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Mr. Parry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the list of Members who have made representations concerning reductions in the Merseyside police budget; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean: The budget for the Merseyside police is a matter for the Merseyside police authority.
Column 297Correspondence on the issue of central Government support for the Merseyside police has been received from the hon. Members for: Bootle (Mr. Benton)
Walton (Mr. Kilfoyle)
Riverside (Mr. Parry)
Mossley Hill (Mr. Alton)
Garston (Mr. Loyden)
Wirral, West (Mr. Hunt ME)
Wirral, South (Mr. Porter)
Crosby (Mr. Thornton)
Knowsley, North (Mr. Howarth)
St Helens, North (Mr. Evans)
St Helens, South (Mr. Bermingham)
Southport (Mr. Banks)
Knowsley, South (Mr. O'Hara)
Funding levels for police forces in 1995 96 will be issued shortly after the Budget statement.
Mr. Parry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received concerning reductions in the budget for the Merseyside police.
Mr. Maclean [holding answer 23 November 1994]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to his question on 26 October at column 642 .
Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police were deployed to protect the Essex Foxhounds at Good Easter on 19 November; and what was the estimated cost.
Mr. Maclean: The policing of hunts is a matter for the chief officer. I understand that police officers were not deployed to protect the hunt but that 125 uniformed officers were deployed to keep the peace. The costs involved are not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures are planned to combat the theft of mobile telephones and facilitate the detection of those knowingly selling stolen telephone equipment.
Mr. Maclean [holding answer 23 November 1994]: The Department of Trade and Industry, with the support of the Home Office, has been discussing with representatives of the telecommunications industry how the industry itself can make mobile phones less attractive to thieves. Measures currently under consideration include tighter controls on the issue and use of electronic serial numbers and the introduction of property marking and registration schemes. The detection of those selling stolen goods is an operational policing matter. A number of forces have established specialist squads to tackle the problem of mobile phone theft.
Ms Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to inform the victims of violent crime who were previously informed of the temporary release of their attackers of their permanent release.
Mr. Maclean [holding answer 22 November 1994]: We have published for consultation draft revised national standards for the supervision of offenders in the community. The draft revised standard for the supervision of prisoners before and after release from custody states that in cases involving serious sexual or violent offences the relevant probation service should arrange for the victim to be contacted within two months of sentence and offered the opportunity of being kept informed of sentence developments. Where this opportunity is taken up, the draft revised standard envisages that the service will contact the victim when permanent release is imminent. We shall consider comments on the draft standards before finalising them.
Mr. Sykes: To ask the President of the Board of Trade which quangos his Department has abolished since 1979.
Mr. Heseltine: Since 1979, the following executive
non-departmental public bodies have been abolished within the field of the President of the Board of Trade's current responsibilities: Furniture Development Council
National Metrological Co-ordinating Unit
Regional Gas Consumers' Councils
Mr. Sykes: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many quangos his Department was responsible for (a) in 1979 and (b) in the latest year for which a number is available.
Mr. Heseltine: The number of executive non-departmental public bodies within my departments current responsibilities were: (a) 35 in 1979
(b) 23 in 1994
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what weaknesses he has identified in the operation of the law on insider dealing; and what further legislation he considers necessary.
Mr. Nelson: I have been asked to reply.
New legislation on insider dealing came into force on 1 March 1994. The Government will keep its effectiveness under review but have no plans to propose any changes.
Mr. Jamieson: To ask the President of the Board of Trade when he expects the regional office of his Department in Plymouth to commence operating; and if a suitable site has been found for the development of the office.
Mr. Eggar: The options for siting the new office are being considered. Meanwhile, 30 staff, including the newly appointed director, are already providing a service to Devon and Cornwall from temporary offices in Phoenix house, Notte street in the centre of Plymouth.
Ms Quin: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will supply figures for trade between the United Kingdom and Moldova for each year since 1989.
