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Mr. Robert B. Jones: There are no plans to make additional resources available to local authorities for this purpose. Local housing authorities receive a housing investment programme allocation each year. It is for each authority to decide how best to use this allocation to meet local housing needs.

Houses in Multiple Occupation

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has relating to the number of applications made by boarding houses and hotels for change of use to houses of multiple occupation or hostels since the relevant changes in the planning law.

Sir Paul Beresford: As planning applications are made to local planning authorities detailed information of this kind is not held centrally.

Energy Saving Trust

Mr. Robert Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he has considered for funding the Energy Saving Trust after the gas market has been deregulated.

Mr. Robert B. Jones: The finances of the Energy Saving Trust are properly a matter for the trust, which is an independent company. However, the Government are currently considering a range of options for funding the trust and the schemes it promotes, including the involvement of private sector finance and input from the energy consumer.

National Parks (Quarries)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many (a) working and (b) disused quarries there are in each of the national parks.

Sir Paul Beresford: Separate figures are not available for working and disused quarries. The table shows numbers of sites for surface mineral workings--"quarries"--in each of the national parks in England and Wales as of 1988, taken from surveys carried out for the Department of the Environment and for the Welsh Office. Similar statistics for national parks in England for 1994 will be available later this year in the results of an updated survey.


National park     |Number of surface                  

                  |mineral                            

                  |workings                           

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

Brecon Beacons    |27                                 

Dartmoor          |9                                  

Exmoor            |Nil                                

Lake District     |20                                 

North York Moors  |21                                 

Northumberland    |5                                  

Peak District     |121                                

Pembroke Coast    |10                                 

Snowdonia         |92                                 

Yorkshire Dales   |13                                 

Air Quality Report

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what criteria underlay the decision to exclude the contribution of radioactive particulate material and radioactive gases, including krypton, from the report "Air Quality: Meeting the Challenge".

Mr. Atkins: "Air Quality: Meeting the Challenge" details the Government's strategic policies for improving air quality. It sets out a new framework for setting and achieving air quality targets and standards for the nine toxic pollutants of most concern. Radiotoxides are adequately addressed elsewhere.

Urban Waste Water Directive

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) on what date he supplied the European Commission with a list of less- sensitive areas and copies of studies of them carried out in respect of such areas under article six of the urban waste directive;

(2) what plans he has to request an extension of time from the European Commission in respect of listing and forwarding copies of studies of less- sensitive areas under article six of the urban waste water directive;

(3) when he submitted to the European Commission proposals under article 8(5) of the urban waste water directive listing the areas subject to the proposals and the basis of those proposals; (4) what information he has provided to the European Commission on its implementation programme as required by article 17(2) of the urban waste water directive indicating the outline and nature of the information provided; and what extension of time for providing the information was requested.

Mr. Atkins: A list of the less-sensitive areas--known as high natural dispersion areas in the United Kingdom--identified under the directive was sent to the European Commission on 24 May 1994. Under the terms of the directive, comprehensive studies must be carried out following identification of the areas, before a discharge consent can be given for a minimum of primary treatment. The studies will be carried out in time for relevant discharge consents to be given for the discharges concerned before the end of the years 2000 or 2005, whichever of the directive's implementation dates applies to each affected discharge. The question of applying for an extension of time does not arise.

Where relevant, proposals for applying article 8(5) of the directive will be made to the Commission after comprehensive studies have been completed and before the relevant implementation deadline. Such proposals will be made only where it can be demonstrated that no environmental benefit will accrue from the provision of a higher level of treatment than the requirements of article 6(2). Information required by article 17(2) of the directive was provided to the Commission on 25 November 1994 without application for an extension of time for its provision. The information given was that required by the Commission decision of 28 July 1993-- 93/481/EEC; OJ No L 226, 28.7.1993, p.23. A copy of the "Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive--UK Article 17 Report" has been placed in the Library of the House.


