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Column 580commercial activity with the former Yugoslavia; what restrictions remain with regard to their (a) marketing, (b) technical services and (c) financial transactions; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: United Nations Security Council resolution 943 permits civilian passenger flights to and from Belgrade airport carrying passengers and personal effects only and cargo authorised by the United Nations Sanctions Committee.
Technical and marketing services may be provided in respect of such flights; no licence from the DTI or authorisation from the United Nations is required.
The United Nations Sanctions Committee is in the process of finalising guidelines relating to financial transactions. Payments will be permitted from funds credited to blocked accounts on or after 5 October 1994 in order to pay the direct expenses incurred by JAT in operating passenger flights in and out of Belgrade airport.
Mr. Elletson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions Her Majesty's Government have had with the Government of the Russian Federation following the recent decision by the United States Administration on
non-participation on the enforcement of United Nations resolutions; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: We are in regular contact with Russia on the situation in former Yugoslavia, and are aware of Russian views on US policy, but we have held no discussions specifically on this subject.
Mr. Elletson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals he has for a relaxation on the restriction of exports from the republics of Serbia and Montenegro whilst the Governments of the two republics continue to co-operate and assist the implementation of United Nations resolutions concerned with the war in the former Yugoslavia; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: Any relaxation on the restriction of exports from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia--Serbia and Montenegro--must be agreed by the United Nations Security Council and not just the United Kingdom. It will be considered within the wider context of the sanctions regime as a whole.
We believe that further steps by the FRY authorities to comply with the requirements of the international community should be rewarded with the further relaxation of sanctions.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response the European Union has received from the Government of Sudan to the European Union's criticism of Sudan's treatment of the inhabitants of squatter camps on the outskirts of Khartoum.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: The Sudanese Government have officially rejected the EU statement released on 31 October and questioned its factual basis. This statement condemned the use of violence by the Sudanese authorities in ejecting residents from a Khartoum squatter camp, during which at least five residents died and 14 were severely injured.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he proposes to take to ensure that the United Kingdom complies with the recent United Nations declaration that all existing dependent territories be decolonised by the year 2000; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: None. We respect the wishes and interests of the peoples of the dependent territories in determining their own future, in accordance with the United Nations charter and international law. We give every assistance to those dependent territories which are able to proceed to independence without forcing it on those which are not.
Mr. Goodlad: I refer the hon. Member to the reply on this issue by my hon. Friend the Member for Morecambe and Lunesdale (Sir M. Lennox-Boyd) on 6 May 1994 at column 677 . The FCO welcomes the recent moves by Her Majesty's Treasury and CCTA in establishing a Government presence on the Internet. Active consideration, in discussion with the CCTA, has and continues to be given to making FCO information available over the Internet.
Mr. Rathbone: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the embargo on trade with Serbia along the Danube; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: On the whole, the operation is effective. Co- operation from the four national Customs services involved--Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary is good. The only persistent difficulty is the control, at certain points on the river, of the cross-bank trade by small boats.
Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to place in the Library the background papers, including public documents from foreign countries received and collated by the European Union intergovernmental conference unit in the Foreign Office, as and when these papers are received.
Mr. David Davis: We will ensure that Parliament receives copies of the relevant papers submitted to the study group of the 1996 intergovernmental conference by the Community institutions. We will also place in the Library important public documents relating to the IGC, including those from other member states. Ministers will in any case provide Parliament with regular accounts of the preparations for the IGC in the course of normal parliamentary business.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which cabinet Committees, official's committees and consortia with outside interests and how many civil servants are working on preparations and proposals for the 1996 intergovernmental conference arising from the Maastricht treaty.
Mr. David Davis: Ministers and officials in various Governmental Departments have already begun preparations for the 1996 intergovernmental conference. As work proceeds, it will be co-ordinated by the ministerial committee on defence and overseas policy, chaired by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, and by the ministerial sub-committee on european questions, chaired by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. The views of outside bodies will be taken into account in these preparations.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Israeli Government urging them to release Mordechai Vanunu; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: Mr. Vanunu appears to have been treated in accordance with the normal judicial process in Israel. There is no evidence of any illegality in the United Kingdom and we have no formal standing to intervene. We have, however, raised with the Israelis our concerns over humanitarian aspects of this case. The Israelis assured us in 1993 that the conditions under which Mr. Vanunu is detained have improved.
Mr. Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many official Christmas cards he and his Ministers intend to send in 1994; how much these cards will cost (a) to buy, (b) to post and (c) in staff time to sign, address and place in envelopes; and
Column 583if he will place in the Library a sample copy of the official Christmas card he intends to send this year.
