Previous Section Home Page

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the consequences for the fishing industry of the United Kingdom failing to meet its commitment to reduce catching capacity by 1996 under the multi-annual guidance plan; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jack: The targets for UK fleet reduction set out in Commission decision 92/593/EEC have since been made mandatory by Council decision 94/15/EEC. Council regulation (EEC) 3699/93 also provides that progress against targets may be taken into account in determining eligibility for certain types of structural assistance. It would be for the Commission in the first instance to consider what action might be appropriate in the event of the United Kingdom targets not being met.

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what commitments the British Government have made under the current multi- annual guidance plan for reducing United Kingdom catching capacity by 1996.

Mr. Jack: Commission decision 92/593 of 21 December 1992 on a multi- annual guidance programme for the fishing fleet of the United Kingdom for the period 1993 to 1996 pursuant to Council regulation (EEC) No. 4028/86 sets out the reductions required in the United Kingdom's fleet capacity. A copy is available in the House Library.

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what action has already been taken to ensure that the United Kingdom meets catching capacity targets for 1996 set under the multi-annual guidance plan;

(2) what measures the Government intend imposing on the fishing industry for 1995 to ensure that the United Kingdom meets catching capacity targets for 1996 set under the multi-annual guidance plan.

Mr. Jack: The 1993 and 1994 decommissioning schemes should reduce fleet capacity by about 4.8 per cent. at a cost of £16.7 million. My right hon. Friend the Minister announced on 18 January that a further £28


Column 739

million will be made available for decommissioning increasing the amount for 1995 96 to £12 million and continuing the scheme at this rate for a further two years.

Capacity penalties on licence transfers and aggregations also contribute to the achievement of the MAGP target by requiring a reduction in aggregate capacity on each occasion.

We shall be monitoring the progress of the reduction in our fleet but I do not expect that it will be necessary to impose further measures in 1995 unless it becomes evident that fishing effort of the remaining fleet is rising.

Mr. Steen: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action the Commission has taken to condemn the landing of undersize fish in Spanish waters.

Mr. Jack [holding answer 19 January 1995]: It has not been the procedure of the Commission to publish details of reports made by the inspectors of member states enforcement of, and adherence to, the rules of the common fisheries policy. The United Kingdom was however, successful at the December Fisheries Council in securing a commitment from the Commission that it would report annually on inspections it carried out in member states, together with an assessment of the results of those inspections and details of any improvements in national enforcement arrangements which it had recommended.

Water Pollution

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action his Department is taking to minimise agricultural pollution of rivers and seas in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Jack: My Department provides free advice to farmers on pollution prevention, has widely distributed free codes of good agricultural practice and has in place a significant research and development programme examining how to minimise pollution from farm wastes, nutrients and pesticides. In addition, 32 nitrate-sensitive areas have been designated, and consultation is currently taking place over designating 72 vulnerable zones under the EC nitrate directive with a view to reducing nitrate leaching. Furthermore, all pesticides are subject to strict approval arrangements which take into account their potential to pollute water. Regular reviews of older pesticides ensure that they continue to meet our strict safety standards. My Department also carries out research into the fate of various contaminants in coastal waters and makes a significant contribution to monitoring those waters through a national monitoring programme.

Set-aside Land

Mr. David Nicholson: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the latest developments in discussions with the EC regarding enabling set-aside land to be used for tree-growing; and if he will specify the types of trees included in such arrangements.

Mr. Jack: I am pleased to say that the European Commission has now accepted in principle the United Kingdom's view that land taken out of arable production under the forestry and agri-environmental schemes or "structural" set-aside should, under certain conditions, be allowed to count against a farmer's set-aside obligation


Column 740

under the arable area payments scheme or "market" set-aside. We now need a rapid decision in Council to amend the relevant legislation. Once the proposal has been adopted, we anticipate that the new approach will give a welcome boost to our environmental and farm woodland schemes.

Subject to the detailed rules to be agreed, land planted to woodland under the farm woodland premium scheme and the woodland grant scheme will be eligible to count towards set-aside. Most broadleaved and coniferous species may be planted, but planting under the FWPS for the purposes of agro-forestry or for producing coppice, Christmas trees or cricket bat willow is not permitted.

