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Mr. Nigel Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last visited Kuwait ; what assistance has been given by the Foreign Office to British companies seeking to help with Kuwait's reconstruction programme following the Gulf war ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs last visited Kuwait in May 1992 to attend an EC/Gulf Co-operation Council ministerial meeting. The British embassy in Kuwait was one of the first to open after liberation and its staff played an important role in helping United Kingdom companies win orders associated with the reconstruction programme. The FCO was also represented on a DTI/industry task force set up to help British exporters. In the first 12 months of the initial reconstruction phase, the United Kingdom won contracts and orders worth over £550 million.
The official figures for United Kingdom exports to Kuwait for 1991, 1992 and 1993 are £178 million, £262 million and £312 million respectively. Exports are now at their highest level for six years.
Mr. Burden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received on the allegations of torture against students from Bir Zeit university in the west bank who were arrested on 29 June in an Israel defence force raid ; and what representations he intends to make to the Israeli Government on the issue.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The consulate-general in Jerusalem is in touch with Bir Zeit university and the International Committee of the Red Cross about the arrest of the students and about their conditions of detention. We, along with our EU partners, have raised the question of law enforcement in the occupied territories with the Israeli authorities, and stressed that it is important to avoid excessive use of force. We regularly remind the Israelis of their obligations under the fourth Geneva convention.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which section of the United Nations is responsible for arranging the deployment of United Nations forces in Rwanda ; and whether he considers that section adequate in terms of quality of personnel, amount of resources and level of political support.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Kofi Annan, is responsible for arranging the deployment of United Nations forces in Rwanda. He enjoys the support of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and receives all necessary political support. The level of DPKO's resources and the quality of its personnel are kept under continual review by the Secretary-General. The United Kingdom is supporting DPKO through the provision of eight seconded British officers.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the principal causes of the further delay in the deployment of United Nations troops in Rwanda in terms of troops committed, and logistical support.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The United Nations has identified logistic support as the priority requirement to enable more troops to be deployed with the United Nations Aid Mission in Rwanda and while a number of countries have pledged troops they cannot be deployed until that support is in place. The United States, South Africa and the United Kingdom have offered logistical support in response to specific United Nations requests.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his policy on a continued commitment of French troops in Rwanda beyond the end of July.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : United Nations Security Council resolution 929 of 22 June, which we supported, authorised the French Government to launch a two-month humanitarian mission to Rwanda. Their mandate does not expire until 22 August.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what procedures exist in the United Nations for a change in the presidency of the Security Council if a country is unfit, for whatever reason, to take over the presidency.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The provisional rules of procedure of the Security Council do not contain any provisions for changing the presidency of the Council in the circumstances described. However, I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply which my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of State for Foreign and
Column 234Commonwealth Affairs gave him on 18 July, column 26, which said that consultations are in train over the question of Rwanda's presidency of the council.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the present procedures for the issuing of entry visas to citizens of Taiwan ; for what reason a separate declaration of identity is required ; and whether he has this system under review.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Visas for citizens of Taiwan are issued on form GV3 "Declaration of Identity for Visa Purposes".
Declarations of identity are used because we do not recognise Taiwan as a state. We cannot therefore recognise passports issued by the "Republic of China", so the visa is stamped on a separate piece of paper rather than into the passport itself. This is inescapable for legal reasons. We have recently revised the format of the GV3 to make it as convenient as possible for the traveller.
The visa handling unit of the British Trade and Cultural Office in Taipei provides a quick and efficient 24-hour service. We do not believe that the visa- issuing process discourages travellers, of whom there were nearly 52,000 in 1993.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many special advisers have (a) joined and (b) left his Department in each of the last five years.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : In 1989, two special advisers left my Department and one joined. In 1990, one special adviser joined my Department and left in the same year. One special adviser joined in 1991. One special adviser left in 1993, and one joined.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will publish the names of the employers joined by special advisers who left his Department in each of the last five years ;
(2) 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. Heathcoat-Amory : There is no requirement for special advisers to provide details of their employers after leaving Government service.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many United Kingdom heavy goods vehicle drivers are currently in prison in (a) France, (b) Spain, (c) Portugal, (d) Italy and (e) the whole of the European Union except the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Those known by the British Government to be United Kingdom heavy goods vehicle drivers and currently in prison are as follows :
European Union 10
Mr. Shore : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many spouses seeking entry clearance in Dhaka have been refused in each of the past four years ; and what percentage they form of the total number of such applicants.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The number of spouses' entry clearance applications refused in Dhaka and the percentage of the total numbers of such applications during 1991-93 is :
Year |Total spouse|Spouses |Percentage |applications|refused ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1991 |1,852 |301 |16 1992 |2,614 |414 |16 1993 |2,446 |501 |20
Comparable data are not available for earlier years.
