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Mr. Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what categories of spouses and children of Overseas Development Administration officials travel (a) economy, (b) business or club class and (c) first class when their air travel is paid for by the ODA.
Mr. Goodlad [holding answer 20 December 1994]: When a spouse and dependant children accompany an officer at public expense, air travel for leave purposes is normally economy class, holiday visit passages for children who remain at school in the United Kingdom are normally APEX class, and travel at the start and end of tours is normally business class.
Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what annual contribution was made, in each year since 1990, by Her Majesty's Government to the funds of the African development bank; how much any of these funds have been used to finance the RTZ mining project in Madagascar; what assessment he has made of the compatibility of this project with the development policies of Her Majesty's Government; and if he will make a statement.
£000 |1990-91|1991-92|1992-93|1993-94 ------------------------------------------------ AfDB |1,507 |1,426 |1,490 |1,771 AfDF |10,758 |11,617 |15,382 |18,055
We have been assured that the African development bank group has no involvement whatever in the Madagascar project referred to.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 18 January 1995]: Most of the £7.1 million we have allocated to mine clearance work over the last three years has been in support of United Nations or UN co-ordinated programmes. We therefore stand ready to provide appropriate support to the new mines action unit of the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs in its mission to accelerate the process of land mine clearance.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress is being made by the UN in repatriating Eritrean refugees in Sudan; and what impact the recent breakdown of diplomatic relations between Eritrea and Sudan has had upon this.
Mr. Baldry: Since November 1994, the UNHCR has repatriated about 8,700 Eritrean refugees from Sudan. About 16,000 remain to be returned as part of the first phase of the repatriation programme. The recent break in diplomatic relations has not had a major impact on the programme, although it has led to increased security measures in the border area.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list (a) the annual percentage change and (b) the increase in child fares on London Transport in each year since 1985 86, taking 1984 85 as the base and showing the increase in both actual and real terms.
Child ordinary fares on London Transport Annual percFares index (1984-85=100) |change |Actual |Real terms ------------------------------------------------------- 1984-85 |100.0 |100.0 1985-86 |18.2 |118.2 |111.6 1986-87 |0.8 |119.1 |109.0 1987-88 |8.0 |128.6 |113.1 1988-89 |19.5 |153.7 |127.6 1989-90 |18.7 |182.5 |140.5 1990-91 |9.2 |199.3 |139.9 1991-92 |16.4 |231.9 |155.4 1992-93 |9.8 |254.7 |165.4 1993-94 |3.8 |264.4 |168.8 1994-95 |2.3 |270.4 |n/a n/a not yet available.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list (a) the annual percentage change and (b) the increase in fares on (i) London's buses, (ii) London Underground, (iii) all London Transport, (iv) Network South East and (v) British Rail in each year since 1984 85, taking 1984 85 as the base and showing the increase in both actual and real terms; and what was the annual rate of inflation for each of those years.
Real fare indices (1984-85=100) Financial year |London Buses |London Underground|London Transport |Network South East|British Rail ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1984-85 |100.0 |100.0 |100.0 |100.0 |100.0 1985-86 |102.5 |101.3 |101.7 |101.2 |100.9 1986-87 |105.2 |103.8 |104.1 |104.9 |105.1 1987-88 |106.1 |106.1 |105.9 |106.1 |106.5 1988-89 |111.0 |110.5 |110.1 |107.1 |107.7 1989-90 |113.6 |113.8 |113.2 |107.7 |107.9 1990-91 |114.2 |115.4 |114.4 |108.2 |108.4 1991-92 |119.5 |121.1 |119.8 |113.1 |113.0 1992-93 |124.9 |126.5 |125.2 |118.1 |117.2 1993-94 |132.6 |133.9 |132.7 |125.1 |122.0 1994-95 |<1>n/a |<1>n/a |<1>n/a |<1>n/a |<1>n/a
Actual fares indices (1984-85=100) Financial year |London Buses |London Underground|London Transport |Network South East|British Rail ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1984-85 |100.0 |100.0 |100.0 |100.0 |100.0 1985-86 |108.6 |107.2 |107.7 |107.2 |106.9 1986-87 |115.0 |113.4 |113.7 |114.7 |114.9 1987-88 |120.6 |120.6 |120.3 |120.6 |121.1 1988-89 |133.7 |133.1 |132.7 |129.0 |129.8 1989-90 |147.5 |147.8 |147.1 |140.0 |140.1 1990-91 |162.6 |164.4 |163.0 |154.1 |154.4 1991-92 |178.2 |180.7 |178.8 |168.8 |168.7 1992-93 |192.2 |194.7 |192.7 |181.8 |180.4 1993-94 |207.6 |209.6 |207.7 |195.8 |191.0 1994-95 |219.6 |221.8 |219.8 |<1>n/a |<1>n/a