Mr. Baldry: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers expect to send 2,078 Christmas cards this year at a purchase price of £679.95. Postage and staff costs are not available. A sample copy of the card that my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary will be sending has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Goodlad: I refer to the replies my right hon. Friend the Economic Secretary gave on 17 March at column 821 and on 30 June at column 680 , the reply my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave on 18 May at column 470 and the reply given by my hon. Friend the Paymaster General on 25 November, at column 468 in answer to very similar questions from the hon. Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell).
Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many cases concerning the rights of British transsexuals are currently being considered by the European Court of Human Rights; what is the estimated cost of defending those cases; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: There are not, at present, any cases involving the rights of any British transsexuals before the European Court of Human Rights. There are, however, three cases before the European Commission of Human Rights.
As two of the cases are in the very early stages and the third, although at a more advanced stage, is not yet concluded, it is not possible to provide a reliable estimate of the likely total cost which will be incurred by the Government in relation to these cases.
Mr. Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list all existing or draft European directives which make reference to the concept of "industrially produced" or similar terms.
Mr. David Davis: Council directive 89/341/EEC of 3 May 1989-- amending directives 65/65/EEC, 75/318/EEC and 75/319/EEC--on the approximation of provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action relating to proprietary medicinal products, and Council directive 85/374/EEC of 25 July 1985 on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the member states concerning liability for defective products both refer to the term "industrially produced". It is not sufficiently clear what is meant by "similar terms" for this part of the question to be answered.
Mrs Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has received on the situation in (a) Rwanda and (b) Burundi; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Baldry: We share the concerns that have been widely expressed about the problems of Rwanda including the difficulties created by the presence of large numbers of refugees in neighbouring countries. We are also aware of the fragility of the situation in Burundi. We are working closely with our partners in the United Nations and EU and with the OAU in the search for effective solutions to the problems of the region. With United Kingdom support, the EU last week agreed a package of 67 million ecu --about £52 million--of rehabilitation assistance to Rwanda in key sectors, including technical support to the Government of Rwanda to begin the process of reconstruction.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Chief Minister of Gibraltar on his country's exclusion from the United Kingdom regulations on mortgage indemnity insurance captives; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nelson: The question of building societies being allowed to set up captive insurance companies in Gibraltar, to write mortgage indemnity business, was discussed when the Chancellor met the Chief Minister on 17 February.
They have since corresponded on the issue. My right hon. and Learned Friend will consider the matter further when the provisions of the amended Financial Services Commission Ordinance are fully in operation.
Mr. Bayley: To ask the Lord President of the Council 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 Ministers' private offices and official residences.
Mr. Newton: Disaggregated information of this nature is not available. The costs are covered by the entertainment expenditure of the Privy Council Office which, for the financial year ended April 1994, was £9,892. I am not responsible for any agencies.
Mr. Malone: The Department of Health distributed the booklet to national health service organisations and local authorities in inner London for them to make it available to patients and members of the public visiting hospitals, clinics, surgeries, libraries, neighbourhood resource centres and so on.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will introduce legislation to allow complaints in the national health service to be monitored by community health councils; and if she will increase the resources of community health councils accordingly.
Mr. Malone: Community health councils already have an important role in supporting individual complainants. In partnership with national health service trusts and/or health authorities they are also able to monitor complaints more generally. The Government do not, therefore, believe that legislation is needed in this area.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will alter the regulations governing community health councils to allow full membership to people over 70 years of age; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will extend the statutory powers of community health councils and district advisory committees to give them the right to enter (a) nursing and residential homes and (b) general practitioner premises; if she will make it her policy to require home managers and general practitioners to give community health councils information about the services they offer to patients; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Malone: It would not be appropriate to give community health councils power to enter residential care homes, which are already subject to statutory inspection by local authorities. Commissioning health bodies have responsibility for arranging visiting and inspection arrangements for CHCs in the course of negotiating contracts with private nursing homes. CHCs locally have the opportunity to develop constructive working relationships with general practitioners which might include visits to premises.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will introduce legislation to ensure that community health councils (a) are consulted at the earliest possible stage in the process of establishing a new community care trust home and (b) have the right to access to community care trust homes subject to the agreement of residents or their guardians in line with the current statutory rights of access to national health service premises; and if she will make a statement.