Short rotation coppice may already be grown on set-aside land under the non -food use rules. We have announced our intention to offer grants under the woodland grant scheme to support this activity and I hope that the Council decision referred to above will provide the legal basis for this, too.

Irish Box

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what financial aid has been offered to the Government of the Republic of Ireland in connection with the revised access arrangements for the Irish box; and for what purpose it is designed.

Mr. Jack: The agreement reached at the December Fisheries Council provides for additional financial aid to be provided for Ireland in order to improve controls, including operating expenditure, allowable under Community practice and within the framework of the financial guidelines.

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the adequacy of resources for the management supervision of fishing in the Irish box; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jack: Detailed plans for the implementation of the control measures for the Irish box from 1 January 1996 have still to be developed. In developing such measures, we shall be making a very careful assessment of the resources necessary to ensure effective enforcement of the new rules.

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if the United Kingdom will retain responsibility for the management of fishing in the Irish box; when the details for the management plans will be considered by the Council of Ministers; and what application has been made to the EC for the costs involved.

Mr. Jack: There is no change in the areas for which coastal member states have responsibility. The United Kingdom retains responsibility for enforcement of the common fisheries policy in those parts of the Irish box which fall within UK fishery limits. The rest of the Irish box remains, as now, the responsibility of the Irish Republic's enforcement authorities. The United Kingdom will be co-operating with the Republic of Ireland to ensure the effective operation of those provisions in the agreement which are relevant to the Irish box. The necessary measures will be put in hand in the forthcoming months. No application has been made to the EC for the costs involved, but some enforcement expenditure in the UK may be eligible for aid.


Column 741

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

The Gambia

Mr. Heppell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what considerations underlay the timing, in relation to the abortive coup in The Gambia, of the issuing of his Department's advice to United Kingdom citizens not to travel to that country.

Mr. Baldry: I refer the hon. Member to the letter I sent him on 9 January. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House.

Mr. Heppell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the implications for United Kingdom policy towards The Gambia of the restoration of diplomatic relations between that country and Libya.

Mr. Baldry: The United Kingdom has a long-standing friendship with the Gambian people. It is for the Gambian Government to decide whom they have relations with.

Diplomatic Expenditure

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what were the total diplomatic expenditures for each year from 1979 to 1994 in 1993 prices.

Mr. Goodlad: The information expressed in 1993 94 prices, using figures for the overseas representation and other external relations votes, is contained in the table.


figures shown gross in £ million at 1993-94 prices  

             |Diplomatic  |Of which                 

Years        |expenditure |peacekeeping             

----------------------------------------------------

1978-79      |778         |34                       

1979-80      |782         |24                       

1980-81      |728         |22                       

1981-82      |773         |52                       

1982-83      |844         |53                       

1983-84      |904         |57                       

1984-85      |899         |51                       

1985-86      |762         |48                       

1986-87      |809         |47                       

1987-88      |819         |41                       

1988-89      |736         |46                       

1989-90      |857         |64                       

1990-91      |882         |40                       

1991-92      |980         |64                       

1992-93      |1,187       |191                      

1993-94      |1,226       |235                      

Expenditure

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the actual Foreign Office expenditures, not including overseas development expenditures, for each year from 1979 to 1994 expressed in 1993 prices.

Mr. Goodlad: The information, expressed in 1993 94 prices, is contained in the table.


figures shown gross in £ million at 1993-94  

prices                                       

Years          |Foreign Office               

               |Expenditure                  

---------------------------------------------

1978-79        |960                          

1979-80        |958                          

1980-81        |907                          

1981-82        |956                          

1982-83        |1,038                        

1983-84        |1,106                        

1984-85        |1,106                        

1985-86        |976                          

1986-87        |1,038                        

1987-88        |1,042                        

1988-89        |1,025                        

1989-90        |1,090                        

1990-91        |1,140                        

1991-92        |1,245                        

1992-93        |1,453                        

1993-94        |1,500                        

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was (a) actual and (b) budgeted expenditure on Foreign Office overseas representation for each year from 1979 to 1994 expressed in 1993 prices.