Mr. Ian Taylor: Information on United Kingdom trade with Moldova since January 1993 is published in "Business Monitor MM20, Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom", which is available in the Library of the House. Information is not available for earlier periods because Moldova was not separately identified from the rest of the former Soviet Union.
Mr. Parry: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on United Kingdom-Libyan trade during the past five years.
Mr. Needham: The British Government neither promote nor discourage trade with Libya. Figures for United Kingdom trade with Libya over the past five years are given in the table below.
UK trade with Libya-1989-1993 £ thousand |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 --------------------------------------------------------------- Imports |104,545 |151,605 |121,219 |162,899 |156,542 Exports |239,191 |244,849 |255,718 |228,273 | 274,051 Source: United Kingdom Overseas Trade (Business Monitor MA20).
Ms Quin: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the outcome of the EC Industry Council held on 8 November.
Mr. Eggar: I attended the Industry Council on 8 November. The most important issue before the Council was steel. Commissioner Bangemann reported that minimum capacity cuts of 19 million tonnes identified in the Braun plan had not been achieved and that most of the measures introduced to support the restructuring process would therefore come to an end. I stressed Her Majesty's Government's view that further restructuring depends critically on stricter control of state aids.
The Council debated a Commission report on monitoring of the conditions attaching to the aids which were agreed for Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and German companies last December under article 95 of the European Coal and Steel Community treaty. The Council supported me in asking the Commission to monitor the situation even more closely.
The Council was asked to agree a revised package of support for the former East German steel company EkoStahl, which was now being sold by the German privatisation agency to the Belgian company, Cockerill Sambre, following the collapse of the deal with the original purchaser, Riva. I argued that although I would honour the agreement made by the council last December, the revised proposal appeared to be more generous in several respects. I said that I could not support the revised proposal unless I could be convinced of its equivalence to the December 1993 agreement. Discussions are continuing. Other issues on the agenda were industrial competitiveness, where the Council agreed a resolution in response to the Commission's recent communication on
Column 300the subject; the Commission's annual report on competition policy; and the Commission briefly presented two communications on the pharmaceutical and mechanical engineering industries respectively. No votes were taken at the Council.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the number of occasions over the last five years that his Department has refused an export licence for military and defence orders.
Mr. Ian Taylor: This question could be answered only at disproportionate cost. There will, however, be some details of licences issued and refused in the annual report of the export control organisation to be published shortly. A copy of that report will be placed in the Library of the House and I will arrange for the hon. Member to receive a personal copy.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the proportion of the United Kingdom total exports to Indonesia made up of defence-related products and services, on the latest available figures.
Mr. Needham: For reasons of commercial confidentiality, it has been the consistent policy of successive United Kingdom Governments not to disclose details of defence trade with individual countries.
Mr. Rooker: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what action his Department is taking to reduce the obstacles in the European single market in respect of manufactured goods.
Mr. Needham: The United Kingdom continues to take a leading role in the internal market council, both with new measures to address barriers and practical efforts to ensure the smooth and effective functioning of the single market. We are assisting the Commission in its efforts to improve its complaints procedures and are encouraging practical means of achieving closer co-operation between national enforcement officials in the Community. My Department has established a single market compliance unit, which helps companies to tackle individual single market problems. We have also initiated studies focusing on specific single market issues of concern to United Kingdom businesses.
Mr. Radice: To ask the President of the Board of Trade which country is the United Kingdom's main trading partner; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Needham: In 1993, the United Kingdom's main trading partner was Germany, with visible imports and exports together worth £36 billion, accounting for 14 per cent. of total United Kingdom trade. The next largest partner was the USA, with United Kingdom trade worth £32 billion.
Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to increase grants from public funds to the West London enterprise agency; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar [holding answer 23 November 1994]: The Department of Trade and Industry does not provide grants from public funds to local enterprise agencies. I have therefore no plans to increase grants from public funds to the West London enterprise agency, or to any other local enterprise agency.
