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Mr. David Davis: President Samper has pledged to give human rights the highest priority. He has discussed them constructively with UN human rights bodies, foreign Governments and NGOs. We do not believe the appointment of a special rapporteur is needed.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if his Department has raised the issue of Islamic fundamentalism at NATO meetings.
Mr. David Davis [holding answer 13 February 1995]: Potential threats to security and stability in the Mediterranean region are discussed from time to time in NATO meetings. These threats include acts of violence carried out by extremist groups, some but not all of which act under the guise of fundamentalist movements.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consideration he has given to the possible threat from Islamic fundamentalism; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg [holding answer 13 February 1995]: We do not consider Islam, or Islamic revival, to be a threat. However a number of countries in the middle east face problems of violent extremism under the guise of Islamic movements. These are clearly a threat to the stability of the region.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his policy concerning the establishment of military links between NATO and (a) north African and (b) middle eastern countries; what consideration his Department has given to the establishment of wider security co-operation with these countries; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. David Davis [holding answer 13 February 1995]: NATO has no plans to establish military links with either north African or middle eastern countries. The Mediterranean initiative announced by the NATO Secretary-General on 7 February is political in nature and reflects the alliance's wish to contribute to the strengthening of regional stability, to foster better understanding of mutual concerns, and to correct any misunderstandings of the NATO's purpose that could lead to perceptions of a threat. It also seeks to complement OSCE and WEU dialogues with certain countries in the region.
Sir Terence Higgins: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to the oral answer by the Leader of the House of 2 February, Official Report, column 1231, and Madam Speaker's statement of 2 February, Official Report, column 1231, what considerations underlay his decision to hold a press conference on the issue of exported live animals for slaughter rather than make a statement to the House.
Mr. Waldergrave: I believed that it was extremely important to inject into the wider public debate a point which I hope is reasonably well understood in the House--since the Government have made it clear both to hon. Members and in another place namely that, legally, it is not open to the United Kingdom to introduce a unilateral ban on exports of live animals. My statement to the press on 1 February merely confirmed that position. A letter sent to all Members of the House earlier that day set out the legal position in detail, as did answers given on 2 February to parliamentary questions from the hon. Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) and my hon. Friend the Member for Thanet, North (Mr. Gale), Official
Column 582Report , columns 846 47 . I believe that misunderstanding on this point fuels some of the frustration of many of those demonstrating against the trade and diverts attention from the necessity of securing improvements in European law.
Sir Terence Higgins: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the legal arguments put forward by Compassion in World Farming rebutting his contention that it would be illegal for the United Kingdom to impose a ban on the export from the United Kingdom of live animals for slaughter.
Mrs. Browning: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given on 2 February to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) and my hon. Friend the Member for Thanet, North (Mr. Gale), Official Report, columns 846 47, about the legality under Community law of measures banning or restricting calf exports. Similar considerations would apply to a ban on the export of live animals for slaughter.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 2 February, Official Report , column 851 , what information he now has on how many of the exporters of livestock currently using Brightlingsea have convictions and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Browning: I have nothing to add to that reply.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many cattle over six months of age were loaded on the MV Caroline at Brightlingsea on 1 February; where they came from; what was their destination; where they were lairaged prior to transportation; what were the nationalities of the haulage firms prior to lairage and after lairage; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Browning [holding answer 13 February 1995]: A total of 32 heifers and bullocks from premises in County Meath, Republic of Ireland were loaded on the MV Caroline on that day. According to the health documents and journey plan accompanying the animals their destination was premises in Vitre, France and they were to be rested, fed and watered at premises in Northampton and Nieuwpoort, Belgium. The animals were transported by a British haulage firm.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the cases of contagious epididymitis in each year since 1985.
Mrs. Browning: No cases of contagious epididymitis have been recorded since it was made notifiable on 1 January 1993. Official records are not available before that date.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many cases of contagious agalactia have occurred in each year since 1985.
Mrs. Browning: No cases of contagious agalactia have been recorded in England since it was made notifiable on 1 January 1993. Official records are not available before January 1993.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list in each of the last five years, the amount of compensation paid out to farmers whose animals have been slaughtered as BSE carriers.