Mr. Shore : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many entry clearance officers have worked in Dhaka in each of the last four years.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The number of entry clearance officers in Dhaka in each of the last four years is :
1993--12 1 temporary duty
1992--16 2 temporary duty
Mr. Shore : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what has been the average monthly number of refusals in the period since the abolition of appeals for visitors from Bangladesh ; and what percentage they represent of the total number of applications.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The average monthly number of refusals of entry clearance applications for visitors from Bangladesh for the period July 1993 to May 1994 was 297. This represents 24.7 per cent. of the average monthly number of visitor applications. The comparable figure for the period August 1992 to July 1993 was 258, 22.3 per cent.
Mr. Shore : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many appeals were rejected in each month in the year prior to the abolition of appeals for visitors from Bangladesh ; and what percentage they represent of the total number of applications.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Available information on appeals relates to those against a refusal of entry clearance for temporary purposes. The number of such appeals by citizens of Bangladesh which were dismissed by adjudicators in the period August 1992 to July 1993 were :
|Number ------------------------ 1992 August |47 September |75 October |134 November |43 December |69 1993 January |105 February |65 March |49 April |52 May |43 June |60 July |40 |--- |782
During the period August 1992 to July 1993, 13,870 such applications were made, of which 3,091--22.3 per cent.--were refused ; 782 of those refused lodged appeals. Of that 782, 74 per cent. were dismissed, 13 per cent. withdrawn and 13 per cent. allowed. The figure for appeals dismissed therefore equates to 5.6 per cent. of the total number of visit applications received in Dhaka.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answers of 14 June, Official Report, columns 401-2, whether Her Majesty's Government have now reached a conclusion as to whether to vote for the resolution and sign the agreement relating to the implementation of part XI of the United Nations convention on the law of the sea of 10 December 1982, and thereafter accede to that convention.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Yes, we will vote for the resolution and, should it be adopted by the General Assembly, sign the agreement. We intend to ratify the agreement and accede to the United Nations law of the sea convention in due course and once the necessary procedures are complete. The Government's objections to part XI of the convention, which were explained to the House by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Rifkind) in 1984, have been satisfactorily addressed in the new agreement. The remainder of the convention is generally helpful to United Kingdom interests.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has about ethnic clashes involving large-scale deaths in the Turcana tribe in north-west Kenya ; what role has been played in this by the Kenyan and Sudanese Governments ; and what representations he has made.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We have no evidence of large scale deaths amongst the Turcana people in north-west Kenya caused by ethnic clashes.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the progress being made in the confinement and disarmament of Government and RENAMO forces in Mozambique.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : As of 12 July, 95 per cent. of all forces in Mozambique had been assembled. Forty-eight per cent. of the Government of Mozambique forces and 82 per
Column 237cent. of RENAMO forces had been demobilised. Demobilisation is scheduled to be completed by 15 August.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library reports received by the Department from the clearing house centre for information discussion and exchange on the crossing of borders and immigration.
Mr. Charles Wardle : I have been asked to reply.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave him on 18 July, Official Report , column 32.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many requests for information on third countries have been received from the clearing house centre for information discussion and exchange on the crossing of borders and immigration ; and in respect of which countries.
Mr. Charles Wardle : I have been asked to reply.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Lord President of the Council 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. Newton : The functions of the Privy Council Office do not include the provision of assistance to small businesses.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales 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 Wales.
Sir Wyn Roberts : Information on expenditure on nursery and reception classes cannot be identified separately from data collected centrally.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will examine the paper by Rooney, Beral et al in the British Medical Journal, volume 307, pages 1391-97, on prostatic cancer causation, in so far as it applies to the population of Wales ; and if he will make a statement on cancer studies undertaken by his Department.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : Officials have examined the paper, which suggests a statistical association between the
Column 238incidence of prostatic cancer and possible occupational exposure to certain radionuclides that tend to be associated with the working environment of heavy water reactors. Exposure to these radionuclides was found to be uncommon and did not affect the overall health of the Atomic Energy Authority work force. Members of the public are unlikely to be significantly exposed to these radionuclides, and so the findings of this study do not appear to be relevant to the population of Wales. If there are any implications of the study for the Welsh work force this would be a matter for the Health and Safety Executive.
Within the last six years two studies on cancer incidence in Wales have been published by the Welsh Office. These are :
"A report of an investigation into the incidence of Leukaemia in the North Wales coastal strip" by Emeritus Professor H. Campbell, FRCP ; and
"Investigation of Incidence of Cancer around Wylfa and Trawsfynydd Nuclear Installations 1984 to 1986".
Copies of both reports are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give details of financial and other assistance given by his office to assist (a) individuals, (b) the local authority and (c) other organisations following the flood in Llandudno in June 1993 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : Gwynedd county council and Aberconwy borough council are receiving financial assistance under the Bellwin scheme of some £4.5 million towards the cost of temporary rehousing, cleaning-up operations, repairs to local authority buildings and infrastructure, and the social services flood support team.
