Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many new justices of the peace were appointed in Wales during 1994; and what is the political affiliation of the new appointees.
Party |Number ------------------------------------ Conservative |24 Labour |50 Liberal Democrat |19 Plaid Cymru |8 Independent/not known |15
Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what reassessment has been made of the list of admissible schools by the Service Children's Education Authority in the light of (a) the Her Majesty's inspectorate and Office for Standards in Education reports and (b) the league table of examination results.
Mr. Soames: No reassessment of the admissible schools list has been made in the light of the Her Majesty's inspectorate and Office for Standards in Education reports and the league table of examination results. The Service Children's Education Authority makes Ofsted reports available to service parents, and examination league tables are provided on request.
Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment has been made by the Service Children's Education Authority of the provision for the education and welfare of service children at (a) Rodney school, Nottinghamshire, and (b) Finborough school, Suffolk.
Mr. Soames: The Service Children's Education Authority does not assess the provision of education and welfare at schools. Such assessments are the responsibility of the Department for Education, Her Majesty's inspectorate and the Office for Standards in Education. SCEA offers an advisory service to parents whose children already attend boarding schools and to those who are considering a boarding education for their children.
Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many orders have been placed with aircraft companies to replace Royal Air Force Wessex helicopters; when those orders were made; and when the aircraft will be delivered;
(2) how many orders have been placed to replace the Wessex helicopters on the Queen's Flight; when those orders were made; and when they will be delivered;
(3) what plans he has to replace Wessex helicopters in the Queen's Flight;
(4) what plans he has to replace Wessex helicopters in the Royal Air Force.
Mr. Freeman: Current plans assume that all UK-based RAF Wessex helicopters, including those in the Queen's Flight, will be replaced by the turn of the century. The Wessex unit in Cyprus is planned to be replaced early next century. An order was placed in October 1992 for six Sea King helicopters which, with the RAF's existing Sea King fleet, will replace Wessex in the search and rescue role. The Sea Kings are due to be delivered this year. Options for the replacement of Wessex in other roles remain under consideration. No orders have been placed.
Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what account is taken of the policy on corporal punishment in assessing the suitability of schools for children receiving the service schools boarding allowance.
Mr. Soames: Corporal punishment is a matter between individual schools and service parents; it does not affect the eligibility criteria for boarding school allowance. The Service Children's Education Authority is happy to advise service parents on schools' policies relating to corporal punishment.
Mr. Raynsford: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 26 January, Official Report, column 291 , what appraisal was made by his Department of the merits of local schools and medical services in (a) Camberley, (b) Greenwich and (c) Bracknell.
Mr. Soames: As I explained in my previous answer, the key assessment that we have made in respect of schools and medical services is the extent to which students at the proposed joint services command and staff college, and their families, could benefit from ready access to common facilities.
The married quarters serving Bracknell and Camberley are close to the college, so students' children form a significant proportion of the local school population. As a result, some schools have been able to make special provision to cater for this group, such as adjusting the teaching year to coincide with that of the college's, and providing special language and cultural training for the children of foreign students. In Greenwich, however, the married quarters supporting the college are dispersed and situated outside the borough, so no appraisal of the merits of Greenwich schools was appropriate. Medical care is available on a simillar basis to officers, and their families, at all three sites, but, again, the relative proximity of the associated married quarters to the
Column 121colleges at Bracknell and Camberley makes access to common medical services much easier
Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which individuals have been seconded from the private sector to the Defence Export Services Organisation; and, since January 1992, what were the dates of such secondments and the company or organisation from which each individual was seconded.
Mr. Freeman: Further to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Nottingham, South (Mr. Simpson) on 30 November 1994, Official Report , column 778 , both the head of the organisation and the offset adviser have been seconded from British Aerospace since September 1994 and October 1993 respectively. The international financial adviser joined the DESO on a short-term contract in April 1992.
Mr. Soames: Her Majesty the Queen has graciously approved the institution of the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross to recognise conspicuous gallantry and great heroism by members of the armed forces. This award will replace the Distinguished Service Order, when awarded to officers for specific acts of gallantry, the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal, the Distinguished Conduct Medal and the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (Flying). It will apply to all three services, and will be open to service men and women of any rank.
The Distinguished Service Order is to be retained across all three services as an award in recognition of exceptional service in positions of substantial responsibility for command and leadership during active operations.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received in the last six months from the Governments of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain about the United Kingdom's political asylum laws, procedures and decisions on individuals.
Mr. Goodlad: The Saudi and Bahrain Governments have raised with us the presence in the United Kingdom of some of their nationals. We have explained United Kingdom asylum procedures to them. Decisions on individual cases are a matter for the Home Office.
Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking to ensure that United Kingdom security assistance provided for drug control purposes does not
Column 122contribute to human rights violations in developing countries.
Mr. Baldry: Requests from overseas Governments for United Kingdom drugs-related assistance are carefully considered against a number of criteria. These include the human rights record of the country concerned.
Mr. David Young: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what amount of resources has been denied to the Government of Gibraltar by the loss of the dockyard and other reductions in the forces over the last 10 years.
Mr. Goodlad: It is generally estimated that, at its peak, the Ministry of Defence contribution to the Gibraltar economy was about 50 per cent. It is currently estimated at about 10 per cent. More detailed figures are not available.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Turkey about the imprisonment without trial of Dr. Haluk Gerger, General Secretary of the United Nations Association of Turkey; and what response he received from the Turkish Government.
Mr. Goodlad: We have not raised this specific case, but we take every opportunity to make our concerns on human rights known to the Turkish Government. The Foreign Secretary last did so when he met the Turkish Foreign Minister in London on 2 February. We are following closely the Turkish Government's programme of democratisation measures.
Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the reasons for the current decline in Rockhopper penguin numbers in the Falkland Islands; and which other penguin species are similarly affected.
Mr. Baldry: Assessments carried out on the reasons for the current decline in Rockhopper penguins are inconclusive. Two major reasons for the decline, which is not confined to the Falklands, have been put forward: first, changes in ocean temperatures, possibly related to the El Nino phenomenon; and, secondly, a natural cycle of decline similar to those previously recorded, which have been followed by an upturn.
No major penguin species on the Falkland Islands have suffered significant decline. Detailed surveys of penguin colonies are being conducted by the organisation Falkland Conservation.
Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures are being taken to avoid over fishing in Falkland Islands waters; and which countries are currently licensed to fish in those waters.
Mr. Baldry: Fishing in Falkland Islands waters is closely controlled by the Falkland Islands Government through a strict licensing regime that limits fishing effort to safe levels. Scientific evaluation of the sustainable development of the fishery is carried out, under contract
Column 123to the Falkland Islands Government, by Imperial College and the British Antarctic Survey. The Falkland Islands Government operate two fishery protection aircraft and, depending on the season, either one or two fishery protection vessels.
Vessels from the following are licensed to fish in Falkland waters during 1995:
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which countries in the ECOWAS monitoring group initiative in Liberia have indicated that they will withdraw their troops unless there is progress in the peace process or financial assistance is given.
Mr. Baldry: Many ECOMOG troop contributing countries have voiced their frustration with the lack of progress in the peace process and have indicated that they are not prepared to enter into an open-ended commitment in Liberia.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further financial contribution is being made by (a) the United Nations or (b) other bodies to alleviate the financial hardships being suffered by those countries contributing forces to the ECOWAS monitoring group initiative in Liberia.
Mr. Baldry: The UN trust fund for Liberia was set up to help offset ECOMOG's costs. So far, only five countries, including the United Kingdom, have contributed. The UN Secretary-General has appealed for further donations. I am not aware of any other bodies outside the Economic Community of West African States that have given financial help for ECOMOG.
Column 124enable the Faraday station to stockpile sufficient quantities of baked beans to last until the closure of the station.
(2) who took the decision to hand over Faraday station to the Ukraine; when it was taken; and what are the terms of the transfer.
Mr. David Hunt: The House was informed of the decision to close Faraday from March 1996, as a manned station, by the then Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service and Science, on 19 May 1993, Official Report, columns 157-58.
Subsequently, the possibility of transfer of the station as a working unit to another operator was explored by the Foreign Office. Negotiations with the Ukrainians were opened following authorisation by the then Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in June 1994. These have yet to be concluded.
The terms of the transfer are still subject to negotiation.
Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what guarantees he is able to give that the scientific work currently being carried out by the Faraday station will continue after 1995 96;
(2) what scientific work on the ozone layer is carried out by staff at the Faraday station; and who will carry out this work after the station closes.
Mr. David Hunt: If the Faraday station is closed as a manned station, the British Antarctic Survey will complete the development of automated data collection systems, which will enable key long-term meteorological and magnetic observations to be completed at Faraday. Should negotiations for the transfer of the station to the Ukrainians prove successful, their scientists will, after training, carry out the existing scientific measurements at Faraday and transfer the resulting data to the United Kingdom.
Ozone measurements have been carried out for many years at Faraday. The monitoring programme will either continue in that location or be transferred to Rothera island.
Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list for each Department and agency the average days of sick leave and the index figure taking the civil service average as 100.
