. Lorrain Osman in 1985 ; and what was the relationship between that official and Mr. Warwick Reid.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The charges against Mr. Lorrain Osman were drafted by counsel having the conduct of the case within the prosecutions division of the Attorney-General's chambers in consultation with leading counsel in London. Mr. Warwick Reid was not directly involved in the charging process other than in his capacity as head of the commercial crimes unit of those chambers in which it is likely that he would have been shown a copy of the charges settled by counsel.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 14 June, Official Report , column 397 , who advised him of the contents of the statement made by Mr. Mak Foon Than ; why that information was relayed to his Department ; and what other Government offices, including the United Kingdom high commission in Malaysia, were informed of the contents of Mak Foon Than's statement prior to the trial of Mr. Mak.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The Hong Kong Government kept the Foreign and Commonwealth Office informed of the progress of investigations related to the collapse of the Carrian Group and the affairs of Bank Bumiputra and its Hong Kong subsidiary BMFL. Papers connected with these investigations were copied to the Bank of England and to the British high commissioner in Malaysia.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Mr. Warwick Reid was interrogated or questioned or made a voluntary statement in relation to his role in the prosecution of Lorrain Osman at the time of his arrest or subsequently.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he received a copy of the report of the incidents that took place at the Whitehead detention centre in Hong Kong ; and if he will make a statement on that report.
We accept the report's findings and welcome the Hong Kong Government's readiness to act on its recommendations.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 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. Lennox-Boyd : We recognise the crucial role played by small firms in the United Kingdom economy. The Government help small firms by keeping inflation and interest rates low and by reducing legislation and administration burdens. They also provide direct assistance where appropriate and are establishing a network of Business Links to provide high-quality business support across the country.
The Department, together with the Department of Trade and Industry, through the Overseas Trade Services, provides advice, information, and financial support to help United Kingdom exporters win overseas business. This work is particularly aimed at smaller and less experienced exporters. An independent survey of the delivery of the services shows a consistently high level of customer satisfaction and some 90 per cent. of respondents regularly say that they will use the services again. Details of these chargeable services are given in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office departmental report 1994. Small firms are given full opportunity to bid for business with the Department. It remains our firm policy to pay invoices on time. Business transacted by the Department with small firms in the United Kingdom was £35.7 million in 1993-94 when it accounted for 27.6 per cent. of total expenditure on the purchase of goods and services--1992-93 : £35.8 million ; 26.9 per cent.
The Department has no specific targets to favour small business, but will ensure that small firms continue to be given full opportunity to compete equally and fairly.