Mrs. Browning: Compensation is paid when animals suspected to be affected with BSE are compulsory slaughtered. Details of compensation paid in the last five years are as follows:
|Compensation Year |£ --------------------------------------- 1990 |9,030,752 1991 |15,741,463 1992 |28,205,613 1993 |36,290,273 1994 |22,546,902
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many slaughterhouses have closed and what killing capacity by species has been taken out of commission in each year since 1985.
Mrs. Browning: Our records indicate the numbers of licensed red meat slaughterhouses in England in each year since 1984 were: 1984: 861
The Department does not hold figures on the total capacity of slaughterhouses.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many cases of sheep pox have been reported in each year since 1985.
Mrs. Browning: No cases of sheep pox have been recorded in England since 1985.
Dr. Strang: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made as to which Ministry work currently carried out under various memoranda of understanding will be transferred to a privatised ADAS.
Mr. Waldegrave: No decisions have yet been taken on the extent of the work which might be transferred to the private sector.
Mr. Tyler: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the latest available figures for the number of sheep farmers authorised under the certification scheme to purchase
organophosphorous dip products in Wales, Scotland and each of his Department's regions in England; and what, in each case, was the total estimated number of sheep farmers.
Mrs. Browning: The certification scheme is run by the National Proficiency Tests Council. There are 90,000 registered sheep farmers in the United Kingdom. The number of farmers who have applied for certification in each NPTC region by 10 February 1995 is set out in the following table. The information is not available by MAFF regions.
By 10 February, 11,151 sheep farmers had enrolled for certification. A total of 4,746 certificates had also been issued by that date. None of this data are available on a corresponding regional basis.
The decision on whether or not to apply for certification is a matter for the individual sheep farmer, bearing in mind their judgment on the possible need to purchase OP sheep dips for the treatment of sheep in the coming year.
Applications for sheep dipping certificates received by 10 February 1995 Counties |Numbers registered ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Northumberland |\ Durham | | Tyne and Wear | | Cumbria | | |1,448 Lancashire | | Cheshire | | | Merseyside | | | Great Manchester |/ Yorkshire |596 Cleveland |596 Humberside |190 Lincolnshire |190 Derbyshire |\ Leicestershire | | |407 Northamptonshire | | Nottinghamshire |/ Shropshire |268 Staffordshire |268 Hereford and Worcester |\ Gloucester and North Avon | | |434 Warwickshire | | West Midlands |/ Cambridgeshire |\ Norfolk | | |122 Suffolk |/ Essex |\ Hertfordshire | | |62 London (North of Thames) |/ Bedfordshire |\ Berkshire | | |155 Buckinghamshire | | Oxfordshire |/ Kent |\ Sussex-East | | |218 London (South of Thames) |/ Surrey |73 Sussex-West |73 Hampshire |100 Isle of Wight |100 Dorset |\ Somerset | | South Avon | | |614 Devon | | Cornwall | | Wiltshire |/ Clwyd |756 Gwynedd |756 Powys |551 Dyfed |602 Glamorgan |213 Gwent |213 Scotland |1,230 Northern Ireland |300 ATB Landbase |2,812 Total as known |11,151
Mr. Streeter: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether payments under the 1995 hill livestock compensatory allowances scheme will all be made within the payments timetable set out in his Department's latest commitment to service document.
Mr. Waldegrave: The 1995 HLCA scheme opened for applications on 15 November 1994. The Council regulation which extended the agri-monetary system on which HLCA rates are dependent was not published in the Official Journal until 31 December 1994. The statutory instrument allowing payments to be made was laid in the House on 19 January 1995. Most claimants should receive their payments within three months of receipt of their claim as provided for in the Ministry's regional service standard "Commitment to Service". However, some of the claims submitted early in the claim period are unlikely to be processed in time to meet the target. We will keep any delays to a minimum.