Mr. Robert G. Hughes: Data on sickness absence is submitted to the civil service Occupational Health and Safety Agency by Departments and agencies on a voluntary basis. The tables show, for 1993, the average days of sick leave and the index figure taking the civil service average as 100 for participating Departments and agencies.
Ranked working days absence for departments by departmental size |Average |Index Figure |Days sick leave |Staff years |CS average = 100 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Departments of 10,000 + staff 190 |Inland Revenue |7.71 |66,392 |76 058 |MOD |8.71 |84,726 |86 180 |Customs and Excise |8.75 |26,222 |86 185 |Department of Trade and Industry |8.90 |12,112 |88 076 |Home Office |10.60 |47,141 |105 093 |Department of Transport |10.70 |13,588 |106 048 |Lord Chancellor's Department |11.80 |13,048 |116 528 |Employment Service (DE) |12.27 |48,516 |121 537 |SS Benefits Agency (DSS) |12.81 |69,371 |126 Departments of 5,000-10,000 staff 165 |Department of Environment |8.14 |6,307 |80 422 |Crown Prosecution Service |8.21 |6,572 |81 140 |MAFF |8.45 |7,889 |83 427 |Department of Health |9.74 |5,194 |96 091 |Scottish Office |10.33 |6,298 |102 125 |Employment Department |10.58 |7,620 |104 538 |SS Contributions Agency (DSS) |11.03 |9,851 |109 532 |Land Registry |12.38 |9,228 |122 379 |National Savings Department |14.81 |6,110 |146 Departments of 1,000-5,000 staff 551 |ADAS (MAFF) |7.08 |2,135 |70 040 |HM Treasury |7.14 |1,683 |70 570 |Building Management (PSA) |8.37 |3,452 |83 521 |Met Office (MOD) |8.74 |2,516 |86 119 |Health and Safety Executive |8.76 |4,632 |86 116 |Crown Office and Proc Fiso (SO) |8.84 |1,044 |87 430 |Central Statistical Office |8.91 |1,317 |88 531 |Ordinance Survey |9.04 |2,275 |89 061 |ODA |9.14 |1,285 |90 523 |IT Services Agency (DSS) |9.35 |4,186 |92 426 |DSS |9.51 |3,075 |94 567 |SS Child Support Agency (DSS) |9.79 |3,628 |97 102 |Department for Education |9.82 |2,135 |97 392 |Welsh Office |10.13 |2,326 |100 123 |OPCS |10.67 |2,128 |105 139 |Intervention Board |11.93 |1,023 |118 432 |Scottish Prison Service |15.29 |4,533 |151 516 |Registers of Scotland (SO) |15.90 |1,268 |157 Departments of 500-1,000 staff 512 |Natural Resources Institute (ODA) |4.82 |548 |48 447 |OFSTED |5.50 |543 |54 443 |OPSS (Cabinet Office) |5.54 |618 |55 166 |PSA |6.28 |854 |62 515 |Central Office of Information (HMT)|7.23 |570 |71 564 |Planning Inspectorate (DOE) |7.71 |582 |76 124 |ACAS |8.98 |681 |89 526 |Central Vet Lab (MAFF) |9.48 |619 |94 002 |Charity Commission |10.03 |693 |99 011 |Paymaster General Office |10.41 |877 |103 146 |Export Credits Guarantee |10.94 |598 |108 050 |Scottish Courts Service |12.53 |812 |124 Departments of 200-500 staff 507 |CS College (OPSS) |4.85 |257 |48 530 |Royal Mint |5.69 |370 |56 195 |National Heritage |5.77 |311 |57 055 |North Ireland Office |6.22 |204 |61 001 |Cabinet Office |7.02 |406 |69 445 |Government Centre for Information | Systems |8.19 |391 |81 077 |Treasury Solicitor Department |8.22 |377 |81 434 |Office of Electrical Reg. |8.55 |229 |84 144 |Crown Estate Office |8.58 |204 |85 577 |Chessington CC (OPSS) |8.63 |441 |85 054 |Fair Trading Office |9.40 |420 |93 508 |Hist Royal Palaces (DNH) |10.28 |411 |101 056 |Scottish Courts Administration |10.54 |216 |104 131 |Gen. Register Office (SO) |10.86 |274 |107 013 |Public Record Office |11.23 |470 |111 506 |Resettlement Agency (DSS) |14.64 |319 |145 Departments of 1-200 staff 075 |Legal Secretariat |1.95 |29 |19 509 |QE II Conf. Centre (DOE) |2.45 |8 |24 005 |Government Actuary Department |3.31 |78 |33 423 |OFGAS |3.75 |43 |37 085 |Lord Advocates Department (SO) |6.35 |19 |63 503 |HMSO |6.52 |7 |64 012 |Privy Council Office |6.61 |36 |65 583 |Government Property Lawyers (TSOL) |6.98 |124 |69 510 |OHS (OPSS) |7.17 |104 |71 429 |OFWAT |7.46 |145 |74 424 |Serious Fraud Office |9.47 |170 |93 205 |Telecoms Office |10.04 |140 |99 205 |Scottish Record Office |10.14 |129 |100 120 |Friendly Societies Reg. |10.98 |165 |108 028 |Investment and Loans Office |12.55 |38 |124 539 |RASA (Cabinet Office) |12.94 |167 |128
Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list the bodies with contractor or agency roles for Government that (a) can be put into receivership or (b) can fail to pay sums due under contract for services meeting Government commitments.
