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Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what inquiries he has made of the Taiwanese authorities about charges recently reported as having been filed against individuals associated with member companies of the Hualon group; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ancram: From the information available, confirmed by a press statement issued by the Hualon Corporation on 11 October, none of those arrested for alleged violation of the Taiwan stock exchange regulations is employed by the corporation, which is a totally separate entity to the suspended brokerage houses.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland upon which date, and in what sum, the first payment is expected to be made to the Hualon Corporation in connection with the proposed grant to the corporation for the development of new textile facilities in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Ancram: The timing and amount of the first grant payment cannot be determined at this stage. It will depend, inter alia, on a number of prepayment conditions being satisfied by the company, the factory construction period and the delivery of the equipment for the first phase.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the textile companies, trade unions or textile employers' organisations which have to date welcomed the proposed grant to the Hualon Corporation in connection with the development of new textile facilities in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Ancram: The General and Municipal Boilermakers Union in Northern Ireland has publicly said it is "very very pleased" to see jobs on the projected scale and the technology coming to Northern Ireland. There has also been a widespread welcome for the project and the prospect of 1,800 jobs not only from the people of north and west Belfast but across the political spectrum.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what information he has concerning the type of looms which the Hualon Corporation is intending to purchase for use in the facilities in Northern Ireland for which it has been awarded a £61 million grant; what steps he has taken to check with the manufacturers of those looms Hualon's assertion that they will be running at 20 per cent. more than the normal speed; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ancram: For reasons of commercial confidentiality it is not possible to disclose details of the type of equipment to be purchased. However, during the course of the expert consultant's examination it was confirmed that Hualon was already running looms at up to 20 per cent. above the norm with no apparent increase in down time.
40. Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Lord President of the Council what proposals he has to introduce a payment-by-results scheme for hon. Members.
Mr. Newton: Substantial structural changes have in the past normally been made only following a report from the Senior Salaries Review Body or its predecessors, and I have no plans to ask them to examine a system of the kind the hon. Member seems to have in mind. 36. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Lord President of the Council what responsibilities he has in relation to methods of payment-by-results for hon. Members.
Mr. Newton: Motions concerning the pay of hon. Members are brought before the House in my name. However, substantial structural changes have in the past normally been made only following a report from the Senior Salaries Review Body or its predecessors, and I have no plans to ask it to examine a system of the kind that the hon. Member seems to have in mind.
39. Mr. Barnes: To ask the Lord President of the Council what representations he has received in the past four months concerning the length of parliamentary recesses.
Mr. Barnes: To ask the Lord President of the Council when he will send a substantive response to the letter from the hon. Member for Derbyshire, North-East, sent on 29 July and acknowledged on 3 August, concerning parliamentary recesses.
29. Mrs. Gorman: To ask the chairman of the Finances Westminster Hall and Services Committee, what financial provision is being made for greater use of Westminster Hall by the public.
Mr. Channon: Following approval by the House of the Catering Committee's report on refreshment provision for Line of Route visitors, plans for a temporary souvenir kiosk in Westminster Hall are being developed and have been agreed by the authorities which control the Hall. Financial provision will depend on a detailed feasibility study which has yet to be considered by my Committee.
33. Mr. Dickens: To ask the right hon. member for
Berwick-upon-Tweed, as representing the House of Commons Commission what financial resources have been earmarked for this and the next financial year to enable hon. Members whose offices are in the Palace of Westminster to enjoy the same television facility linking them with annunciator messages and the House of
Column 455Commons Chamber in the same way as those hon. Members in newly equipped offices.
Mr. Beith: Cabling of the Palace itself for the "clean feed" is being undertaken as part of the installation of the parliamentary data and video network, for which provision of some £100,000 and £1 million have been allocated in the current and next financial years.
30. Mr. Steen: To ask the right hon. Member for
Berwick-upon-Tweed, as representing the House of Commons Commission if the Commissioner will review the working of the recommendations of the Ibbs report.
Mr. Beith: The Commission has no plans to carry out an overall review as proposed by the hon. Member, but individual areas of the House's services are studied as appropriate by the Finance and Services Committee and individual domestic committees.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the population of sheep in Scotland (a) at the latest available date, (b) 10 years ago and (c) 20 years ago; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Hector Monro: The Government are providing almost £1 million per annum to allow the Forestry Commission to buy the freeholds of its leased woodlands where this would offer significant access and recreation benefits.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if it is his policy that the Forestry Commission will pay the legal costs for local authorities seeking access agreements on privately owned forestry land.
Sir Hector Monro: The Forestry Commission will be prepared to meet the reasonable legal costs incurred by local authorities in making access agreements for commission woodlands which are to be sold into private ownership.
Mr. Maclennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will request Her Majesty the Queen to proclaim St. Andrew's day a bank holiday under section 1(3) of the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971.
Column 456on how to deal with (a) reptiles and (b) endangered species of turtles in Scottish waters.