Housing grants and loans from the social fund were made available to those qualifying. The strategic development scheme will provide assistance for the flood support team during 1994-95 and 1995-96 and fund a post for three years under business in the community to encourage investment by the private sector in new and existing economic projects in the area.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make funds available to local authorities to appoint additional staff to inspect houses in multiple occupation ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : Inspection of houses in multiple occupation is a revenue service which is funded through the annual local authority revenue settlement. It is for councils to determine the priority they give to these inspections alongside their other duties when apportioning resources.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will provide funding to appoint a rheumatologist to serve Gwynedd ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : It is a matter for individual health authorities and NHS trusts to decide whether funding should be made available to develop a particular service in accordance with perceived local needs.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has for ensuring that there is enough suitable accommodation for students studying in Wales ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : Further and higher education institutions are independent, autonomous bodies responsible for deciding their own priorities, including admissions policies and any arrangements for the accommodation of their students.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the number of students at the constituent colleges of the University of Wales in 1970, 1980, 1990 and 1994 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : Information on the number of students at the University of Wales in 1994 is not yet available. The number of students at the constituent colleges of the University of Wales for the academic years 1970-71, 1980-81, 1990-91 and 1992-93, which is the latest available year, are shown in the table.
All Full-time and Part-time, Undergraduate and Postgraduate students at each of the constituent colleges of the University of Wales<1> Colleges of the |1970-71 |1980-81 |1990-91 |1992-93 University of Wales ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aberystwyth |2,592 |3,318 |4,013 |5,070 Bangor |2,515 |3,149 |3,819 |5,015 Cardiff<2> |3,755 |6,266 |10,069 |12,134 St. David's, Lampeter |354 |810 |1,012 |1,332 Swansea |3,510 |4,295 |6,056 |7,823 University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology<2> |2,025 |3,038 |- |- College of Medicine |423 |791 |1,201 |1,738 |--- |--- |--- |--- Total |15,174 |21,667 |26,170 |33,112 <1> As at December of each year. <2> In 1988 the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology merged with the University of Wales College Cardiff. Source: "Statistic of Education, Volume 6-Universities" and "University Statistics; Students and Staff" published by Universities' Statistical Record.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will explain how the notional yields of 3.32 tonnes per hectare for less- favoured area farmers and 5.17 tonnes per hectare for non less-favoured area farmers was calculated for the purposes of arable area payments in 1993-94 ;
(2) what historical information was available to his Department in calculating yields for the purpose of arable area payments for harvest year 1993-94 ; and what account was taken of it in calculating average yields ;
(3) what were the wheat yields for each county in Wales in 1986 to 1992, sorted by seven-year average, according to the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service study received by his Department in January 1993 ;
(4) pursuant to his answer to the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Carlile) of 20 June, Official Report, column 38, what was the average cereal yield for (a) farms wholly within the less-favoured area and (b) farms wholly outside the less-favoured area for the years from 1986 to 1992 ; and how those figures were calculated.
Mr. Redwood : I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my reply in the Library of the House.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether it is his policy that a single cereals region would be best for Wales for purposes of arable area payments.
Mr. Redwood : I accept that an England and Wales region would be best for Welsh cereal farmers, but this is not a decision that I can make on my own. All four Agriculture Ministers have to agree on the regionalisation plan and take into account the interests of growers throughout the United Kingdom.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the total amount to be paid to Welsh farmers in
Column 240arable area payments for the harvest year 1993-94 ; and how much is to be paid on land (a) in the less-favoured area and (b) outside the less-favoured area.
Mr. Redwood : The information will not be available until all the 1994 arable aid applications have been processed.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will provide a breakdown of the spending at his Department on nurse education and training for the years 1990-91 to 1993-94, identifying spending allocated to (a) pre-registration education, (b) post-regristration education and (c) nurse teacher training and support.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : Funding of post-regristration education is not identifiable centrally.
|Nurse |Nurse Teacher |Education and|Training |Training |£ millions |000's -------------------------------------------------------- 1990-91 |31.8 |504 1991-92 |33.9 |524 1992-93 |28.5 |433 1993-94 |27.1 |278 Notes: 1. The figures for 1990-91 to 1992-93 include Health Authority expenditure on student/pupil salaries and Welsh National Board revenue. The figures do not include overhead costs met by Health Authorities. The 1993-94 figure is the expenditure on nurse education under the Towards 2000 arrangements. 2. The figures for nurse teacher training relate to funding by Welsh National Board.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what steps he is taking to provide for the redeployment of nurse tutors in the South East Wales Institute of Nursing and Midwifery Education displaced as a consequence of the proposed reduction in nursing student numbers ;
Column 241(2) what steps he is taking to provide for the retraining and redeployment of nurse teachers who are displaced as a result of the proposed reduction in the number of nursing students.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : This is under consideration.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the total cost of the changes in nurse education since 1989 resulting from the introduction of Project 2000.