Mr. Blunkett: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to seek exemption for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and guide dog owners from the Restrictions on the Administration of Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulations 1994, SI 2987, in order to allow veterinary surgeons to prescribe generic alternatives to specialist veterinary prescriptions; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Browning [holding answer 10 February 1995]: None. It is in the interests of animals to treat them with medicines which have been fully assessed for safety, quality and efficacy in the species concerned. The regulations encourage good practice in both areas by reinforcing the code of practice introduced by the British Veterinary Association in 1991. The provisions have therefore established good veterinary practice in the United Kingdom, but which now have statutory backing. Where no authorised product exists for a particular condition in a particular species the veterinary surgeon is able to exercise his or her clinical judgment to consider alternatives in accordance with the regulations.
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 [pursuant to his reply, 25 January 1995,c. 214 16]: The information given for 1994 was incorrect, the correct information is as follows:
~ 1991 1992 1993 1994 |Per |Per |Per |Per |Total |cent. of |Total |cent. of |Total |cent. of |Total |cent. of Grade |Women |staff |total |Women |staff |total |Women |staff |total |Women |staff |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 |919 |17.5 EO |773 |1,721 |44.9 |786 |1,731 |45.4 |965 |1,946 |49.6 |878 |1,910 |45.9 AO |1,365 |2,064 |66.1 |1,377 |2,057 |66.9 |1,541 |2,274 |67.8 |1,584 |2,335 |67.8 AA |1,499 |2,056 |72.9 |1,576 |2,086 |75.6 |1,541 |2,065 |74.6 |1,466 |1,993 |73.5
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the reasons for granting Ernest Saunders parole in 1994.
Mr. Michael Forsyth: Mr. Saunders was released on licence in 1991, when he become eligible for parole, following a recommendation to that effect from the Parole Board, an independent body.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give an undertaking that he or his representative will vote against the draft data protection directive in the relevant forthcoming Council of Ministers' meeting unless it has been amended to reflect the criticisms made of it by the Minister of State, the right
Column 586hon. Member for Stirling (Mr. Forsyth), in European Standing Committee B.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The draft directive in its original form was unacceptable to the United Kingdom. By the time of the Standing Committee debate on 7 December 1994, a number of improvements had been made, for example in relation to the use of data for research and statistical purposes and for health administration. However, a number of concerns remained. Intensive negotiations continued until political agreement was reached on the directive at the Foreign Affairs Council on 6 February. By then, significant progress had been made towards meeting UK concerns. In particular there is now more flexibility in applying the directive to existing records held in paper filing systems; a safeguard for the effective supervision of City financial institutions; and freedom to continue political canvassing. The UK indicated that it would be abstaining when the matter is put to a formal vote, probably later this month. The
Column 587decision to abstain was conditional upon the improvements which have been secured.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place a duty on courts not to reveal the identity and addresses of people who allow the police to use their property for surveillance purposes.
Mr. Maclean: I am looking into this point as part of my consideration of the issues raised by the current disclosure requirements generally.
Mr. Michael Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the application by Cleethorpes borough council for a closed circuit television installation under the CCTV challenge competition 1994 95.
Mr. Maclean: The bid from Cleethorpes borough council for funding for its proposed CCTV installation is at present under consideration, along with the other bids received. The winners will be announced in early March.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list all the amendments made to the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: Three amendments have been made:
1. The definition of protected animal in section 1(1) has been extended to include any invertebrate of the species Octopus vulgaris from the stage of its development when it becomes capable of independent feeding. The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act (Amendment) Order 1993: SI 1993/2103.
2. Any bird of the species Coturnix coturnix--quail--has been added to schedule 2--animals to be obtained only from designated breeding or supplying establishments. The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act (Amendment) Order 1993: SI 1993/2103.
3. Section 10(3) has been extended to exclude the use--except in exceptional circumstances-- of species of animals listed in appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora. The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act (Amendment) Regulations 1993: SI 1993/2102
Ms Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary ofState for the Home Department if he will publish details of recorded crimes for each year since 1992 in (a) supermarket car parks, (b) out of town shopping centres and (c) town centre shopping malls; and if he will indicate the percentage involving (i) assaults on women, (ii) assaults on men, (iii) car crime and (iv) other crimes.
