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Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many judges there are in the European Court of Justice from each member nation of the European Union; and how many of them were judges in their own country before their appointment to the European Court.
Mr. David Davis: The European Court of Justice consists of 13 judges, one from each member state and a 13th, appointed on rotation, who is currently from Italy. Four of the judges were judges in their own member state before their appointment to the European Court of Justice. All the judges more than meet the treaty requirement to "possess the qualifications required for appointment to the highest judicial offices in their respective countries or ... are jurisconsults of recognised competence".
Mr. David Davis: On 21 October 1994 the United States and North Korea signed an agreement on nuclear matters in Geneva. Under this, North Korea has agreed to freeze and eventually dismantle its graphite-moderated reactors and related facilities. It has also agreed to remain a party to the non-proliferation treaty and will allow implementation of its safeguards agreement under the treaty. We hope that this will lead to a resolution of the
Column 578nuclear problem in North Korea. We now look to the North Koreans to demonstrate their willingness to comply with this agreement. The United Kingdom has supported United States efforts to achieve a negotiated settlement and we welcome the agreement.
Mr. Goodlad: Although the United Kingdom has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan, we attach great importance to our commercial, cultural and educational links. United Kingdom exports for the period January August 1994 were £448 million, an increase of 13 per cent. compared with the same period in 1993. The British trade and cultural office in Taipei is being reinforced with additional staff to develop these links.
Mr. Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the estimated proportion of the annual casualties world-wide caused by anti-personnel mines used (a) in accordance with protocol II of the 1980 United Nations inhumane weapons convention and (b) in breach of that protocol.
Mr. Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the latest estimate of the annual casualty rate world-wide resulting from the use of anti-personnel mines of all types.
Mr. Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what value is placed on the term excessive as used in protocol II of the United Nations inhumane weapons convention in respect of the relationship between loss of civilian life and military advantage.
Mr. David Davis: Article 3, paragraph 3, of protocol II of the said convention prohibits the use of land mines or booby-traps which may be expected to cause incidental civilian losses which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. Whether any such losses might be considered excessive must depend on the individual circumstances of given cases.
Column 579repercussions on the concessions recently granted to British Petroleum and others offshore in the Caspian sea.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: We welcome the fact that recent difficulties in Azerbaijan were resolved with minimal bloodshed, and stability has returned. There has been no effect on the production sharing agreement signed on 20 September between the state oil company of Azerbaijan and a consortium of western oil companies.
Mr. Baldry: The council has in place a range of performance measures and indicators, agreed with the FCO, through which their efficiency and effectiveness is monitored. We also receive regular reports on council activities from our diplomatic missions overseas.
Sir Thomas Arnold: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was his response to the recent remarks of the Chief Minister of Gibraltar about the development of financial services and the appropriate regulatory regime.
Mr. David Davis: We support the development of financial services in Gibraltar supervised to a standard consistent with EC obligations and legislation and supervisory practice within the United Kingdom. We welcome the passage through the Gibraltar House of Assembly in May of amendments to the Financial Services Commission Ordinance which introduce a supervisory regime designed to achieve these ends.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the United Kingdom contribution towards the cost of running the OECD in cash and as a percentage of the whole for each year since 1979.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: Members' contributions are based on GDP, using an average of their GDP for the previous three years. The United Kingdom's contributions to the OECD general expenditure budget are as follows:
United Kingdom |Percentage of contribution Year |(£'s 000) |OECD budget ------------------------------------------------------------ 1982 |2,580 |6.73 1983 |2,633 |7.25 1984 |3,304 |7.67 1985 |3,702 |7.48 1986 |4,298 |7.14 1987 |4,118 |6.93 1988 |3,710 |6.48 1989 |4,319 |6.23 1990 |4,455 |6.19 1991 |5,049 |6.27 1992 |6,306 |6.33 1993 |6,427 |6.25
The United Kingdom is paid in French francs and therefore subject to exchange rate fluctuations. The
Column 580figures are calculated using the average exchange rate for the relevant year.
The corresponding figures for 1979 1981 could not be obtained except at a disproportionate cost.
