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Miss Widdecombe: The current objective 4 of the European social fund was created by the structural fund regulations passed in July 1993. Plans for implementing it in eight member states were provisionally approved by the Commission in November 1994. It is not possible to say how many schemes other member states have approved. As far as the United Kingdom is concerned, no schemes have been approved under objective 4. I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him by the then Minister of State on 25 January 1994, Official Report , column 223 .
Mr. Jack: Information on incomes of full-time dairy farms and other farm types is collected in the farm business survey and published each year in "Farm Incomes in the United Kingdom". The latest edition, "Farm Incomes in United Kingdom 1992 93", shows estimates of several different measures of income for
Column 187dairy farms in 1991 92 and 1992 93. Definitions of these income measures are contained in appendix 2.
To illustrate longer-term trends in incomes, index series are also given for net farm income, occupier's net income and cash income back to 1986 87- -table 1.1 and appendix 1, tables 1 and 2--the earliest year for which data are available on a consistent basis.
"Farm Incomes in the United Kingdom 1993 94" will be published in spring.
I am pleased to be able to announce that, as a result of pressing strongly for a UK deadline later than 31 March 1995 to meet farmers' needs, we will be applying the latest possible date of 15 May. The IACS explanatory booklet and forms will be issued in March. The documentation is designed to be as helpful and as easy to follow as possible given the complex nature of the rules.
I recognise that farmers will want to do as much as they can in advance to prepare for IACS. The mapping and field data requirements set out in the 1994 guidance note on mapping and field data requirements will continue to apply in 1995.
No maps will be required where applications relate only to forage area. Nor will they be required for arable area, provided the land was registered as eligible for future arable payments in 1993 or 1994 and has not changed significantly since then. Applicants will need to supply a single national grid reference number for each field and the Ordnance Survey map sheet reference in order to comply with the basic requirements of the IACS rules. Fields which have been permanently amalgamated, divided or which are on more than one map sheet must have a single field number for 1995.
Fields which are on more than one map sheet must, from 1995, be allocated a new number based on the centre point of the whole field. If farmers obtained new numbers on a different basis in 1994, they do not need to provide another number this year. Estimates of area will continue to be accepted, but if areas are found to be over-declared, we have no option but to apply the strict penalties set out in the rules.
I strongly urge farmers to obtain any necessary maps, field numbers and area measurements from the Ordnance Survey or other professional advisers as soon as possible and not leave this to the last minute, otherwise they risk missing the application deadline.
Column 188This product is available on prescription only and must be used under the direction of a veterinary surgeon. Any suspected adverse reactions to the use of medicinal products should be reported to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. The state veterinary service is responsible for the enforcement of legislation which protects the welfare of the lambs and their mothers.
Mr. O'Hara: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what survey his Department has conducted into external research; and what research his Department has conducted into (a) the administering of melatonin to ewes, (b) the breeding cycles of ewes artificially induced and (c) the risks to humans of consumption of sheep meat from flocks in which melatonin is used to control artificially the breeding cycles of ewes.
Mrs. Browning: No research is currently being funded by MAFF into the use of melatonin in the breeding of lambs. However, a three-year project investigating the use of melatonin and light treatment as a new method of producing autumn lambs, was funded in 1986. Before any veterinary medicinal product is authorised to be placed on the market in the United Kingdom, it is carefully assessed by the licensing authority, which consults independent scientists, against the statutory criteria of safety-- including to the animal, the operator and the consumer of meat and meat products--quality and efficacy. This applies to medicinal products containing melatonin.
Mr. O'Hara: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many prosecutions have been pursued against sheep breeders for the conditions under which they have reared winter lambs born as a result of the administering of melatonin to their mothers in each of the past three years.
Mrs. Browning: The use of a medicinal product, once authorised, is a matter for the marketplace to determine and not for the licensing authority. My Department therefore compiles no statistics on the use of melatonin in the breeding of lambs.
Mrs. Browning: The Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968 makes it an offence to cause unnecessary pain or unnecessary distress to any livestock on agricultural land. Subordinate legislation and the associated welfare code lay down more detailed requirements for the welfare of sheep. The state veterinary service is responsible for the enforcement of these provisions.
Mr. Waldegrave: As I had signalled beforehand, I took the opportunity of this Council to explain the public concern about the transport of farm animals and the conditions in which calves are reared for veal in some member states. I stressed my determination to see that the law requiring freedom of trade is upheld. But I also emphasised the urgent need for the Community as a whole to recognise these concerns, which are being expressed widely, not just in the United Kingdom, and to take effective measures as soon as possible to improve the standards for the welfare of farm animals.
I am glad to say that a considerable number of Council members agreed with British concerns. Five Ministers pointed out that, like the UK, they had already banned the use of veal crates. There was wide support for, and no dissent from, my proposal that the review of the directive, planned for 1997, that allows the use of this method should be brought forward, the Agriculture Commissioner, Mr. Fischler, undertook to produce a report as soon as possible. All also agreed to make a determined effort to adopt rules on transport: this will be on the Council's agenda at its next meeting.
The only other substantive debate was on the Commission's proposals for adjusting the support system for sugar. I regretted that the Commission had not seized the opportunity to propose more radical changes. I urged that, in so far as sugar quotas might have to be cut to keep within the general agreement on tariffs and trade limits on subsidised exports, these cuts should be targeted on the surplus-producing member states. I also underlined the need to guarantee adequate supplies of raw sugar for the refining industry. The Council will return to these proposals at its next meeting. I welcomed the appearance of the Commission's proposal creating a link between set-aside and arable land taken out of production for environmental and forestry purposes, and urged its speedy adoption.
Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list each training and tuition course with a total cost exceeding £5, 000 paid for by (a) his Department and (b) his agencies during the last 12 months, showing the title and objectives of each course, the name of the organisations engaged, the total cost of each course, a summary of the responsibilities of staff members taking part and the process for course evaluation by the Department or agency.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the circumstances in which a service man may find himself liable to disciplinary action when refusing drugs or vaccine in a theatre of war.
Column 190against the threat of biological or chemical warfare agents, refusal of such a lawful order might render members of the armed forces liable to disciplinary action. The lawfulness of the order could be raised as an issue in the disciplinary proceedings, and the individual's rights would be taken into account. Any such case would turn on its own merits, including the fact that such vaccines and drugs could be life saving in operational circumstances.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration was given to monitoring for health effects after administration of the drugs and vaccines administered to service men, either during or after Operation Granby, with particular reference to compounds that were unlicensed at the time of administration.
Mr. Soames: All aspects of the health of service personnel are monitored, in peace and war, as a matter of routine. During the Gulf war, routine monitoring did not detect any adverse effects to health which would warrant special additional monitoring either during, or after, Operation Granby.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration was given to administering toxicology and virology tests to all those suffering from illness related to Operation Granby; and what was the reason for not doing so.
Mr. Soames: Individuals who believe that they are suffering from unexplained illnesses as a result of service in Operation Granby are offered a medical examination through my Department's Gulf assessment programme. The special tests employed on this programme are tailored to the particular requirements of each patient after considering the medical and occupational history, the reported symptoms and clinical signs found on examination. If indicated, these special tests can include toxicological and virology tests.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for South Shields (Dr. Clark), of 20 December 1994, Official Report , column 1179 , if he will set out the reasons why the specific counter-measures adopted against potential biological warfare by British forces in Operation Granby in the Gulf war are classified.
Mr. Soames: Information relating to the specific counter-measures adopted against potential biological warfare by British forces in the Gulf war could be useful to terrorists and potentially hostile intelligence services. Its continued classification is to protect British troops who may face a biological warfare threat in the future.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration was given to compiling a list of all recipients of the drugs or vaccines administered during Operation Granby, with particular reference to prescription-only medicines, with a view to recording them on the recipient's medical records; and what were the reasons for not doing so.
Mr. Soames: Standard peacetime procedures involve records of vaccines and prescribed medication being kept on every individual's service medical documents. Under operational conditions, individual service medical records are not held locally for logistic reasons, and a field medical documentation system is invoked. During
Column 191Operation Granby, vaccinations or prescribed medications are entered on a nominal roll for later transfer to individual records. Given the repaid repatriation and demobilisation of personnel at the end of the conflict, it is likely that some individual medical records were not fully annotated. As a result, no reliable comprehensive list of recipients could be now compiled.
Mr. Soames: Nerve agent immobilised enzyme alarm and detector is designed to be used in conditions where it would not normally be in close proximity to jet engines. Nevertheless, NAIAD was extensively evaluated against a wide range of aircraft engine effluent during acceptance tests for military use. Out of the 18 aircraft type evaluated, in only one case was alarm condition attained. It follows that, although NAIAD is not commonly triggered by compounds emitted from jet engines, circumstances might arise in which this could happen.
Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what will be the salary and length of contract of the new chief executive of the defence housing executive; and what is the estimated cost of establishing the defence housing executive.
Mr. Soames: Arrangements for the appointment of the chief executive have yet to be finalised. It is not possible to apportion costs between the establishment of the defence housing executive and the work undertaken previously to establish a housing trust.
Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the individuals and companies who have been employed as paid consultants by his Department to advise on the management of the married quarters estate during the last three years.
Firm |Subject ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ashurst Morris Crisp |Legal Trowers and Hamlins (and Counsel) Allen and Overy Government Property Lawyers Macklay Murray and Spens |Legal (Scotland) Henderson Boyd and Jackson Shepherd and Wedderburn Robson Mclean Coopers and Lybrand |Business and Finance Price Waterhouse NatWest Markets UBS Chapman Hendy |Housing Alistair McIntosh Cluttons |Surveys and Valuation Chestertons DTZ Debenham Thorpe Knight, Frank and Rutley Savills Valuation Office Agency Recruitment and Assessment Service |Recruitment Government Actuary's Department |Pensions Major General J.F.J. Johnston CB CBE |Chairman designate of (Retd) | Housing Trust
Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 17 January, Official Report , column 451 , if the chief executive of the Crown housing trust has or will be, receiving the £20,000 bonus which is linked to performance.
Mr. Soames [holding answer Tuesday 17 January 1995]: These records will be reviewed in accordance with the terms of the Public Records Acts 1958 and 1967. If release does not prejudice the Government's undertaking not to aid the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, they will be released in due course.
Column 193documents relating to works at Nancekuke that are more than 30 years old but have not been released for public inspection; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soames [holding answer Tuesday 17 January 1995]: There is no document with this reference. W0195/15956, however, is closed for reasons of continuing sensitivity. The release of the report would enable others to acquire details of weapons technology that would be contrary to our commitment of non-proliferation.
|Number ------------------------------------------------------------- Service married quarters |9,992 Former married quarters in the process of sale |2,160 MOD civilian houses |218 Former civilian houses in the process of sale |38
Discussions are currently taking place with the Housing Corporation on an enhanced programme of short-term leasing to housing associations for married quarters which are temporarily surplus to our requirements. However, the majority of the vacant service married quarters are not surplus but are undergoing or awaiting major maintenance, held for future deployments, or form part of the management margin needed to ensure that accommodation is available for entitled service families.
Of the vacant civilian houses, 71 are leased properties awaiting return to Dumbarton district council, 97 are houses recently taken over from the United States air force awaiting occupation by Ministry of Defence police and the remainder are mainly properties in secure areas which cannot be sold for security or safeguarding reasons.