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Column 12solution. Its position has been made clear in statements issued by the Foreign Affairs Council on 23 January and 6 February.
Mr. Goodlad: There are no independently verifiable figures available for the casualty figures in Chechnya. However, on 11 February, General Kolesnikov was quoted as saying 1,020 Russian soldiers had been killed. On 9 February, the Russian Interfax agency claimed that 3,400 Russian soldiers had been wounded.
The Russian human rights ombudsman, Sergei Kovalev, has estimated 25,000 civilians have been killed or wounded. He arrived at this figure after questioning refugees about their personal experiences and extrapolating an overall figure from these eye witness accounts.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals he has for replacing the nuclear non- proliferation treaty with a nuclear weapons convention using the chemical weapons convention as a basis.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Her Majesty's Government will now be making a new submission to the International Court of Justice on the legality of the use and threat of nuclear weapons in any circumstances following the United Nations Assembly decision on 15 December to refer the issue to the court; and if he will publish the submissions already made.
Mr. David Davis: We intend to make a further submission in the light of the resolution adopted by the 1994 United Nations General Assembly, seeking an advisory opinions the legality of the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. The International Court of Justice requires that submissions are kept confidential until the case is heard.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many countries and how many heads of state have accepted invitations to the United Nations social summit in Copenhagen in March.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which Department is responsible for co-ordinating the Government's input to the United Nations social summit in Copenhagen.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether there will be a United Kingdom policy statement to the United Nations social summit in Copenhagen in March; and whether it will be publicly available.
Mr. Goodlad: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has prepared a background brief on the world summit for social development. This is available from the FCO's information department. Copies have also been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take measures to ensure the publication in the United Kingdom treaty series of the current contents of the treaty of Rome, the European Single Act treaty and treaty of the Union and in a single command publication of A4 size; and for what reasons this has not already been done.
Mr. David Davis: In line with normal practice, the treaty on European Union was published as Command Paper No. 1934 in May 1992, following its signature by the United Kingdom, as Command Paper No. 2485, in March 1994, following its entry into force. A consolidated text is published by the office for official publications of the European Communities, and is available from Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
Mr. Goodlad: [pursuant to his reply 1 February 1995, column 701]: My Department has now been provided with new information. This shows that eight attacks off Brazil have been recorded; five on British flagged vessels, one on a Hong Kong flagged, British-managed ship, and
Column 14two attacks on ships with a British interest, but flagged in other countries.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what is the latest number of judges serving in England and Wales; how many of these are fluent in (a) Urdu, (b) Punjabi and (c) Welsh; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John M. Taylor: The table lists the number of judges in each of the offices shown in England and Wales as at 13 February 1995. Our records regarding judges' knowledge of languages are not comprehensive but show that 19 judges speak Welsh. None are recorded as speaking an Indian or Pakistani language but it is believed that a few do. Of those serving in a part-time capacity or in a full-time capacity not listed on the table, according to the limited information available, 55 speak Welsh and 16 speak an Indian or Pakistani language. Urdu and Punjabi are not separately identified in the records and the records do not indicate the degree of fluency.
|Total number ------------------------------------------------------ Lord Chancellor |1 Lords of Appeal in Ordinary |11 Heads of Division |4 Lords Justices of Appeal |30 High Court Judges |93 Circuit Judges |511 District Judges<1> |321 Stipendiary Magistrates |88 Masters<2> |29 <1> Including District Judges of the Principal Registry of the Family Division. <2> Including Bankruptcy Registrars.
Mr. John M. Taylor: It is not possible to identify separately the cost of boundary disputes from other proceedings relating to land. It is only possible, therefore, to provide information on the cost of all "land" related matters. The total net cost to the legal aid fund of all "land" matters--excluding landlord and tenant
Column 15proceedings--where proceedings were concluded, in each of the last three years, was as follows:
1991 92: £5.2 million
1992 93: £7.7 million
1993 94: £10.9 million
Mr. John M. Taylor: The net cost to legal aid of cases involving medical negligence, excluding multi-party actions, where proceedings were concluded, in each of the last three years was as follows: 1991 92: £5.9 million
1992 93: £10.8 million
1993 94; £21.9 million
Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to respond to the report of the United Nations Committee on Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child regarding his policy on secure training centres; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean: The proceedings of the committee ended with its concluding observations. But I take this opportunity to record that we reject the committee's observations about secure training orders. Its observations contain serious misunderstandings, despite the extensive written material provided to the committee before its oral hearings, and despite the specific information given by United Kingdom representatives at the end of nine hours of hearings during the brief opportunity to respond to the committee's oral questions on this matter.