Sir Trevor Skeet: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the present participants in oil and gas exploration licences recently granted to British Petroleum and others in the Caspian sea area.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: JKX are understood to hold an exploration licence for a block in the Caspian Sea offshore Daghestan. Amoco, BP/Statoil, Delta, Lukoil, McDermott, Nimir, Pennzoil, Ramco, TPAO and UNOCAL are signatories to a production sharing contract offshore Azerbaijan. AGIP, BP/Statoil, British Gas, Mobil, Shell, Statoil and Total are signatories to an exploration contract offshore Kazakhstan.
Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will urge the Government of the Czech Republic to return the property in Usti Nad-Labem that was confiscated from Karel and Jitka Lorenc of Plymouth by the former communist regime; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: We have no plans to intervene with the Czech authorities. The restitution of property in the Czech republic confiscated by the former communist regime is a matter for Czech law; a number of laws on this subject have been passed since 1990. There have been no new developments since my letter of 20 September to the hon. Member, in which I advised that Mr. and Mrs. Lorenc should seek expert advice from a Czech lawyer on how best to pursue their case.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in what circumstances Her Majesty's Government would authorise British forces to carry out a pre-emptive attack on Iraqi forces on Iraqi territory; and in what circumstances Her Majesty's Government would support military forces of any other country carrying out such pre- emptive military action.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will arrange for reports, submitted by Rolf Ekeus, the head of the UN Special Commission for Iraq to the UN, to be placed in the Library; what are the main conclusions of the reports submitted by Mr. Ekeus, to date; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: The report of Ambassador Ekeus on the status of Iraqi compliance with section C of Security Council Resolution 687, UN document S/1994/1138, and the parallel IAEA report, S/1994/1151 , have been placed in the Library of the House. Conclusions can be found in paragraphs 37 39, and 49 respectively.
These are thorough, comprehensive and well-balanced reports which do credit to the professionalism of the UN special commission, UNSCOM, and the IAEA in their
Column 581task of uncovering Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programme, establishing current capabilities and setting up a monitoring and verification regime to ensure that no such weapons can be regenerated in the future.
Mr. Grocott: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the number of press officers currently employed by his Department who are normally based (a) in the Department in London, (b) in the House and (c) at each other location.
Mr. Goodlad: There are nine full-time press officers employed in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, three in the Overseas Development Administration and none based permanently in the House. Overseas, each of our embassies or high commissions has at least one officer whose work is wholly or partly press-related.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to establish a British overseas post in Armenia; if he will list those countries which are (a) officially represented in Armenia and (b) intend to be officially represented in Armenia; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: There are at present no plans to establish a resident British mission in Yerevan. The pattern of our overseas representation is kept under review. HM ambassador in Moscow is accredited to Armenia. He and his staff visit Yerevan regularly. We understand that Albania, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and the USA are represented in Yerevan. We have no information on the intentions of any other countries.
Mr. Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to assist with the funding and deployment of human rights monitors to encourage the return of refugees to Rwanda.
Mr. Baldry: We have contributed £250,000 to the UN monitors fund and have also provided four four-wheel drive vehicles for the use of monitors in Rwanda. The EU is considering sending 50 monitors in support of UN activity. This is being pursued by the Commission.
Mr. Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance the United Kingdom is providing to the Government of Rwanda in re-establishing and training the judiciary.
Mr. Baldry: Together with our EU partners we are considering what further assistance we can offer to Rwanda from EU funds. This might include help to restore their legal system, which we hope will also be a priority for the UN.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contribution was committed by Her Majesty's Government to the International Atomic Energy Agency's annual budget at the IAEA's 38th general conference; what is the total IAEA budget; and how this is planned to be spent.
The IAEA 38th general conference approved a regular budget for 1995 of US $211.5 million of which US $202.7 million would be met by member states. This represents zero growth in real terms. The United's Kingdom's contribution was set at 5.277 per cent. The regular budget provides for the costs of running the agency. It also provides the costs of the agency's programmes on nuclear energy and safety, on research and isotopes, and on safeguards. The regular budget has been subject to zero real growth since 1983.
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what residual constitutional powers and duties reside with (a) the United Kingdom Government and (b) the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in respect of the Australian states and for which the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia has no jurisdiction.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 24 October 1994]: The Australia Act 1986, and parallel legislation enacted in Australia, removed the remaining constitutional links between the United Kingdom and the Australian states, achieving complete legislative independence for Australia from the United Kingdom.
