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Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will list those rules relating to cross-media ownership between television companies and newspapers which do not apply to non-domestic satellites; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dorrell: Restrictions on the proprietors of newspapers owning licensed broadcast services are set out in part IV of schedule 2 to the Broadcasting Act 1990. There are no restrictions relating to cross-holdings between newspaper proprietors and non-domestic satellite stations beyond the general provisions set out in chapter 1 of part 1 of the Act.
Column 1188Heritage when he expects to publish the White Paper on cross-media ownership; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dorrell: On 14 July, the Government announced plans for the introduction of digital terrestrial television. Together with the Department of Trade and Industry, my Department is continuing to look at how best to take advantage of the opportunities digital television offers.
Mr. Dorrell: Comments on the White Paper were invited by 31 October. I will consider the comments received before preparing the new royal charter and agreement which will govern the BBC's activities in the future. I expect to prepare these documents during the course of 1995.
Mrs. Maddock: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage, what percentage of public appointments made by his Department were held by women at the most recent date for which figures are available.
Mr. Dorrell: The latest published figures for the Department of National Heritage--that is, those given in "Public Bodies 1993"--are: out of a total of 651 public appointees 142 or 22 per cent. are held by women. The 1994 figures are still being collected and will be announced in due course.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage (1) what are his Department's responsibilities on behalf of Her Majesty's Government in respect of freedom of information; and if he will make a statement on the current policy;
(2) if he will list the developments in freedom of information introduced by his Department since its creation.
Mr. Dorrell: In common with other Government Departments the DNH is implementing the code of practice on access to Government information introduced in April 1994. In response to this the Department has drawn up its own procedural note on the operation of the code and I am placing a copy in the Library of the House.
Mr. Dorrell: The United Kingdom's response to the European Commission's Green Paper on EU audio-visual policy was sent to the Commission on 10 August. I am arranging for copies to be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will list all those organisations for which his Department has oversight other than the BBC and not established in statute by royal charter or other executive powers.
The Geffrye Museum, the Horniman Museum, the Greater Manchester Museum of Science and Industry and the National Film and Television School, all of which are companies limited by guarantee,
The Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, set up by Royal Warrant in 1869 (reissued in 1959),
The Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, set up by Royal Warrant in 1908 (reissued in 1963 and 1992),
The Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, set up by Royal Warrant in 1908 (reissued in 1963 and 1992),
The Wallace Collection, established by Treasury Minute in 1987, and
National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside, established under the Merseyside Museums and Galleries Order 1986.
The following advisory bodies were set up by the Department under its administrative powers;
The Advisory Committee on the Government Art Collection
The Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck sites
The Advisory Committee on the Public Lending Right
The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art
The Regional Councils for Sport and Recreation
The Royal Parks Advisory Group
The Historic Royal Palaces Advisory Group
The Treasure Trove Reviewing Committee
The Public Library Development Incentive Scheme Advisory Committee.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what consideration his Department has given to the report by Vice-President Gore on governmental involvement in the development of super-highways; and if he will make a statement.
Column 1190answering (a) a written and (b) an oral parliamentary question.
Mr. Dorrell: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave as Financial Secretary to the Treasury to my hon. Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, West (Mr. Jones) on 30 November 1993, Official Report column 387 .
Mr. Nigel Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what action he intends to take as a result of the review by Capita Consultants into the provision of archaeological services on London.
Mr. Dorrell: The Department commissioned the report, in partnership with the Museum of London, English Heritage and the Corporation of London, following a request from the museum to help the parties concerned to examine the problem. Those parties now have a copy of the consultant's report and it is for them to take what action they think appropriate. In this respect, responsibility for policy on archaeology in London rests with English Heritage, while the Museum of London has responsibility for the Museum of London archaeology service.
Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 31 October 1994]: I met the chairman and vice chairman of the Producers' Alliance for Cinema and Television on 27 September and the chairman and director of the British Film Institute on 18 October. I have no plans to meet other representatives of the industry in the near future.
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if companies wishing to bid for the Channel 5 licence are allowed to do so on the basis of a digital transmission system; and if such bids will receive full consideration by the Independent Television Commission.
Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 1 November 1994]: The award of the Channel 5 licence is a matter for the Independent Television Commission. Procedures for awarding licences are set out in the Broadcasting Act 1990. The invitation to apply for Channel 5 issued by the ITC does not preclude an applicant from proposing the use of digital transmission. I am sure that any application made on this basis will receive due consideration.
Column 1191responsible for making and (b) require his approval including those not listed in "Public Bodies" ; and if will give this figure in terms of (i) appointments to executive bodies, (ii) appointments to advisory bodies and (iii) other appointments.
Of the appointments which I am responsible for making, 178 are to executive bodies, 144 to advisory bodies and 53 are other appointments. Of those which require my approval all are "other appointments" by the definition used in the question.
Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 24 October, Official Report , column 423 , if he will provide a statistical analysis showing the (i) number of people and (ii) proportion of the total register who have volunteered information that they are members of (a) the Conservative party, (b) the Liberal Democrats, (c) the Labour party, (d) the Ulster Unionist party, (e) the Social Democratic and Labour party, (f) Plaid Cymru, (g) the Scottish National party, (h) the Democratic Unionist party, (i) the Popular Unionist party and (j) the Green party.