The committee appears to believe that the existence of the secure training centres could be inconsistent with the provisions of the convention requiring that detention or imprisonment of a child shall be used as a measure of last resort. As was explained to the committee, that is not so. By section 1 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991, custodial sentences, whether for adults or children, are available to the courts only in limited circumstances and in effect as a last resort. Secure training orders, when brought into force, will be subject to that provision. Such orders will be available only for persistent offenders, and will be served in purpose- built establishments providing a high standard of training and care reflecting the needs of the young offender concerned, and the need to minimise the risk of further offending.
Mr. Alton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he intends to take to enable football pools companies to pay small winnings in retail outlets, to operate on an equal footing with the national lottery through the subsidy of prize money and to remove
Column 16restrictions on the type of events on which pools may be based.
Mr. Michael Forsyth: My hon. Friend announced during the course of the debate on the motion on the Adjournment on 10 February, Official Report , column 642 , that licensed betting offices should be permitted to pay pools winnings. I intend to bring forward an order under section 1 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 later this year, following consultation.
I am currently reviewing the scope for further deregulation and have asked officials to discuss a range of issues with the Pool Promoters Association.
Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of those passengers on the Leisure International Airways flight from Kingston, Jamaica in December 1993, who were granted temporary admission to the United Kingdom, have (a) returned to their country of origin, (b) been granted further leave to remain in the United Kingdom and (c) are of unknown location.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The information requested is not available. Comprehensive statistics are not kept of departures from the United Kingdom or of applications for leave to remain by reference to the flight of arrival.
Mr. Mills: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to ensure that the United Kingdom immigration rules are not breached by immigrants entering the United Kingdom from other European Union countries.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The United Kingdom operates a full immigration control on all non-European economic area nationals arriving here, regardless of the country from which they have travelled, and we shall continue to do so.
Mr. Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make a statement on the conduct of each authority under his jurisdiction in the case of the remand, conviction and subsequent escape of prisoner Roy Higginson;
(2) what inquiries he has instigated in respect of prisoner Roy Higginson since 15 January; and if he will make a statement.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Andrew Miller, dated 20 February 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Questions about Roy Higginson.
Mr. Higginson appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on 8 May 1992, having been previously granted bail, and was sentenced to four years imprisonment. He was held in closed prisons for the first sixteen months of his sentence during which time he successfully completed a period of home leave. After careful assessment he was
Column 17judged to be suitable to work outside the prison. He was transferred to Kirkham open prison.
Two further home leaves were successfully completed before Mr. Higginson absconded on 30 December 1993. This was reported to Lancashire police immediately.
The responsibility for apprehending absconders is an operational matter for chief officers of police. The Cheshire Constabulary followed their normal procedures and made enquiries in the Ellesmere Port area and visited Mr. Higginson's house in an attempt to apprehend him. They will be looking at their procedures to see what they can learn from this incident.
He remained unlawfully at large until he surrendered to custody at Lancaster prison on 14 January 1995. He was charged under prison rules with absconding. A full inquiry was held by the governor at Mr. Higginson's adjudication on 16 January; he was found guilty and twenty eight days were added to his sentence.
It will also be necessary for Mr. Higginson to serve that part of his sentence for which he was unlawfully at large. His security category was upgraded and he is now held in secure conditions at Wymott prison.
North-east Police Forces-Strength (as at 31 December) Force |1978 |1994 ---------------------------------- Cleveland |1,311|1,435 Durham |1,289|1,356 Humberside |1,797|2,042 Northumbria |3,208|3,595 North Yorkshire |1,303|1,313 South Yorkshire |2,472|3,026 West Yorkshire |4,621|5,037
North-east Police Forces-Civilian strength (as at 31 December) Force |1978 |1994 ---------------------------------- Cleveland |300 |522 Durham |510 |485 Humberside |503 |651 Northumbria |777 |1,285 North Yorkshire |341 |507 South Yorkshire |583 |1,157 West Yorkshire |1,170|1,945
Ms Corston: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the average time taken to investigate an alleged miscarriage of justice by his Department during 1994 or for the latest year available; and how many cases which are currently being examined by C3 division of his Department, at the latest date available, have been outstanding for more than 12 months.