The Department of Trade and Industry provides funding to training and enterprise councils for support services for small and medium-sized businesses. From 1996, these services will normally be delivered through business links.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the budget from his Department to Gibraltar for the year 1994; and if he will give a breakdown of these financial expenses.
Mr. Baldry: Total operating costs and capital expenditure of our post in Gibraltar for the financial year 1993 94 were £674,969. In addition, we provided the Government of Gibraltar with
project-related assistance of £512,258.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list (a) the total expenditure on embassy budgets and (b) the levels of embassy staff for the years 1992 93 and 1993 94; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Goodlad: The cost of running diplomatic missions overseas, including notional rents for owned properties, was:
Total United Kingdom-based staff employed in diplomatic missions overseas and paid for by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office were: 1992 93
Column 302Total locally engaged staff employed in diplomatic missions overseas were:
Mr. Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations have been made to the Government of Indonesia about human rights abuse.
Mr. Goodlad: We raise human rights issues as part of our regular dialogue with the Indonesians, and did so most recently on 17 November.
Mr. Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been received in the last year from human rights organisations or individuals concerning the situation in Indonesia and East Timor.
Mr. Goodlad: We receive many representations from non-governmental organisations and individual correspondents. Details could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the definition of official business used for the daily travel allowance for Members of the European Parliament referred in his answer to the hon. Member for Hendon, South (Mr. Marshall) 19 October, Official Report, column 237 .
Mr. Baldry: To qualify for the daily travel allowance a Member of the European Parliament should be attending a meeting of Parliament or its organs--plenaries, committees, and delegations. The Member signs a list at the start of each meeting to record his or her attendance.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the highest and lowest claims for travel allowances from United Kingdom Members of the European Parliament.
Mr. Baldry: This information is not available to us. Members of the European Parliament claim their own allowances from the European Parliament's own administration.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations his Department has made to the Government of Malta with regard to the case of Mr. and Mrs. Sample and her son James Portelli.
Mr. Baldry: Our High Commission sought a welfare report from, and brought a court order to, the attention of the Maltese authorities in 1991, attended court hearings in 1992, and on several occasions urged Malta to sign one of the child abduction conventions.
Mr. Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much public money will be spent on entertaining, Christmas decorations and other festive activities this Christmas season by his Department and Government agencies answerable to his Department; and of this sum how much will be spent in (a) Ministers' private offices and official residences including No. 1 Carlton gardens and Chevening and (b) United Kingdom embassies and official residences abroad.
Mr. Goodlad: Disaggregated information of this nature is not available. The costs are covered by the entertainment expenditure of the FCO, including its post abroad, and the ODA, and their agencies. For the financial year ended April 1994, this was £7,493,073.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans the Government have to propose methods by which the United Nations ability for preventative action can be strengthened in (a) Rwanda and (b) Burundi; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: In Rwanda, the United Kingdom contributed to the restoration of stability by deploying a logistical battalion with UNAMIR. The Security Council is now considering a number of options for improving security conditions in the refugee camps and creating a secure environment within Rwanda, to encourage refugees to return home.
Within the region, the United Kingdom supports the proposal by the Organisation of African Unity and UNHCR for a conference to address refugee issues, including those in Burundi.
More generally, the United Kingdom fully supports enhancing the preventive diplomacy capability of the UN, and of regional organisations. Our African peacekeeping initiative aims to achieve better co-ordination between the UN and the OAU to provide early warning of conflicts. Where preventive efforts break down, our initiative sets out practical steps for the more rapid and effective deployment of peacekeeping forces.
Sir David Steel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to make representations to the Sudanese authorities to ensure fair and just treatment for Sadiq Al Mahdi.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: HM embassy in Khartoum made representations to the Sudanese authorities during Sadiq Al Mahdi's detention for three weeks earlier this year. Sadiq Al Mahdi was released on 3 July.