Sir Hector Monro: Scottish Natural Heritage is considering the possibility of measures which could contribute to the safe passage of turtles in our national waters. A recent study conducted for SNH by Herpetofauna Consultants International considered reports of turtles in Scottish waters from biological record centres, local museums, fishermen and other sources. The results suggest that turtles are more common around the coast than was previously thought. It is considered that they may have strayed from their migration paths or followed prey along oceanic currents.
SNH, in a news release on 4 October, announced these findings and called for further information from anybody who has sighted turtles. SNH proposes to design appropriate measures once as full a picture as possible has been drawn. My right hon. Friend will be happy to consider any recommendations for turtles and other reptiles. All marine turtles are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what proposals he has concerning the modification of the rules governing the operation of the special unit at HM prison, Barlinnie; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what formal training is undertaken by prison officers in relation to service in the special unit, HM prison, Barlinnie; and if he will make a statement;
(3) how many prisoners have spent part of their sentences in the special unit, HM prison, Barlinnie over the past 15 years; what was the average length of time served in the unit; and if he will make a statement;
(4) what is the average length of service a prison officer serves in the special unit, HM prison, Barlinnie; and what proposals he has to modify such service;
(5) how many prison governors have been placed in charge of the special unit, HM prison, Barlinnie, in the past 15 years; what was the average length of service of such personnel; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The subjects of these questions relate to matters undertaken by the Scottish Prison Service. I have asked its chief executive, Mr. E.W. Frizzell, to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from E. W. Frizzell to Dr. Norman A. Godman dated 24 October 1994:
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton has asked me to reply to your Questions about the Barlinnie Special Unit. These concerned the rules governing the operation of the Unit, the training of staff, the average length of time served by prisoners in the Unit, the average length of time prison officers serve in the Unit, and the number of governors in charge of the Unit in the past 15 years
Following the report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons, which was published in March this year, an internal Scottish Prison Service Working Party was set up to review the operation of the Barlinnie Special Unit. Its remit was subsequently extended to address recommendations made by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector in respect of the Shotts Unit.
The Working Party has recently completed its work and its findings will require very careful consideration. I hope, however, that it will be possible to take decisions about the Units shortly. So far as training is concerned, there is at present no formal Unit-specific training programme for staff, but staff are required to
Column 457apply for Unit posts, and there is a rigorous selection process to ensure that suitable personnel are posted. The Scottish Prison Service provides a wide programme of training for staff in general, including Unit staff, and courses in group work, managing aggression, and influencing skills are among the training which has been undertaken by current members of staff. All Barlinnie Unit staff have completed an accredited counselling course. The selection and training of staff are among the issues which the internal Working Party, to which I have already referred, has considered.
You asked about the number of prisoners who have spent part of their sentences in the Barlinnie Special Unit over the past 15 years and the average length of time served in the Unit. Over the past 15 years a total of 23 prisoners have spent part of their sentence in the Unit, and the average length of time served there is three years seven months.
So far as officers are concerned the average length of service in the Unit of current staff is approximately three years.
In the past 15 years the Barlinnie Special Unit has had eight Governors in charge, including the present Governor, who was appointed in late March 1994. Excluding the present Governor the average length of Governor in charge appointment in that 15 year period has been two years and two months.
Specific provision is included in the local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill to extend the commissioner's jurisdiction, for non-contractual activities, to the new Srathclyde passenger transport authority. In addition, powers are being taken in the Bill to extend the Commission's jurisdiction to cover residuary bodies, if required.
Mrs. Fyfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has on attempts to attract patients to Health Care International from (a) Spain, (b) Italy, (c) Turkey, (d) Egypt, (e) Morocco and (f) other European, American, North African and middle eastern countries.
Mrs. Fyfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has on the current size of the worldwide market in people willing to travel abroad for health treatments; what was the size of the market in 1987; what proportion of that market in 1987 and currently has been won by French healthcare firms; and what assessments he has made of the factors which make French bids more competitive.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the figures for lung cancer by gender in each of the health board areas in each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The table shows the numbers of registrations of cancer of the trachea, bronchus and lung by sex, health board of residence at the time of diagnosis and year of diagnosis, for the period 1988 94.