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Housing Stock Transfers

Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish a list of those local authorities which have completed voluntary transfer of their housing stock, and the date on which the transfer was completed.

Mr. Robert B. Jones: Since 1988, 35 local authorities have transferred a total of 156,739 homes through large scale voluntary transfer. These authorities are listed, together with the dates on which they completed transfer.


Authority             |Date of Transfer                 

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

Chiltern              |15 December 1988                 

Sevenoaks             |29 March 1989                    

Newbury               |30 November 1989                 

Swale                 |28 March 1990                    

Broadland             |4 April 1990                     

North Bedfordshire    |13 June 1990                     

Medina                |27 July 1990                     

Rochester             |27 July 1990                     

South Wight           |30 July 1990                     

Mid Sussex            |9 November 1990                  

East Dorset           |3 December 1990                  

Tonbridge and Malling |15 January 1991                  

Ryedale               |28 February 1991                 

South Bucks           |26 March 1991                    

Christchurch          |28 March 1991                    

Suffolk Coastal       |22 May 1991                      

Tunbridge Wells       |29 January 1992                  

Bromley               |6 April 1992                     

Surrey Heath          |15 January 1993                  

Breckland             |30 March 1993                    

East Cambridgeshire   |31 March 1993                    

Hambleton             |29 April 1993                    

West Dorset           |27 May 1993                      

Havant                |31 January 1994                  

Epsom and Ewell       |14 February 1994                 

Hart                  |9 March 1994                     

South Shropshire      |23 March 1994                    

Leominster            |25 March 1994                    

South Ribble          |30 March 1994                    

Hertsmere             |31 March 1994                    

Penwith               |16 May 1994                      

North Dorset          |6 September 1994                 

Wychavon              |3 October 1994                   

Mid Bedfordshire      |4 October 1994                   

Thanet                |19 December 1994                 

Integrated Regional Offices

Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those of his Department's responsibilities on which the integrated regional offices are required to advise him on the allocation of resources and, for each integrated regional office, the annual expenditure on each programme.

Sir Paul Beresford: In 1993 94 the Department of the Environment's regional offices advised Ministers on the programmes shown in the table. The Department of the Environment's regional offices became part of the Government offices for the regions in April 1994.


Department of the environment programme expenditure through the Government offices for the regions, 1993-94 ouuturn (£ million)                                                                 

                        |North        |North                      |Yorkshire and|West         |East                       |South        |South                                                  

                        |East         |West         |Merseyside   |Humberside   |Midlands     |Midlands     |Eastern      |West         |East         |London       |Total                      

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

Housing Investment                                                                                                                                                                              

Programme               |83.0         |162.0        |53.8         |154.6        |194.7        |116.2        |142.4        |140.6        |187.5        |530.4        |1,765.2                    

Estate Action<1> <4>    |28.7         |60.3         |39.6         |41.8         |46.1         |27.0         |5.9          |12.2         |3.8          |85.3         |350.7                      

Housing Partnership                                                                                                                                                                             

Fund                    |3.6          |2.6          |0.7          |2.8          |3.4          |4.0          |3.9          |4.8          |3.1          |1.1          |30.0                       

Housing Actions                                                                                                                                                                                 

Trusts<1>               |-            |-            |16.0         |26.5         |2.0          |-            |-            |-            |-            |30.6         |75.1                       

Flats over shops        |1.0          |0.8          |0.3          |1.0          |0.9          |0.9          |0.7          |1.0          |0.8          |1.9          |9.3                        

Energy Efficiency                                                                                                                                                                               

Programme               |0.4          |0.6          |0.7          |0.8          |0.5          |0.7          |0.4          |0.5          |0.3          |0.3          |5.2                        

Derelict Land Grant<2>  |7.8          |27.5         |8.0          |23.9         |19.9         |8.7          |0.8          |3.3          |0.8          |3.6          |104.3                      

