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Mr. Trimble: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his answer of 7 February, Official Report, columns 167 68 , on what basis officials of the political affairs division of the Northern Ireland Office gave guidance as to the revised recommendations of the Northern Ireland Boundary Commission prior to the publication of those recommendations.
Mr. Ancram: In accordance with normal briefing practice, on receipt of the deputy chairman's letter of 16 January 1995 the political affairs division was asked to contribute to the advice for Ministers on the possible electoral consequences if the revised recommendations of the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland were implemented.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the occasions during the last five years when his Department or its agencies has taken legal action against a consultancy firm; and what were the reasons in each case.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what are his latest estimates of the expenditure on all external consultants, including management consultants, for each year since 1987, in 1994 prices, for his Department and its agencies; and what are the quantified annual cost savings which such expenditure has resulted in.
Sir John Wheeler [holding answer 9 February 1995]: The information requested is not available in all the Northern Ireland Departments and the Northern Ireland Office for each year. However, from the information available, expenditure on external consultants, including management consultants in 1994 prices was:
Year |Expenditure (£000) --------------------------------------------------------- 1987-88 |1,580 1988-89 |8,889 1989-90 |14,451 1990-91 |17,753 1991-92 |26,141 1992-93 |29,662 1993-94 |30,286 1994-95 |<1>16,933 <1> Available estimates to date.
As consultants are, in many instances, engaged to contribute particular skills to an element of a much larger process, it is not possible to quantify cost savings which such expenditure has resulted in but, in each instance, consultants were engaged on the basis of best value for money.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his answer of 17 January, Official Report , column 420 , how many appointments to public positions have been made by his Department in the last year.
Sir John Wheeler: From 1 February 1994 to 31 January 1995, 395 individuals were appointed or reappointed to the bodies listed in the publication entitled "Public Bodies 1994", copies of which are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will give the total and breakdown of legal fees and all other costs associated with the action being pursued against Arthur Anderson in connection with the collapse of the Delorean Motor Car Co. and related matters; on what date the action was commenced; when it is expected to be concluded; and if he will make a statement on progress of that action to date.
Mr. Ancram: The legal fees and other costs associated with the action are a matter between the Government and their lawyers and disclosure while the action continues would not be in the public interest. The action was commenced on 15 February 1985. Arthur Anderson and Co. has filed a motion for summary judgement which is at present under consideration by the court. A date for trial cannot be set until the court has ruled on that motion and it is not possible to state when the action will be concluded.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many cases of sheep pox have been reported in each year since 1985.
Mr. Ancram: Sheep pox has never been reported in Northern Ireland.
Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the annual expenditure per capita of the Equal Opportunities Commission for Northern Ireland in each of the last three years.
Mr. Ancram: The information requested is as follows:
1992 93: 79p
1993 94: 87p
1994 95: 94p
Rev. Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what provisions there are in the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1994 to protect the principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty by due process of law.
Sir John Wheeler: Generally speaking the prosecution bears the burden of proving all the elements of the offence necessary to establish guilt. It would not be necessary therefore for the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1994 to provide any specific protection as the common law rule is not affected by this legislation.
Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arrangements are being made to meet expenditure by the Overseas Development Administration in 1994 95 in connection with the proposal to change the status of the Crown Agents.
Mr. Baldry: As announced in the gracious speech on 16 November 1994, the Government intend to bring forward legislation to change the status of the Crown Agents. In advance of the enactment of the legislation, expenditure will be incurred on preparatory advisory services and suppliers have been contracted to provide these services.
Parliamentary approval to this new service will be sought in a spring supplementary estimate for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Overseas Development Administration external assistance vote, class II, vote 5. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure, estimated at £59,000, will be met by repayable advances from the Contingencies Fund.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Attorney-General if he will list the occasions during the last five years when his Department or its agencies has taken legal action against a consultancy firm; and what were the reasons in each case.
The Attorney-General: There are none.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Attorney-General, pursuant to his answer of 17 January, Official Report, column 399 , how many appointments to public positions have been made by his Department in the last year.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Attorney-General if he will list the severance payments made to special advisers in each of the last five years indicating (a) the amount and (b) the date.
The Attorney-General [holding answer 1 February 1995]: There have been no special advisers in the departments for which I am responsible in the past five years.
Ms Lestor: To ask the Lord President of the Council how many women are currently on the Privy Council; and how many (a) men and (b) women have been appointed since 1979.
Mr. Newton: The Privy Council currently includes 18 women. Since 1979, 266 men and 13 women have been appointed to the Privy Council.
Mrs. Peacock: To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee what medical provision is available in the House to hon. Members and their staff who require medical but not accident and emergency help from a hospital.
Mr. Michael J. Martin [holding answer 10 February 1995]: The staff of the occupational health service, located off the Lower Waiting Hall, are available to advise Members or their staff, and staff of the House, who require medical help. It is their practice to deal with any small-scale accidents or emergencies, and to arrange for the transfer of more serious cases of this kind to St. Thomas's hospital. The service is not intended to provide medical treatment for which an individual's own general practitioner would be more suitable.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the occasions during the last five years when his Office or its agencies has taken legal action against a consultancy firm; and what were the reasons in each case.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 17 January, Official Report, columns 398-99 , how many appointments to public positions have been made by his Department in the last year.
The Prime Minister: I have made 18 appointments since January 1994 to bodies listed in "Public Bodies 1994".
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Prime Minister what action he plans to take to ensure a higher priority within public spending to the provision of intensive care beds.
The Prime Minister: It is for each purchasing authority to determine the appropriate level and type of provision of intensive therapy, and to priorities these accordingly based on an assessment of the total needs of its population. For their part, the Government have undertaken to increase the real level of resources devoted to the health service.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral answer of 9 February to the right hon. Member for Bridgewater (Mr. King), Official Report, column 452, if he will list those local education authorities which may need to look carefully at education priorities.
The Prime Minister: All local education authorities need to consider their priorities to ensure that they provide an effective and efficient service.
Mr. MacShane: To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to travel to Hong Kong in 1995.
The Prime Minister: I have no plans to visit Hong Kong in 1995.
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Prime Minister if he will (a) meet those who survived the sinking of the motor vessels Marchioness and their relatives, and (b) respond positively to the requests for legal aid to be granted to them for their representation at the forthcoming inquest.
The Prime Minister: My right Hon. and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor would be willing to meet a delegation of survivors of the tragedy and their relatives. Legal aid is not available for representation at inquests. Subject to financial eligibility, advice and assistance may be available before the hearing under the green form scheme.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which countries have made commitments to the proposed UN peacekeeping force in Angola; how many troops are involved; and what provision has been made to provide the necessary logistical support for such an operation.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: The authorised maximum strength of United Nations Angolan unification mission III is 7,000 military personnel, 350 military observers and 260 civilian police observers. Some 30 countries have made offers of troops to UNAVEM III and the UN has accepted commitments from Brazil, Romania, India, Uruguay, Pakistan and Zimbabwe. Logistical support for the operation will be handled by a civilian contractor to be appointed by the United Nations.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how quickly the UN believes it can install United Nations Angolan verification mission III in Angola; and what commitment he has made to assist.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: The Security Council resolution authorising the deployment of UNAVEM III was adopted on 8 February. That resolution called for the phased deployment of forces subject to a report from the UN Secretary-General that certain conditions have been met for example, an effective cessation of hostilities and provision of all relevant military data. We are considering whether we are able to assist the operation.
Ms Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Norwegian Government concerning their investigation into the activities of football agents, with particular reference to Mr. Rune Hauge.