Numbers of registrations of lung cancer (ICD-9 162) by sex, health board of residence at time of diagnosis and year of diagnosis, Scotland 1988-94 Year of diagnosis |1988 |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993* |1994* -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Males Argyll and Clyde |281 |308 |257 |244 |277 |239 |14 Ayrshire and Arran |196 |236 |240 |216 |232 |197 |18 Borders |52 |64 |63 |59 |73 |40 |1 Dumfries and Galloway |73 |79 |70 |76 |84 |65 |0 Fife |181 |159 |180 |191 |184 |144 |2 Forth Valley |175 |132 |156 |148 |158 |138 |16 Grampian |262 |236 |212 |234 |226 |80 |0 Greater Glasgow |728 |760 |707 |766 |729 |589 |35 Highland |64 |70 |88 |91 |105 |79 |8 Lanarkshire |302 |284 |316 |303 |302 |214 |10 Lothian |438 |450 |447 |432 |442 |347 |3 Orkney |10 |9 |4 |9 |11 |1 |0 Shetland |8 |7 |7 |11 |6 |1 |0 Tayside |258 |221 |235 |244 |209 |164 |21 Western Isles |12 |14 |7 |19 |18 |7 |0 |-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|------- Scotland |3,040 |3,029 |2,989 |3,043 |3,056 |2,305 |128 Females Argyll and Clyde |159 |140 |158 |143 |171 |140 |7 Ayrshire and Arran |114 |110 |125 |121 |126 |107 |13 Borders |20 |35 |32 |30 |27 |31 |1 Dumfries and Galloway |43 |42 |49 |66 |66 |44 |0 Fife |104 |76 |73 |96 |113 |84 |6 Forth Valley |64 |74 |88 |83 |90 |72 |14 Grampian |126 |104 |107 |135 |152 |63 |0 Greater Glasgow |412 |421 |499 |444 |505 |381 |28 Highland |29 |25 |45 |44 |42 |43 |7 Lanarkshire |151 |152 |148 |157 |148 |131 |4 Lothian |228 |247 |258 |265 |259 |217 |5 Orkney |2 |1 |4 |4 |5 |1 |0 Shetland |5 |2 |4 |2 |3 |1 |0 Tayside |118 |124 |135 |128 |116 |110 |14 Western Isles |5 |5 |3 |4 |3 |6 |0 |-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|------- Scotland |1,580 |1,558 |1,728 |1,722 |1,826 |1,431 |99 *registrations for 1993 and 1994 are incomplete
Mr. Maclennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if his officials will meet representatives of the British Veterinary Association and highland veterinary practices to discuss the highlands and islands veterinary services scheme.
Sir Hector Monro: My officials are still considering what changes need to be made to the scheme. Once this has been done, they will meet representatives of the veterinary profession to consider the way forward.
Mr. Howard: Any allegations that funds have been transferred to the IRA by foreign states are a matter of grave concern. They are always followed up by the relevant agencies who receive full co-operation from the island authorities whenever they need it. It would not be right for me to go into detail on specific cases, but I have had no need to make representations to the island authorities on the matter to which the hon. Member refers.
Column 460Letter from Derek Lewis to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 24 October 1994:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the greatest number of prisoner nights spent in police cells by any prisoner in 1994 to date.
This information is not collected centrally, and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 24 October 1994 :
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the average number of prisoner nights spent by prisoners in police cells in 1994 to date.
This information is not collected centrally, and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 24 October 1994:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the number of prisoner nights spent in police cell in each month of 1994 to date.
Column 461The latest information, up to and including 13 October, is shown below:
|Numbers ---------------------------------------- January |16 February |4,439 March |12,178 April |9,739 May |4,795 June |2,100 July |1,890 August |4,512 September |4,255 October (to 13 October) |1,557 |------- Total |45,481
Column 462Home Department how many (a) remand and (b) convicted prisoners were held in police cells in (a) Greater Manchester and (b) the north-west of England in each of the last four months.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Andrew F. Bennett, dated 24 October 1994:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the numbers of remand and convicted prisoners held in police cells in Greater Manchester and the North West of England in each of the last 4 months.
The information you require is given below:
Numbers of remand and convicted prisoners (expressed as the average number of prisoners per night) held in police cells in Greater Manchester and the rest of the North West ( Merseyside and Lancashire) from June to September 1994 North West England Greater (excluding Manchester Greater Manchester) |Remand |Convicted|Remand |Convicted ------------------------------------------------------------ June |74 |13 |48 |- July |73 |5 |- |- August |136 |10 |23 |3 September |115 |12 |25 |4
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much has been spent by his Department in each of the last three years to (a) produce public information in alternative formats for visually impaired people and (b) publicise the availability of accessible information among visually impaired people.
|£ ------------------------ 1991-92 |63,000 1992-93 |93,000 1993-94 |165,280
My Department does not cost the work done by crime prevention officers, fire officers or others to publicise the availability of material. To gather such data would not be cost-effective.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will indicate which departmental publications are currently available (a) in Braille, (b) in large print and (c) on tape; and if he will indicate what efforts have been made by his Department to inform visually impaired people about the availability of publications in alternative formats to normal print.
Column 462Fire Safety advice for disabled people
Don't Lose Your Vote
In doubt? Keep Them Out (warning against bogus callers) The following audio tapes are available:
Make a Difference (about voluntary services)
Fire Safety in the Home
Practical Ways to Crack Crime--the Family Guide
My Department has not produced material in Braille but would consider requests to do so.
Crime prevention material is ordered and distributed by local police crime prevention officers. Blind or partially sighted people may obtain copies free of charge by contacting their local police. My Department's crime prevention publicity catalogue lists the availability of material for blind and partially sighted people. Fire safety material is promoted through all libraries in England and Wales which have large print sections; the RNIB; health authorities; social services; talking newspapers; and citizens advice bureaux. The material is also provided at local level by fire brigades.
The RNIB has been informed about the availability of "Don't Lose Your Vote" and "Make a Difference".