Urban Programme<1>                                                                                                                                                                              

UPF<5>                  |n/a          |n/a          |n/a          |n/a          |n/a          |n/a          |n/a          |n/a          |n/a          |n/a          |166.5                      

City Action Team<1>     |0.8          |0.4          |0.4          |0.4          |0.4          |0.4          |-            |-            |-            |0.5          |3.4                        

Task Forces<1>          |1.8          |1.0          |2.2          |2.3          |2.6          |2.3          |-            |0.6          |-            |5.0          |17.8                       

Urban Development                                                                                                                                                                               

Corporations<1>         |78.5         |37.1         |22.5         |16.7         |62.4         |-            |-            |20.7         |-            |105.4        |343.2                      

City Challenge<1> <6>   |45.8         |31.8         |22.3         |27.8         |29.0         |21.2         |-            |-            |-            |52.3         |230.2                      

Coalfield Areas Fund<5> |n/a          |n/a          |n/a          |n/a          |n/a          |n/a          |n/a          |n/a          |n/a          |n/a          |2.3                        

Manchester                                                                                                                                                                                      

Regeneration            |-            |23.3         |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |23.3                       

Docklands Light                                                                                                                                                                                 

Railway                 |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |28.1         |28.1                       

Merseyside Special                                                                                                                                                                              

Grant                   |-            |-            |0.6          |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |0.6                        

ERDF<3>                 |41.2         |28.2         |23.0         |32.6         |34.3         |10.4         |-            |2.4          |11.5         |-            |142.4                      

Notes:                                                                                                                                                                                          

<1> Subsumed within single regeneration budget from April 1995.                                                                                                                                 

<2> Transferred to English Partnerships from April 1994.                                                                                                                                        

<3> ERDF payments, made on behalf of the European Community, include payments on projects which are the responsibility of other Government Departments.                                         

<4> Figures for the urban programme, urban partnership fund (UPF) and Coalfield areas fund are not held centrally on a region by region basis. The Urban programme will be subsumed within the  

SRB from April 1995.                                                                                                                                                                            

<5> Estate Action figures exclude resources for design improvement controlled experiment (DICE).                                                                                                

<6> City challenge figures include city challenge Housing Corporation expenditure in 1993-94 and exclude payments made in 1993-94 for expenditure actually incurred in 1992-93.                 

Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those of his Department's responsibilities which are administered by the integrated regional offices and, for each integrated regional office, the estimated annual expenditure on each of these responsibilities.

Sir Paul Beresford: On my right hon. Friend's behalf, the Government offices for the regions administer the single regeneration budget, housing and regeneration programmes, undertake certain planning and environment functions and provide the main local points of contact between the Department and local authorities. In 1994 95, the Government offices expect to spend the following sums in pursuit of these functions:


                             |£000s      

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

Government Office for the                

  North East                 |3,174      

Government Office for the                

  North West                 |4,682      

Government Office for                    

  Yorkshire and Humberside   |3,532      

Government Office for                    

  Merseyside                 |2,086      

Government Office for the                

  West Midlands              |3,547      

Government Office for the                

  East Midlands              |2,579      

Government Office for the                

  Eastern Region             |2,063      

Government Office for the                

  South West                             

Government Office for the                

  South East                 |3,177      

Government Office for London |4,785      

The Department does not allocate running cost resources at the level of individual programmes or functions.

Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total number of staff working in each integrated regional office; and in each integrated regional office, what is the total annual cost of their employment.

Sir Paul Beresford: The information requested is shown in the table.


                                           |Total annual                       

                         |Total number     |cost of staff                      

                         |of staff         |employed                           

Government office        |(as at December  |£ million                          

                         |1994)                                                

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

North East               |289              |6.2                                

North West               |383              |8.4                                

Merseyside               |157              |3.5                                

Yorkshire and Humberside |340              |6.9                                

West Midlands            |360              |7.5                                

East Midlands            |264              |5.5                                

Eastern                  |191              |4.5                                

South West               |234              |5.2                                

South East               |241              |6.0                                

London                   |340              |8.8                                

The total annual cost of staff employed is based on the forecast pay costs of each office in 1994 95.

Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those of his Department's responsibilities on which integrated regional offices are responsible for preparing, advising on or implementing regional policy.

Sir Paul Beresford: The Government offices in the regions assist my Department in work on preparing and disseminating regional planning guidance, and on European regional development fund matters. They also advise bidders under the single regeneration budget on those bids of regional scale.

Green Ministers

Mr. Dafis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many times the Green Ministers met as a group during 1994.

Mr. Gummer: Green Ministers met twice as a group in 1994, in addition to fulfilling their continuing responsibilities to integrate environmental considerations into their own Department's strategies and policies.

Commercial Lobbying

Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) on how many occasions in the last four months of which he has knowledge any civil servants in his Department have been approached by commercial lobbying organisations on behalf of their clients at informal or unofficial engagements;

(2) on how many occasions in the last four months he or any of his Ministers have been approached by commercial lobbying organisations on behalf of their clients at informal or unofficial engagements.

Sir Paul Beresford: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of Duchy of Lancaster earlier today.

Dioxins

Mr. Mans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, if his Department has responded to the public review draft of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's report on dioxins.

Sir Paul Beresford: Yes. The Government have completed their initial study of the EPA's draft report on dioxins. My Department has summarised the results of the study in a factual and technical commentary that it has sent to the EPA.

The commentary concentrates on the problems of assessing exposure to dioxins. It deals particularly with those aspects of exposure assessment that have been the subject of considerable recent research and analysis in this country and the rest of Europe. We hope this additional perspective may contribute further depth to what is already a very substantial and important draft.

An expert review of recent scientific work on the health effects of dioxins --including work reported in the EPA draft--is being carried out for the Department of Health by the committee on toxicity of chemicals in food, consumer products and the environment. This review will not be completed for some months: it would, therefore, have been premature to comment in depth on those volumes of the EPA's draft that deal with the health


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effects of dioxins. Meanwhile, established research findings indicate that the dioxin levels to which the UK population is exposed do not, on the basis of the COT's current advice, present a threat to health.

A copy of the material my Department has sent to the EPA has today been placed in the Library of the House.

AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

Dourine

Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many cases of dourine were reported in each year since 1985.

Mrs. Browning: No cases of dourine have ever been reported in this country.

Grubbing Out Grants

Mr. Colvin: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what financial assistance is available from Her Majesty's Government or the European Commission for the grubbing out of (a) orchards and (b) vineyards.

Mr. Jack: Financial assistance is available for applicants who grub at least one hectare of culinary or dessert orchards. To qualify apple trees must be less than 20 years old, healthy, capable of bearing a full crop of fruit and planted at a density of more than 400 to the hectare. Grant rates are 5000 ecu--approximately £4,600--per hectare for total grubbing and 3500 ecu--approximately £3,200--per hectare for partial grubbing. The scheme closes on 31 January 1995. There is no scheme of financial assistance for the grubbing out of United Kingdoms vineyards.

Fishing (Spanish Vessels)

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has about the numbers of Spanish owned vessels on the fishing register of each of the other EEC fishing nations.

Mr. Jack: The Ministry does not keep information on the composition of fishing vessel registers maintained by other member states.

Departmental Employees

Mrs. Maddock: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many employees for which his Department is responsible were women (a) in 1991, (b) in 1992, (c) in 1993 and (d) in 1994; and of these, how many were (i) at grade 7 level, (ii) at grade 3 level, (iii) at executive officer level, (iv) at administrative officer level and (v) at administrative assistant level.

Mr. Jack: The information for MAFF, including its executive agencies, is as follows:


           1991                          1992                          1993                          1994                                   

                    |Total    |Per cent.          |Total    |Per cent.          |Total    |Per cent.          |Total    |Per cent.          