The Prime Minister: Nominees on the public appointments unit's register are not required to give any details of their political affiliation, but can volunteer it if they wish. Some 87.5 per cent. of nominees do not volunteer any information, and therefore no information about their affiliation is held.
The analysis of those who have volunteered to the public appointments unit the nature of their political affiliation is as follows:
Political party |Number |Percentage ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Conservative |409 |8.0 Labour |132 |2.6 Liberal Democrats |50 |1.0 Social Democratic Party |46 |0.9 Green Party |1 |0.02 Welsh Nationalist |1 |0.02 Total |639 |12.5 Total number on register |5,095
Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 24 October, Official Report, column 423 , if his Office (a) adds information concerning the political affiliation of nominees on the public appointments unit's register, when it is known but not volunteered or (b) have access to other lists that provide such information.
Column 1192makes recommendations in respect of the conduct of Ministers I will, of course, consider whether "Questions of Procedure for Ministers" should be revised in the light of the recommendations.
Mr. Baldry: We welcome the return of President Aristide, and congratulate the UN Secretary-General and the Organisation of American States on their efforts to restore the democratically elected Government.
The situation in Haiti remains calm. We hope that conditions will continue to improve, promoting regional stability, and that the return of President Aristide will bring about an end to human rights abuses in Haiti, and engender an atmosphere of reconciliation, allowing the return home to a secure environment of the thousands of migrants who fled Haiti during the years since the coup.
Mr. Baldry: The situation in Rwanda is relatively stable, although still tense. The new Government have declared their intention of encouraging refugees and displaced persons to return home. We are doing what we can to assist this process.
Column 1193promote the cause of democratic reform in Russia; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: We shall continue to give our full support to the process of democratic and economic reform in Russia through the know-how fund and other means. The know-how fund, through its programme for democracy, has funded a number of projects this year including a symposium for newly elected Duma deputies.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what matters in regard to nuclear terrorism, nuclear safeguards and nuclear materials control were raised with the Russian Government on his recent visit to Russia.
These issues were last discussed bilaterally with the Russians in the ambit of President Yeltsin's recent visit to the United Kingdom. Since then there has been a meeting of the Group of Eight informal consultation on non- proliferation at which the question of the smuggling of nuclear material was discussed.
Mr. Hunter: To ask the secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has recently made to, or received from, the main political parties in Mozambique in respect of the peace process and general election in that country.
Mr. Baldry: We have made continuous ministerial and other diplomatic contacts to promote the peace process. On 27 October my right hon. and noble Friend Baroness Chalker wrote to Mr. Dhlakama, the President of RENAMO to urge him to withdraw his boycott of the elections. I am pleased to say that he did so, following this and wider international pressure.
Sir Michael Neubert: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions this year he has visited countries in eastern Europe to discuss democratic development there.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: This year my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has paid visits to Poland and the Czech Republic. He has visited Russia three times, and has also been to Ukraine, Latvia and Estonia.
Mr. Baldry: The United Kingdom's relations with the new South Africa are excellent. They are built on long-standing historical, personal, economic and cultural ties. The Government are committed to supporting the revival of South Africa's economy, which is essential for its reconstruction and development, and promoting bilateral trade and investment.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's visit to South Africa in September included the announcement of a "fellowship for the future". We have established a practical framework for co-operation across a wide range
Column 1194of activities. My right hon. Friend and President Mandela signed agreements on aid, investment protection and military assistance. Our opportunity South Africa campaign aims at expanding our strong trade and investment base. We have also proposed practical support for health care, education, community policing, small business development, agriculture, sport, science and technology, and public administration. Parliamentary and ministerial links are being established in all these areas.
The Government are delighted that South Africa has joined the family of democratic nations and returned to the Commonwealth. The next task is to promote the stability and growth which will be essential for fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of all South Africa's people. All of Africa will benefit from that process.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: We responded rapidly to the threat from Saddam Hussein by deploying HMS Cornwall and HMS Cardiff, six additional Tornado GRI aircraft and the Spearhead battalion group to the region.
The UN Security Council unanimously passed SCR 949 on 15 October which demanded the complete withdrawal of all Iraqi military units. Iraq should not redeploy troops or enhance its military capacity in southern Iraq. Iraq should be in no doubt of our resolve.
Mr. Hoon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he considers it appropriate at this stage to rule out the use of a referendum to determine future questions affecting the terms of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union.
Mr. David Davis: The European Union signed a treaty of accession with four EFTA states on 24 June this year. The people of Austria and Finland have voted in favour of joining: provided that the referendums in Sweden on 13 November and in Norway on 28 November are also positive, and that remaining parliamentary procedures in those countries are satisfactorily completed, all four will accede on 1 January 1995. On further European Union enlargement, the Copenhagen European Council in June
Column 11951993 agreed that the associated countries of central and eastern Europe that so wish will join as soon as they are able to assume the obligations of membership by satisfying the economic and political conditions required. The Corfu European Council in June 1994 agreed that the next phase of enlargement would involve Cyprus and Malta.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: The United Kingdom enjoys good bilateral relations with all the countries which gained independence following the break-up of the Soviet Union. The United Kingdom continues to support political and economic reform in those countries as the best way to achieve stability and prosperity in the region.