Mr. Maclean: This information is not collected centrally.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the conversion of the national collection of criminal records into digital form for entry on the police national computer; and what steps he is taking to ensure that technical staff who have access to the computer do not have criminal connections.
Mr. Maclean: The contract for the back record conversion of criminal records, for eventual entry on the police national computer, was awarded to PCL Group Ltd. on 5 July 1994. Work began in October and is expected to take 18 months. It is being carried out, under conditions of the strictest security, in three locations in the United Kingdom.
PCL Group operators do not have direct access to the police national computer but key portions of records on to magnetic tape from electronic images supplied by the national identification service at New Scotland Yard. The procedures for conversion make it impossible for workers to associate a subject's name with details of his or her convictions, since the different sections of each criminal record are separately streamed and only reassembled at New Scotland Yard on return of the magnetic tapes. After quality control has taken place, the converted data will be passed, again on tape, to Home Office civil servants at the Hendon Data Centre for entry on the police national computer.
All the workers keying in records have been subject to a criminal record check, as have all Home Office staff involved in this work.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the budget adjustment made by his Department in respect of each police force for 1995 96.
Mr. Maclean: The setting of budgets is a matter for police authorities. Grant allocations to police authorities for 1995 96 were announced in the reply given on 30 January to a question from the hon. and learned Member for Burton (Sir I. Lawrence), Official Report, column 516.
Mr. Hawksley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has to add methcathinone to the prohibited substances list.
Mr. Michael Forsyth: Methcathinone is a synthetic stimulant. The World Health Organisation has recently recommended that it should be brought under the controls of the United Nations convention on psychotropic substances, 1971. The UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs will shortly be considering the recommendation.
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which has a duty to keep under review drug misuse in the United Kingdom, is to consider whether to recommend bringing methcathinone under the controls of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the Liverpool police force has agreed compensation to be paid out to Mr. and Mrs. Walker of Toxteth following a raid on their house by mistake; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean: This is a matter for the chief constable of Merseyside police. I am told, though, that a claim has been received and is being assessed.
Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what regulations govern members of the special constabulary; and who negotiates members of the special constabulary's conditions of service.
Mr. Maclean: The main regulations which apply to members of the special constabulary are as follows:
The Special Constables Regulations 1965
The Special Constables (Amendment) Regulations 1968
The Special Constables (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 1992 The Special Constables (Amendment) Regulations 1992
The Special Constables (Pensions) Regulations 1971 (revoked by SI 1973/431, except in relation to pensions awarded before 1 April 1972)
The Special Constables (Pensions) Regulations 1973
The Special Constables (Pensions) Regulations 1980
The Special Constables (Injury Benefit) Regulations 1987 By virtue of section 34(1) of the Police Act 1964, the Secretary of State may make regulations as to the government, administration and conditions of service of special constables. As a matter of practice, the Department consults representatives of the police staff associations, the special constabulary, and other interested parties before laying any such regulations.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the number of police officers per 100,000 population each year since 1979 for (a) the Metropolitan police, (b) Hampshire, (c) Manchester and (d) Essex.
Mr. Maclean: Information on ratios of police officers to population levels are contained in the appendices to the annual reports of Her Majesty's chief inspector of constabulary, copies of which are in the Library.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer to the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Carlile), on 16 January, Official Report, column 333 , if he will list the nature of offence for which they were convicted and the date of their sentence in respect of each of the 15 individuals serving mandatory and discretionary life sentences who have been informed that previous Ministers set a whole life tariff in their case.
Mr. Michael Forsyth: All 15 prisoners were convicted of murder. The convictions were in May 1966, July 1976, November 1978, November 1983, September 1984, October 1986 (two), December 1986, July 1987, February 1988, November 1988, February 1990, July 1991, September 1991, and October 1991.
Sir Ivan Lawrence: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to introduce voluntary and compulsory severance arrangements for police officers.
Mr. Howard: The Metropolitan police service is running a limited voluntary retirement scheme which will come to an end of 31 March 1995. This was introduced to assist the force to restructure its middle management.