Grade     |Women    |staff    |of total |Women    |staff    |of total |Women    |staff    |of total |Women    |staff    |of total           

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

3         |1        |25       |4.0      |1        |24       |4.2      |1        |25       |4.0      |0        |23       |0.0                

7         |130      |957      |13.6     |134      |924      |14.5     |150      |920      |16.3     |161      |885      |18.2               

EO        |773      |1,721    |44.9     |786      |1,731    |45.4     |965      |1,946    |49.6     |928      |1,905    |48.7               

AO        |1,365    |2,064    |66.1     |1,377    |2,057    |66.9     |1,541    |2,274    |67.8     |1,656    |2,297    |72.1               

AA        |1,499    |2,056    |72.9     |1,576    |2,086    |75.6     |1,541    |2,065    |74.6     |1,564    |1,991    |78.6               

Notes:                                                                                                                                      

1. All figures are based on 1 April and are for permanent non-industrials and exclude staff on loan or secondment to other Government       

Departments.                                                                                                                                

2. Figures for part-time staff in 1991 are counted as " units. Part-time staff from 1992 are counted by head count.                         

Equine Infectious Anaemia

Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many cases of equine infectious anaemia there have been in each year since 1985.

Mrs. Browning: There have been no recorded cases of equine infectious anaemia in this country since 1976.

Sheep Scab

Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many cases of sheep scab there were in each year since 1990 and in each month for 1994.

Mrs. Browning: The total number of confirmed cases of sheep scab in England for the years 1990 to 1992 was as follows:


                  |Number       

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

1990              |82           

1991              |96           

1992 (to 30 June) |63           

The collation of official records on the number of outbreaks of sheep scab was discontinued after deregulation of compulsory controls in 1992.

Industry reports have indicated that sheep scab has been discovered in every county in Britain. A surveillance exercise during spring 1994 identified 177 batches of sheep suspected of having sheep scab from 869 visits to sheep sales and markets. These and other reports confirm that the disease is probably present in all parts of the country.

The Government announced on 17 May 1994 that they would conduct a publicity campaign and increase the official veterinary presence at sheep markets. To date, in Great Britain suspected sheep scab has been detected at only 14 of 1,982 market visits conducted since 1 September 1994. In total 189 animals have been withdrawn from sale and treated under the Welfare of Animals at Markets Order 1990, and a further 103 animals with suspected sheep scab were sent direct to slaughter.

A further surveillance exercise will be carried out this spring.

Generic Milk Production

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for what reasons generic milk production is excluded from the Milk Development Council.

Mr. Jack: With a levy-funded budget limited to £6.5 million a year, the Milk Development Council would not


Column 216

have sufficient resources to run expensive generic promotion campaigns while at the same time undertaking its principal function of sponsoring R and D on dairying. Generic promotion was not therefore among the tasks listed in the polling papers sent to all producers in Great Britain last year and on the basis of which they voted in favour of the establishment of a Milk Development Council.

Fishing (Northern Ireland)

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he has taken to establish the origins of the 1,000 tonnes of fish reported as an extension of the Northern Irish fish entitlement as a result of the debate in the House of 18 January, Official Report , columns 771 822; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jack: As part of the swaps traditionally negotiated each year with other member states following the December Fisheries Council, the United Kingdom this year acquired 750 tonnes of Irish sea cod and 250 tonnes of Irish sea whiting from the Republic of Ireland.

Live Animal Imports

Sir Jerry Wiggin: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his response to the recommendations in the recent Agriculture Select Committee report on health controls on live animal imports.

Mr. Waldegrave: The Government have today laid before Parliament a Command Paper which details its response to the various recommendations in the Agriculture Select Committee report on health controls on live animal imports. This welcomes the Agriculture Select Committee's thorough examination of the health controls which operate for agricultural animals, birds and fish and details our intentions for implementing them. We are also pleased to note the Committee's general endorsement of our current health controls on imported livestock and their recognition that these controls enabled the lifting of routine internal border controls to take place on 1 January 1993 without appreciable increase in the risk of livestock disease entering the United Kingdom.