Mr. Freeman: At 1 July 1994, the Ministry of Defence employed some 120,000 full-time equivalent civil servants, excluding casual staff and locally employed civilians overseas. Of this number, 114,000 were employed in the United Kingdom: the table below gives the number and percentage employed in each economic planning region.
|Number of MOD |Percentage of UK Economic planning |civilians |total region ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- South East |45,837.5 |40.2 East Anglia |2,738.5 |2.4 South West |24,771.0 |21.7 West Midlands |8,153.5 |7.2 East Midlands |3,737.0 |3.3 Yorkshire and Humberside |4,465.5 |3.9 North West |2,641.5 |2.3 Northern |2,620.0 |2.3 Wales |4,864.0 |4.3 Scotland |11,237.5 |9.8 Northern Ireland |2,941.0 |2.6 |------- |------- Total United Kingdom |114,007 |100
Column 583responsible (a) in the West Midlands region and (b) in Shropshire, indicating in each case the duration of the appointment, the date when a new appointment is due, and the salary.
Mr. Soames: The information requested is not recorded centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. None of my Department's non-departmental public bodies are, however, based in either of these regions.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the purpose of the visit by Field Marshall Sir Peter Inge to Indonesia in early October; and what military support commitments he made to the Indonesian President.
Mr. Soames: Field Marshal Sir Peter Inge's visit to Indonesia in October formed part of a programme of calls on his counterparts in the region. As is usual, details of his discussions are confidential.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to establish an investigation into the claims by former Territorial Army member Kathryn Lamb, former RAF member Richard Turnbull, former Royal Artillery man Ian Dowden and former Eleventh armoured workshopman Robert Lake that they have suffered from physical ailments induced by participation in Operation Granby in the Gulf in 1990 91
Mr. Soames: These claims are already being investigated. They are among a number of potential claims for compensation notified to my Department. Arrangements have been agreed with their solicitors to invite all potential claimants to come forward for a medical assessment by a service consultant.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many calories the Army Catering Corps is expected to provide each soldier with on a daily basis for the sum set as a food allowance; and how many calories are actually provided on average.
Mr. Soames: Ration scales vary according to location. The home ration scale used in all United Kingdom establishments is designed to provide 2,900 kilo-calories nett--that is, after loss through preparation and cooking. The general overseas ration scale used in overseas bases includes an arduous duty allowance, to allow for climate and provides 3,400 kilo-calories nett. In field conditions, where personnel are fed from operational ration packs, 3,800 kilo-calories are provided.
It is not possible to calculate how many calories are actually provided. Most establishments offer a "self-serve" system of service and by their choice of food
Column 584service personnel may marginally increase or decrease their actual calorific intake.
Mr. Grocott: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the number of press officers currently employed by his Department who are normally based (a) in the Department in London, (b) in the House and (c) at each other location.
Mr. Freeman: At present, the number of service personnel and civilians employed in complemented press and public relations posts in London is 39. A further 117 are employed in districts and commands at home and overseas. No staff are employed in the House.
-------------------------------- Breaches |520 Arrests |27 Successful prosecutions |4
The figure for breaches relates to the number of incursions on MOD land. None of the reported incidents led to any entry into secure areas within the Menwith Hill station site.
Mr. Maddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total cost of the two new radomes, support buildings, roads and security fencing at Menwith Hill station; and how this cost is being met.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times polychlorinated biphenyls have been found in concentrations exceeding legal limits in the past year at NSA Molesworth; and how and where they have been disposed of.
Mr. Soames: There have been no confirmed cases in the past year of polychorinated biphenyls being found in equipment passed to the US defence reutilisation and marketing organisation at RAF Molesworth. However, five items received by the DRMO were suspected of containing PCBs and were therefore disposed of through an approved United Kingdom contractor licensed to dispose of PCB-contaminated equipment.
Mr. Soames: The joint analysis centre at RAF Molesworth is operated by the United States European Command. RAF Molesworth is a Ministry of Defence site made available to United States visiting forces and the facilities operate there with the full knowledge and consent of the British Government.
Mr. Sackville: Good progress has been made taking forward the private finance initiative in North West region. Since the initiative was launched in November 1992, six projects have been approved, each with a capital value of £1 million or over. That is bringing £19 million of private sector capital to the region.
I shall place full details in the Library.