Annual percentage increases in fares (actual prices) |London |Network Financial year |London Buses |Underground |London Transport |South East |British Rail |Rate of inflation ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1985-86 |8.6 |7.2 |7.7 |7.2 |6.9 |5.9 1986-87 |5.9 |5.7 |5.6 |7.0 |7.5 |3.2 1987-88 |4.9 |6.4 |5.8 |5.2 |5.4 |4.0 1988-89 |10.8 |10.3 |10.3 |7.0 |7.1 |6.0 1989-90 |10.3 |11.1 |10.8 |8.5 |8.0 |7.8 1990-91 |10.3 |11.2 |10.8 |10.1 |10.2 |9.7 1991-92 |9.6 |9.9 |9.7 |9.5 |9.2 |4.7 1992-93 |7.9 |7.8 |7.8 |7.7 |6.9 |3.2 1993-94 |8.0 |7.6 |7.8 |7.7 |5.9 |1.7 1994-95 |5.8 |5.8 |5.8 |<1>n/a |<1>n/a |<1>n/a <1> not yet available
Mr. Rowe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what is his Department's policy and how it is conveyed in contracts regarding action to be taken in the absence of compliance with contract requirements regarding maintaining a safe, clear and well directed footway system through or around all road works; and how this is different from the requirements of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991;
(2) what is his policy, and how it is conveyed in contracts, in requiring a safe, clear and well directed footway system to be maintained through or around all road works.
You have asked two questions of the Secretary of State for Transport about his Department's policy and how it is conveyed in contracts. The first concerns the contractual requirements for a safe clear and well directed footway system to be maintained through or around all road works and the second asks what action would be taken if these are not complied with and how they differ from those the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991. As these are operational matters for the Highways Agency, I have been asked to reply.
The Specification for Highways Works sets out the detailed requirements to be included in a contract for the provision of pedestrian facilities during construction. These are contained within Clauses 117: Traffic Safety and Management and Clause 118: Temporary Diversions for Traffic. Additionally detailed provisions for a particular contract are given in numbered appendices 1/17, 1/18 and on the scheme drawings.
Under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, the Secretary of State has issued the Code of Practice, Safety at Street Works and Roadwork which sets out the requirements regarding the policy for maintaining a safe, clear and well directed footway system through roadworks. This Code clearly sets out the necessary action that a contractor has to take to ensure that the footway is defined. While this Code applies to undertakers' works carried out by or on behalf of the highway authority, the Department recommends that all those concerned with such works follow its advice.
There is no significant difference between the requirements laid down by the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 and those
Column 602required of the contractor as he is obliged to comply with the contract requirements and all relevant statutes. His activities are monitored by the Engineer, appointed by the Agency to administer the contract, and his Resident Engineer. They have wide powers to draw the contractor's attention to any failure to comply with requirements and to issue instructions and directions to put matters right. I hope this information is helpful.
|£ millions --------------------------------- 1979-80 |122 1980-81 |139 1981-82 |140 1982-83 |135 1983-84 |169 1984-85 |163 1985-86 |165 1986-87 |170 1987-88 |179 1988-89 |173 1989-90 |179 1990-91 |188 1991-92 |187 1992-93 |188 1993-94 |188
During this period DVLA's range of responsibilities increased significantly.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what reductions there have been in his departmental budget, for any element of his departmental budget, or each of the years (a) 1994 95, (b) 1995 96, (c) 1996 97, (d) 1997 98 or (e) 1998 99 as a consequence of assumptions about attracting private finance through (i) the private finance initiative and (ii) elsewhere; and what is the monetary detail underlying any such adjustments.
Mr. Hardy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action is being taken to ensure that the use of commercial waterways for freight purposes is not prejudiced by recreational activity; and what steps are being taken to maintain high standards of safety on such waterways.