Column 217

The Government also welcome the important contribution which the Committee's report has made to the discussion about future policy on rabies. We believe the changes which the Select Committee recommended would be premature before the eradication programme for rabies in the European Union is complete, and while the new import arrangements for traded cats and dogs in the UK, as well as the rules operating in Norway and Sweden which the Select Committee has taken as a model, are novel and unproven. The Government will, however, continue to monitor closely the performance of these new arrangements and the progress being made within the European Union towards the eradication of rabies.

Live Animal Exports

Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at what time his Ministry's vets reported the first animals loaded on the livestock trucks in respect of the first sailing carrying live farm animals from Shoreham to Dieppe; and at what time the last animals were unloaded and placed in a lairage in France.

Mrs. Browning: This first consignment on the Shoreham-Dieppe route was accompanied by Ministry staff from Shoreham port to the lairage at Dieppe. They reported that the convoy of livestock vehicles was at the dockside at 00.10 hours on 5 January. Loading was completed by 02.10 hours and the vessel left Shoreham at 02.30 hours, arriving at Dieppe at 12.50 hours. Unloading of animals at the lairage was completed at 13.25 hours-- all timings are given in British time.

Fishing (Decommissioning)

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many British fishing vessels he estimates will take up the additional £28 million decommissioning programme.

Mr. Jack [holding answer 24 January 1995]: The decommissioning scheme operates through a tendering system in order to obtain best value for money for the available funds. It is not therefore possible to say in advance how many bids will be approved. Details of the uptake of decommissioning in 1993 and 1994 were given in the reply to the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) on 20 January 1995, Official Report, columns 736 37.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Commercial Lobbying

Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Lord President of the Council (1) on how many occasions in the last four months of which he has knowledge any civil servants in his Department have been approached by commercial lobbying organisations on behalf of their clients at informal or unofficial engagements;

(2) on how many occasions in the last four months he has been approached by commercial lobbying organisations on behalf of their clients at informal or unofficial engagements.


Column 218

Mr. Newton: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster today.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Commercial Lobbying

Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Attorney-General (1) on how many occasions in the last four months of which he has knowledge any civil servants in his Department have been approached by commercial lobbying organisations on behalf of their clients at informal or unofficial engagements;

(2) on how many occasions in the last four months he or any of his Ministers have been approached by commercial lobbying organisations on behalf of their clients at informal or unofficial engagements.

The Attorney-General: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster today.

Combat 18

Mr. Madden: To ask the Attorney-General (1) what reports he has received from the Metropolitan police for proceedings to be considered under the Public Order Act 1986 against two men associated with Combat 18; and if he will make a statement;

(2) if he will consult his counterpart in the United States of America to discuss whether invitations to readers of publications produced by Combat 18 in the United Kingdom to send information to Combat 18 via a PO box number for the Dixie Press in America about individuals to be harassed, intimidated or attacked, contravenes American law.

The Attorney-General: Neither I nor the Crown Prosecution Service has yet received a report from the Metropolitan police, whose investigation into Combat 18 continues. It is not possible to assess in advance of receipt of the police report what action or further inquiries may be appropriate.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Shipbuilding

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the size of the shipbuilding industry in Tyne and Wear in 1979; and what its size is now.

Mr. Charles Wardle: Comparable data for the years in question are not available. Employment in shipbuilding and ship repairing in Tyne and Wear in September 1981 was 18,257 and in September 1989 was 5, 229. Since then employment has declined further with the contraction of the industry in Tyne and Wear.

Security Equipment

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the Government's policy on the export,


Column 219

or arrangement of sale, by British companies of electronic riot shields and electronic batons.