Column 586service. CHCs already have a statutory right to inspect premises controlled by national health service trusts.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will introduce legislation to ensure that community health councils have the right to (a) meet regularly with (i) trust boards, (ii) health authorities and (iii) local and regional offices of the national health service Executive and (b) visit all activities financed or licensed by the national health service; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Malone: Community health councils already have the right to regular meetings with health authorities. It is for national health service commissioning bodies to include visiting and other rights for CHCs in contracts with those who provide services to the national health service. EL94(4), copies of which are available in the Library, makes clear that individual NHS trusts should agree regular liaison arrangements with CHCs. Subject to parliamentary approval of the Health Authorities Bill, responsibility for establishing and supporting CHCs will pass from regional health authorities to the regional offices of the NHS executive from April 1996. The Government do not consider that legislation is needed to supplement these comprehensive arrangements.
Mr. Malone: The national health service executive is working with the Association of Community Health Councils for England and Wales--ACHCEW- -on a project for ACHCEW to develop a resource pack for community health councils to use to increase public awareness of their role and activities.
Mr. Sackville: The severance payments vary according to factors such as age, salary and length of service and are calculated on an individual basis. The ways in which the sums are calculated are set out in the civil service pension scheme booklet "Early Retirement Benefits", a copy of which is available in the Library. The terms which apply to this scheme are the same as for compulsory departures.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will issue guidance to local authorities and health authorities to ensure adequate provision of respite care; if she will ensure that sufficient funding is available to enable health authorities and social services to make adequate provision; if she will monitor the adequacy of the provision; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Bowis: It is for health authorities and local authorities to decide locally the specific type and level of services to be provided. The Department continues to monitor the delivery by authorities of the new community care arrangements, including the development of domiciliary, day and respite services to enable more people to live in their own homes and to ensure that authorities make practical support for carers a high priority.
The total funding available to local authorities for personal social services, including the special transitional grant for community care, has increased by 15 per cent. this year on last, and since 1990 91 from £3.6 to £6.4 billion. Of this, £20 million represents additional resources this year specifically for home and respite care services--rising to £30 million in 1995 96.
Mr. Barron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research her Department has conducted or commissioned concerning the effects of amalgam fillings on the human body; what have been the results or conclusions of such research; and what plans she has to commission or conduct such research in the future.
Mr. Malone: The Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment advised in 1986 that the use of dental amalgam is free from the risk of systemic toxicity and that only a few cases of hypersensitivity occur. The subsequent research findings, and recent evaluations by several authoritative national and international expert committees are consistent with that advice. The Department of Health will continue to assess and evaluate all research in this area.
Mr. Thurnham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average number of dental fillings in (a) 12-year-old children and (b) eight -year-old children in each district health authority in England.
Mr. Malone: The preliminary results of the 1993 children's dental health survey show that the average number of filled teeth in permanent dentition was 0.7 for a 12-year-old and 0.1 for an eight-year-old. Information from this survey is not published at district health authority level. However, the 1992 93 survey by the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry of dental caries experience of 12-year-old children provides information on the number of filled teeth for 12-year-old children by district health authority. Copies of the results of the survey will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which HIV and AIDS organisations were refused funding under section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 for the current financial year; the amount each organisation requested and the reasons given for refusal;
(2) which HIV and AIDS organisations have successfully applied for funding under section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1986 for the current financial year; how much they requested; and how much they received.
Mr. Sackville: Applications for HIV and AIDS voluntary organisations exceeded the section 64 funding available for 1994 95 by over 100 per cent. Our priority was to continue grants to those organisations to whom financial commitments had already been made and renew funding to organisations whose funding was due to end after March 1994. No funding then remained to make any new grants. The information requested has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will ensure that NHS specialist services provided on a national basis are purchased by one authority for the whole of the United Kingdom; and that regionally based NHS specialist services are purchased by a small number of lead authorities on behalf of all other authorities within a region; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Sackville: Services which meet the supra-regional services criteria are provided on a national basis and are contracted for by the national health service executive. Guidance has been issued to regions requiring them to ensure that purchasers have appropriate contracting arrangements in place for purchasing other specialised services. Purchasers are encouraged to use a "lead purchasing approach". Copies of the guidance, EL(93)98, are available in the Library.
Mr. Sackville: This information is not routinely collected by the Department. Data from the Cancer Relief Macmillan Fund show that there are currently 239 national health service hospital nurse posts being funded by the charity. Macmillan nurse posts are usually grant-aided by the Cancer Relief Macmillan Fund for the first three years, after which the costs are taken up by the NHS.