Mr. Norris: The Marine Safety Agency is responsible for the oversight of safety of navigation on inland waters for recreational purposes, through the district marine safety committee. British Waterways, which continues to promote both commercial and recreational use of the canal network, works closely with the district marine safety committees to ensure that safety is given the highest priority.
Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 17 January Official Report , column 416 , what assessment he has made of the scheme agreed between the London boroughs and London Transport for the provision of travel concessions for elderly and disabled people; and if he will make a statement.
Ms Primarolo: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will define electrically propelled vehicles, road construction vehicles, road rollers, snow clearing vehicles, gritting vehicles, street lighting vehicles and vehicles used for short journeys between different parts of a person's land within the meaning of his proposals to receive vehicle excise duty exemption; and if he will estimate the expected revenue from each of these categories in each of the first five years of implementation.
The changes to the system of exemptions and concessions to VED contained in my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor's Budget aim to bring the archaic system of exemptions and concessions up to date, to target special treatment where it is most merited, to simplify the complex current system, and to close opportunities for tax evasion. In line with these principles, the Finance Bill contains provisions such that:
(a) electrically propelled vehicles, snow clearing vehicles and gritting vehicles will be licensed in the special concessionary class, paying VED of £35 next year;
Column 604(b) road rollers will be licensed in the special vehicles class, paying £135 or £150 depending on weight; and
(c) road construction vehicles and vehicles currently claiming exemption because they do less than six road miles a week will license in the general tax class appropriate for the particular type of vehicle. Most vehicles doing less than six road miles a week will, in fact, move into the special concessionary class and pay £35. It is not possible to make precise estimates of the revenue which will be raised each year for all these classes. Estimates to the nearest £0.5 million are as follows:
|£ million ---------------------------------------- Electric vehicles |1.0 Road construction |1.5 Road rollers |3.5 Snow ploughs |negligible Ice gritters |negligible Street lighting |0.5 Short journeys |4.0
Mr. Baldry: Our missions in Lusaka and Luanda are in regular touch with representatives of UNITA. The UNITA representative in London was received at official level at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 17 January. We have taken every opportunity to urge UNITA to implement speedily the Lusaka protocol.
Mr. Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Government of Angola, urging that the protocol recently signed in Lusaka is immediately and fully implemented.
Mr. Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has recently made to, or received from, the Government of Angola in respect of the peace process.
Mr. Baldry: My noble Friend Lord Inglewood met President Dos Santos in Lusaka on 20 November in the margins of the signing ceremony of the Lusaka protocol. We subscribed to a demarche by the European Union to the Government of Angola on 10 November and to a message from the President of the Security Council to President Dos Santos on 18 November. Most recently the United Kingdom Permanent Representative to the United Nations met the Angolan Foreign Minister on 7 December.
Column 605the desirability of establishing a rapid reaction force under the control of the United Nations.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: We have noted the UN Secretary-General's proposals in his Supplement to an Agenda for Peace, and believe that they will need to be studies closely, taking account of all the financial and operational implications.
We believe that the key to a faster response by the UN lies in reducing the delay in member states deploying troops, especially through tackling logistic shortcomings.
Secretary-General's standby force planning initiative, and have provided details of British resources which could be made available to the UN on a case by case basis. We believe it is important that member states should maintain a dialogue with the UN's standby force planning team, and a British delegation will be visiting New York in the next few weeks to take this forward.
In addition, we believe that some member states could deploy more swiftly on peacekeeping operations if they had the requisite logistic support, and support the Secretary-General's proposals in his Supplement to an Agenda for Peace for close co-operation between member states in this area.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: We have made a series of proposals to the United Nations with a view to improving the logistic support for peacekeeping operations. In particular, it is essential that the operational and administrative staffs at the UN Secretariat coordinate fully, that requirements for the provision of logistic support are factored in to the planning at an early stage, and that arrangements for letting contracts are taken forward as soon as a decision has been taken by the Security Council to launch or expand a mission. In addition, it is essential that there should be an appropriate combination of military and commercial logistic back-up, and that decisions on expenditure should be delegated to field level whenever possible.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what lessons he has learnt from the establishing of UN peacekeeping operations in Somalia, Bosnia and Rwanda; and what steps he is taking to remedy any inadequacies or errors.