Mr. Goodlad: The information, using figures for the overseas representation vote--votes 1, 2, 8 and part of 5 before 1985 86--expressed in 1993 94 prices, is contained in the table.


figures shown gross in £ million at 

1993-94 prices                      

          rseas                     

          Representation            

Years    |Actual  |Budgeted         

------------------------------------

1978-79  |640     |653              

1979-80  |604     |628              

1980-81  |610     |655              

1981-82  |623     |662              

1982-83  |643     |660              

1983-84  |741     |756              

1984-85  |771     |778              

1985-86  |630     |661              

1986-87  |623     |652              

1987-88  |636     |665              

1988-89  |615     |632              

1989-90  |641     |660              

1990-91  |653     |665              

1991-92  |700     |707              

1992-93  |764     |781              

1993-94  |801     |858              

Atomic Energy Co-operation

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list each of the amendments made by date and command number since 1965 to the 1958 United States United Kingdom mutual defence agreement on atomic energy co-operation, setting out the particular purpose of each amendment; and which amendments were ratified in accordance with the Ponsonby rule.

Mr. David Davis: The amendments which have been made to the 1958 United States United Kingdom mutual defence agreement since 1965 entered into force on the following dates: 28 March 1969, Cmnd 4119; 8 April 1970, Cmnd 4383; 26 January 1975, Cmnd 6017; 25 March 1980, Cmnd 7976; 16 November 1984, Cmnd 9434; and 23 December 1994, Cmnd 2686. The prime purpose of each amendment was to extend the time-limited article III bis; occasionally new paragraphs


Column 743

on nuclear materials accountancy procedures were inserted. As for the last part of the hon. Member's question, that information is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the reason for the time period that elapsed between the presenting to the US Congress by President Clinton of the proposed amendments to the 1958 United States United Kingdom mutual defence agreement on atomic energy matters and the same amendments being laid before Parliament.

Mr. David Davis: The 1994 amendment to the 1958 United States United Kingdom mutual defence agreement was laid before Parliament in good time in order to ensure its ratification before the end of 1994. As US procedures require such documents to be laid before Congress for 90 days, it was necessary for the amendment to be presented earlier in the United States.

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the Minister of State, the hon. Member for Boothferry (Mr. Davis), has yet replied to the hon. Member for Nottingham, South (Mr. Simpson) in respect of the working group dealing with co- operation on computer modelling referred to in the debate on the Anglo- American mutual defence agreement on atomic energy, Official Report , 15 December, column 1238 .

Mr. David Davis: I wrote to the hon. Member for Nottingham, South on 9 January. I shall place a copy of my reply in the Library.

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library the technical annex to the 1958 United States--United Kingdom mutual defence agreement on atomic energy co-operation, as amended; and what information he has as to its publication status in the United States.

Mr. David Davis: The technical annex to the 1958 United Kingdom-- United States mutual defence agreement is a classified document. I have no plans to place a copy in the Library or to arrange for its publication.

Nuclear Non-proliferation

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what matters in regard to regional non-proliferation arrangements and the prospects of Pakistan and India joining the nuclear non-proliferation treaty were discussed during his recent visit to Pakistan and India.

Mr. David Davis: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs urged Pakistan and India to accede to the non-proliferation treaty. Both indicated that they were unable at this time to sign the treaty.

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's proposals put to the final preparatory committee for the nuclear non-proliferation treaty preview and extension conference in New York in January.

Mr. David Davis: Our aim at the fourth preparatory committee for the nuclear non-proliferation treaty conference will be to settle a number of unresolved issues


Column 744

left over from the third preparatory committee. These include the allocation of posts, the provision of background papers, the agenda, and questions related to financing and rules of procedure for the conference, which opens on 17 April 1995.

Uranium Sales

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will raise at the next EU Foreign Affairs Council the allegations made by the South African Government on 9 January in respect of the sale by France of enriched uranium to South Africa in the 1980s; and if he will press the presidency of the Council of Ministers to investigate the allegation.

Mr. David Davis: I have no plans to raise this matter at the next EU Foreign Affairs Council.

Croatia

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the President of Croatia had made about the removal of UNPROFOR troops; and what was Her Majesty's Government's response.