(2) if he will list all British Antarctic stations now abandoned; and if all the necessary clean up work has been completed.
Mr. David Hunt: No specific funds have been earmarked for this purpose from within annual recurrent expenditure. The list of British abandoned bases is provided in the table. Some clean-up work has been undertaken, although not a full programme.
Base |Date established ------------------------------------------------------------------- Port Lockroy |1944 Deception Island |1944 Hope Bay |1945 Sandefjord Bay |1945 Cape Geddes |1946 Stonington Island |1946 Argentine Island, Winter Island |1947 Admiralty Bay |1947 View Point |1953 Horseshoe Island |1955 Danco Island |1956 Portal Point |1956 Detaille Island |1956 Prospect Point |1957 Orford Cliff Hut (Refuge) |1957 Blaicklock Hut (Refuge) |1957 Halley Station IV (inaccessible) |1984
Mr. Robert G. Hughes: The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has recently written to the Chairman of the Select Committee on Science and Technology to confirm that the next "Forward Look" of Government-funded science, engineering and technology, will be published in May 1995.
This is to be a permanent change from the arrangements proposed in the White Paper "Realising our Potential" which envisaged a publication date in April each year. This slight adjustment in timing will enable the "Forward Look" to link more effectively with annual public expenditure surveys.
Mr. Bill Michie: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, pursuant to his answer of 10 January, Official Report , column 4 , what proportion of the £195,000 allocated in support of the national week of science, engineering and technology was given in grants;
Column 129what number of applications were unsuccessful; and what would their total costs have amounted to.
Mr. Robert G. Hughes: Of the £195,000 the Office of Science and Technology has allocated in support of the 1995 national week of science, engineering and technology--SET 95--£50,000 was made available to the Committee on the Public Understanding of Science as additional funding for grants in direct support of SET 95. Some 102 applications were unsuccessful, whose total costs would have amounted to nearly £167,000.
Mrs. Browning: I see no justification for setting limits while the EC scientific committee for food is still considering the issue. We have made it very clear to the Commission that we oppose the proposal both because no scientific case has been established for it and because of the serious effects that it would cause to our glasshouse lettuce industry. The Commission is accordingly reconsidering the matter.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will make a statement about the objective of the trials currently taking place on bovine somatotropin in the United Kingdom; how my trials are taking place; in which counties they are taking place; what companies are sponsoring the trials; and what measures he is taking to ensure that milk from cows being treated with BST in the trials is not entering the food chain;
(2) whether the trials for bovine somatotropin in the United Kingdom will continue following the EU Agriculture Council's decision to continue the moratorium until 1999; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Browning: No trials are currently being undertaken on bovine somatotropin in cows in the UK. The decision of the Council of Agriculture Ministers to extend the moratorium on BST until 31 December 1999 also allowed limited practical tests to be carried out under certain conditions. Details of any such tests and how they might be conducted have yet to be worked out.
Column 130research into transmissible spongiform encephalopathies he has received from the spongiform encephalopathy advisory committee; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave: As part of its continuing work to maintain an overview of research into transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, the independent spongiform encephalopathy advisory committee has produced a report which summarises what is now known about TSEs. The report provides an insight into research both completed and under way.
I am arranging for copies to be placed in the Library of the House. The report has been published by HMSO.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the estimated number of dwellings for rent in the public sector and scheduled to be built in the next year in each of the West Midlands district council areas; and what are the current housing waiting lists for each of those councils.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The latest available figures for local authority and other public sector housing stock and on the numbers waiting for housing in districts in the west midlands relate to 1 April 1994 and can be found in the "1994 HIP1 All Items Prints", a copy of which is in the Library. Estimates of local authority and other public sector bodies' proposals to build new dwellings are not held centrally.
In addition, there were a total of 71,000 housing association dwellings in the west midlands region--46,000 in the west midlands county--at 31 March 1994. The forecast for housing association new build starts in the west midlands in 1995 96 is 1,800, and 1,100 in the west midlands county.