Mr. Needham: The export of certain security and paramilitary police goods is controlled. This includes portable anti-riot devices for administering an electric shock or an incapacitating substance. In considering applications for licences for the export of such equipment the DTI, together with advisers in other Government Departments, takes special care and considers very carefully the political and military implications of allowing consignments to go overseas. Particular attention is paid to proposed exports to countries with poor human rights records, where the equipment might be used for internal repression.

Mr. Mullin: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what discussions he has had with BAe's Royal Ordnance division about the supply of electric shock batons to Saudi Arabia; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ian Taylor: None. The company has denied both publicly and to my officials that any such supply has taken place.

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the occasions and the dates on which his Department (a) received information in respect of and (b) supported the export of electro-shock weapons to (i) China and (ii) Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 18 January 1995]: A number of allegations have been made: they have been followed-up by my officials. The companies involved have made public denials. I am not aware of any support given for the export of electro-shock weapons to these destinations.

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what electro-shock equipment has been exported by (a) the Royal Ordnance, (b) British Aerospace or (c) any other British companies in the last 10 years.

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 18 January 1995]: Controls exist on the export of portable anti-riot devices for administering an electric shock. Other equipment of this sort is not licensable under the Export of Goods (Control) Order. This question could be answered in respect of controlled equipment only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what measures his Department is taking to pursue the Government's policy of preventing the export of equipment and weapons which can be used for torture.

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 18 January 1995]: My Department gives careful consideration to applications for the export of weapons. In considering such proposals, special care is taken over the political and military implications of allowing consignments to go overseas. Particular attention is paid to countries with poor human rights records, where equipment might be used for internal repression. However, the list of seemingly innocuous equipment that can be used for the purposes of torture is endless and there is a real problem in controlling trade in legitimate goods which could be misused. The Government are willing to look at any tangible evidence of British companies knowingly involved in supplying materials and expertise for the purposes of repression.


Column 220

Uranium

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what quantities of reprocessed uranium have been exported under licence to the Russian Federation since 1991 for re-enrichment before return to the United Kingdom.

Mr. Charles Wardle: Since 1991 there have been no exports of reprocessed uranium from the United Kingdom to the Russian Federation.

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what applications have been made by British Nuclear Fuels or Nuclear Electric for import licences for enriched uranium purchased from companies in the Russian Federation or other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Mr. Needham: As a general matter, applications for import licences are treated as commercially confidential.

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what memoranda of understanding exist between the United Kingdom and the former Soviet Union which have been inherited by the Russian Federation providing for a framework agreement for the import of uranium hexafluoride from Russia for commercial use.

Mr. Charles Wardle: Before the former Soviet Union came to an end in December 1991, imports of uranium hexafluoride were made on a purely commercial basis. None of the Government's obligations in the field of nuclear non-proliferation required an inter-governmental memorandum of understanding.

Nuclear Industry (Accident Liability)

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what criteria were used in setting the level of nuclear industry's liability in the event of a nuclear accident at £140 million; and when he next intends to review this level of liability.

Mr. Charles Wardle: The figure of £140 million is in line with the recommendation of the steering committee for nuclear energy of the OECD for countries which are parties to the Paris convention. It also takes account of the level of commercial insurance cover available. The figure is kept under review.

Nuclear Reactors (Cracking)

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will instruct Her Majesty's nuclear installations inspectorate to investigate the safety of the similar AGR plant of Hartlepool in respect of cracking problems as discovered at the Heysham and Dungeness AGR reactors.

Mr. Charles Wardle: I understand that a programme of periodic inspections is already undertaken at Hartlepool, where the superheater headers are similar to those at Heysham 1, where cracks have been found. The headers are included in the routine inspection programme. At the last such inspection at Hartlepool in June 1994, no cracks were identified in the equivalent header welds. As a precautionary measure, the Health and Safety Executive's nuclear installations inspectorate has agreed with the operator, Nuclear Electric, a programme of additional inspections.


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