Mr. Douglas Hogg: President Tudjman of Croatia wrote to the United Nations Secretary-General on 13 January to inform him that the Croatian Government did not wish UNPROFOR's mandate to be renewed in the UN protected areas beyond 31 March 1995. The Croatian deputy Foreign Minister had forewarned us of this decision on 11 January. In our response, we have made clear our disappointment with this development and our concern that it puts at risk the search for a peace settlement in the region. UNPROFOR has a vital role in this process. Although we recognise the domestic pressures on the Croatian Government to find a solution to the situation on the Krajina, we have urged them, both nationally and through our support for the Security Council statement on 17 January, to reconsider their decision.

Hong Kong

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps have been taken by the European Union to establish a human rights centre in Hong Kong; and what has been the response of the Chinese Government.

Mr. Goodlad: The European Union has no plans to set up a human rights centre in Hong Kong. The European Parliament added a new "remark" to the 1995 budget line B7-5240 to the effect that the budget line could be used to

"promote the protection of human rights in countries where there is soon to be a change of sovereignty."

Such remarks represent the views of the European Parliament alone, and have no binding force on the other European Union institutions. We are not aware of any response from the Chinese Government.

BBC World Service

Sir Thomas Arnold: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his policy towards the BBC World Service with particular reference to funding the balance of broadcasts in different languages


Column 745

and the relationship between his Department and the service; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Baldry: As stated in the White Paper on "The Future of the BBC" Cm 2621 of July 1994, the World Service will in future operate to targets and performance indicators agreed with FCO, instead of a detailed prescription of languages and hours of broadcasts. Priorities for the allocation of resources are discussed regularly between the World Service and the FCO.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Broxtowe (Mr. Lester) on 9 December 1994, Official Report , columns 425 26 , which gave details of some of the targets agreed for the current triennium.

East Timor

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in what ways British policy on the annexation of East Timor by Indonesia has changed since the mid-1970s; and what evidence he has of the effect of these changes.

Mr Goodlad: Our policy has been consistent throughout this period. We do not recognise Indonesia's annexation of East Timor and continue to encourage Indonesia and Portugal to work together, under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General, to find a lasting and acceptable solution to the problem. We welcome the outcome of the latest round of talks on 9 January.

Rwanda

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action has recently been taken by UNAMIR forces in Rwanda to disarm and control former soldiers in the Rwandan army.

Mr. Douglas Hogg: UNAMIR's mandate does not cover disarming former soldiers of the Rwandan army and we have no reports that such action has taken place.

French Foreign Policy

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has expressed concern to the French Government about the adverse consequences of their foreign policy initiatives with Iraq.

Mr. Douglas Hogg: We have raised the recent French decision to open an interests section in Baghdad both bilaterally and in discussion with European Union partners. We expressed our concern at the move, and underlined that we had no plans to follow suit, given Iraq's continuing failure to implement outstanding Security Council resolutions.

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has expressed concern to the French Government about the adverse consequences of their foreign policy initiatives with Algeria.

Mr. Douglas Hogg: No. The French were party to the EU statement in September 1994 calling on all sides to cease all acts of violence and to allow peaceful dialogue.

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has expressed concern to the French Government about the adverse consequences of their foreign policy initiatives with Sudan.


Column 746

Mr. Hogg: EU concerns about such issues as the human rights situation and civil war in Sudan are supported by all partners. Recent EU joint action has included a statement on 31 October which condemned the use of violence by the Sudanese authorities to evict residents from a Khartoum squatter camp.

Bermuda

Mr. Bernie Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the criteria for selection for the position of commissioner of police and deputy commissioner of police in the overseas dependent territory of Bermuda.

Mr. Baldry: It is that the officers should be qualified and experienced with the ability to introduce the most modern administration, management and policing techniques to see that the Bermuda police service provides efficient and effective policing, responsive to the needs of the community.

Mr. Bernie Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what procedures are being used to select the successful candidates for the positions of commissioner and deputy commissioner of police in Bermuda; and which individuals will be involved in their selection.

Mr. Baldry: In accordance with section 87 of the Bermuda constitution, the appointments are made by the Governor in consultation with the Public Service Commission.