Nevertheless, all these operations have demonstrated the importance of ensuring that the mandates for such missions are clear and precise; that peacekeeping operations must remain impartial and operate with the consent of the parties; that it is essential to maintain unity of command; and that the success of operations depends
Column 606on member states making available the necessary resources in terms of both personnel and funding.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the Iran Government's reaction to the UN resolution alleging human rights violations in Iran.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: The Iranian Government have yet to respond substantively to the Resolution passed on 23 December 1994 by the United Nations General Assembly. We urge the Iranian Government to respond positively by improving its behaviour and reducing cause for international concern with its record. If, as they have previously stated, the Iranians contest the accuracy of the information presented by the special representative they should let him visit Iran to investigate the situation for himself.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Israeli Government on the effect on the peace process of expansion of Israeli settlements in areas that are the subject of negotiation with the Palestinian national authority.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: We consider that all settlements in the occupied territories, including east Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace. With our EU partners, we are in frequent contact with the Israeli Government, whom we regularly remind of their obligations under the fourth Geneva convention. The EU issued a statement on 5 January which called for the total cessation of work on settlements.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: When Peres and Arafat met in Gaza on 9 January, they agreed to establish a joint committee and an Israeli ministerial panel to consider further prisoner releases. We have repeatedly called on the Israelis to speed up prisoner releases as a confidence-building measure.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth affairs whether, under the terms of the Oslo agreement, the election of a Palestinian self-governing authority depends upon the withdrawal of Israeli troops.
1. After the entry into force of the Declaration of Principles, and not later than the eve of elections for the Council (Palestinian Interim Self- Government authority), a redeployment of Israeli military forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip will take place, in addition to the withdrawal of Israeli forces (from the Gaza Strip and Jericho Area).
2. In redeploying its military forces, Israel will be guided by the principle that its military forces should be redeployed outside populated areas.
Column 6073. Further redeployments to specified locations will be gradually implemented commensurate with the assumption of responsibility for public order and internal security by the Palestinian police force pursuant to Article VIII above (on Public Order and Security).
Mr. Douglas Hogg: We have continually urged on both the Israelis and the Palestinians the importance of maintaining momentum in their negotiations over elections and the related question of redeployment in the west bank. Early elections would contribute to genuine peace in the region.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received from the high commission in Nairobi on the extent of ethnic clashes in the Rift valley in Kenya just before Christmas; and what the role of the Kenyan Government was in this activity.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the causes of current unrest in north-west Somalia and the impact on British organisations working in the area.
Under the state of emergency declared by the administration, all international agencies have been banned from Hargeisa until further notice. British organisations are now focussing their efforts on the humanitarian needs of the 150,000 Somalis displaced by the dispute. Operations outside Hargeisa have been largely unaffected by the unrest.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress is being made by the UN in repatriating Eritrean refugees in Sudan; and what impact the recent breakdown of diplomatic relationships between Eritrea and Sudan has had upon this.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: A total of 8,706 Eritrean refugees have so far been repatriated from Sudan since the beginning of the project organised by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in November 1994.
UNHCR reports that the breakdown of diplomatic relations between Sudan and Eritrea has had very little effect on the programme. It expects to repatriate a total of 25,000 refugees by the end of April this year.
Mr. Cash: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects that the 31 October 1994 Council decision on the system of the European Communities own resources will have been ratified in all member states.
This is a matter for the member states concerned, since under article 201 of the treaty of European Union it depends on the completion of their respective constitutional requirements. I understand that the necessary procedures are under way in most, if not all, member states and that a number are likely to complete these procedures shortly.
Mr. Cash: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which member states have so far adopted the Council decision on the system of the European Communities own resources in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements as laid down under article 201 of the treaty on European Union; and on what dates.
I understand that three member states have so far adopted the own resources decision, in accordance with their constitutional requirements.
Denmark: 16 December 1994;
France: 20 December 1994; and
United Kingdom: Royal Assent received on 16 January 1995.
The United Kingdom does not hold any Iraqi assets. However, the Bank of England advises that the value of Iraqi assets frozen in the United Kingdom was $784,000,000 as at 30 June 1994. This figure includes private as well as Iraqi Government deposits.
The Prime Minister: This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in this House, I shall be having further meetings later today.