A shortlist of eight Association of Chief Police Officers candidates was prepared by the ODA senior police adviser in consultation with Her Majesty's chief inspector of constabulary and the deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan police. Preliminary interviews of these candidates were conducted by the deputy Governor, the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs and the ODA senior police adviser. Three of the eight were selected to travel to Bermuda for a final interview.

Mr. Bernie Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the present salaries of the commissioner of police and the assistant commissioner of police in Bermuda; and what are the proposed salaries for both posts for their replacements.

Mr. Baldry: The present salaries are $110,465 and $88,644 respectively. The proposed salaries are the same.

Mr. Bernie Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if native Bermudians may apply for all vacant posts in the administration of Bermuda.

Mr. Baldry: Yes. Bermudians are the first source for candidates for all vacant posts in the public service in Bermuda.

Mr. Bernie Grant: To ask the Secretary of state for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the current vacancies in Bermuda for the posts of commissioner and deputy commissioner are open to (a) suitably qualified Bermudans, (b) suitably qualified candidates from other dependent territories, (c) suitably qualified candidates from the Caribbean and other areas in the region and (d) suitably qualified candidates from Africa.

Mr. Baldry: Yes. All vacancies are open to suitably qualified candidates. Priority is given to Bermudians where possible. In this particular instance, in the absence of any suitably qualified Bermudian candidates, the


Column 747

Governor and Government decided to recruit from the UK.

Mr. Bernie Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library the country policy plan for the overseas dependent territory of Bermuda.

Mr. Baldry: There is no country policy plan for Bermuda. Country policy plans are draw up for those Caribbean dependent territories which are recipients of aid from Her Majesty's Government.

Mr. Bernie Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will place in the Library the report produced by Lionel Grundy on the Bermudan police force in 1994; what assessment he has made of the effect of the report on morale of the Bermudan police force; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Baldry: The report was compiled by HM inspector-general of the dependent territories constabulary, following a request from the Governor of Bermuda. The report is confidential to the Governor and Government of Bermuda and will not, therefore, be placed in the Library.

Mr. Bernie Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's position regarding the recruitment of non-Bermudian policemen at all ranks to the Bermuda police force.

Mr. Baldry: No. That is a matter for the Governor and the Government of Bermuda.

Mr. Bernie Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs where the advertisements for the posts of commissioner and deputy commissioner of police in the overseas dependent territory of Bermuda have been placed.

Mr. Baldry: The posts were not advertised in this instance and, because of the need to fill the posts with reasonable expedition, the Governor and Government decided to recruit from the United Kingdom.

Mr. Bernie Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) which posts in the overseas dependent territory of Bermuda have been reserved specifically for expatriate white Britons;

(2) what representations he or the Governor of Bermuda have received from opposition parties in Bermuda regarding the replacements for the commissioner and deputy commissioner of police; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Baldry: None.

Ministerial Travel

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 12 December, Official Report, columns 463 66, concerning overseas travel at public expense by spouses of Ministers, what proportion of the spouses' visit was dedicated to official visits and business.

Mr. Baldry: When a spouse accompanies a Minister on an overseas visit, her time is dedicated to accompanying the Minister on his official programme or following a parallel programme.


Column 748

Pakistan

Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made since his return from Pakistan to the Pakistan Government regarding legislation they have proposed providing for the death penalty for certain categories of drug traffickers; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Baldry: We have made no such representations.

More than 80 per cent. of the heroin seized in this country originates from south-west Asia. Much of this passes through Pakistan.

We have for some time been pressing the Government of Pakistan to introduce comprehensive anti-narcotics legislation. The ordinance signed by the President on 5 January has the force of law. Many of the provisions of the new ordinance are welcome and should enhance Pakistan's ability to combat drug trafficking.

I welcome provision in the new legislation for the seizure and forfeiture of the proceeds of drug trafficking. I hope that, before long, Britain and Pakistan will negotiate a bilateral asset confiscation agreement which would allow us to trace, freeze and confiscate the assets derived by drug traffickers from their crime. No one should profit from this evil trade.

The inclusion of provision for the death penalty as the maximum sentence for the possession, import, export or transhipment of more than 100gm of heroin--or equivalent--is a matter for the Government of Pakistan, provided that respect is shown for the provisions on the death penalty in international human rights law.


Next Section

  Home Page