Column 18consideration of an allegation of wrongful conviction was 36 working days. On 1 January 1995, there were 38 cases which had been under consideration for more than 12 months.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has to modify the structure, management and functions of the Metropolitan police force forensic science laboratory; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the measures (a) available and (b) used to protect the lawful export trade in live sheep; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean: The Government keep the public order legislation under review to ensure that the right balance of measure is available to the police and prosecuting authorities. I am satisfied that no additional powers are needed at this time.
The policing of demonstrations, including those against live animal exports, are operational matters for the chief officers of police concerned. They are not matters in which Government Ministers can intervene. I am satisfied that chief officers are taking all reasonable steps to ensure that those concerned with the carrying of live sheep and other animals to their point of departure can go about their lawful activities without obstruction.
Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what assessment he has made of the introduction of laws in Australia, France, the United States of America, Germany, Sweden and Norway to prosecute nationals who have committed sexual offences against children extra-territorially, where that offence is also a crime under the other country's law;
(2) what plans he has to introduce extra-territorial jurisdiction over nationals who have allegedly committed offences against children, where that offence is also a crime under the other country's law.
Mr. Maclean: We continue to monitor the position in those countries known to have adopted extra-territorial jurisdiction over sexual offences against children. The most recent information available indicates that prosecutions have been brought in Germany, Norway and Sweden against citizens of those countries. In only one case--in Norway--is a prosecution known to have been successful. However, the evidential requirements of United Kingdom courts are such that similar prosecutions would probably not be successful here; our courts rely largely on oral testimony, and would require the attendance of witnesses from the countries where the alleged offences had been committed.
We have no present plans to introduce extra-territorial jurisdiction over our nationals who have allegedly
Column 19committed offences abroad against children, although we remain ready to assist the judicial authorities in other countries to enforce their laws in this area.
Letter from A. J. Butler to Mrs. Barbara Roche, dated 20 February 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about the awarding of the contract for Wolds prison.
Of the bids submitted to the Prison Service, two were lower than Group 4's bid. Although all three bids were considered to be acceptable, the key factors were the assessment of the bidder's ability to deliver the service that was proposed at the price that was being offered. There was concern about the lean staffing levels in the lowest bid and that they would not be sufficient to deal with any incidents that might arise. The lowest bidder also lacked the United Kingdom experience of Group 4, which included the operation of the Harmondsworth Immigration Detention Centre. These risks were considered to outweigh the higher price bid by Group 4. The overall conclusion was that Group 4's bid offered the best value for money, together with an assurance of quality.
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the criteria used by his Department in the short-listing of individuals seeking to serve on the Metropolitan police committee.
Mr. Maclean: I considered all applications to serve on this advisory committee personally, in consultation with Sir John Quinton. We had regard to the individual merits of each candidate and took into account the need to balance skills and experience in the light of the needs of the committee as a whole. I short-listed 20 candidates from the original field of over 100, and the successful candidates were seen by Sir John Quinton prior to their appointment.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The 1994 Budget statement resulted in a specific grant cash limit for 1995 96 for the South Yorkshire probation service of £9.4 million, plus a further £0.6 million to support probation service partnerships with the independent sector previously funded separately by the Home Office. It is for the South Yorkshire probation service to decide how these resources are best used and to determine what specific changes within the service should be undertaken on the basis of the total expenditure limit implied by this level of grant support.
Cases referred under section 17(1) (a) of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 |Number of |Number of |cases |defendants ----------------------------------------------------------------- (a) in respect of conviction 1990 |7 |20 1991 |10 |12 1992 |8 |11 1993 |8 |9 1994 |9 |12 (b) in respect of sentence only 1990 |3 |3 1991 |4 |8 1992 |1 |1 1993 |Nil |Nil 1994 |2 |3
Ms Corston: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases he referred to the Court of Appeal following an investigation by C3 division at his Department in each of the last 12 months.
Number of cases referred under section 17( 1)(a) of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 Month |Conviction|Sentence -------------------------------------------- 1994 February |Nil |Nil March |1 |Nil April |1 |1 May |Nil |Nil June |Nil |Nil July |2 |Nil August |Nil |Nil September |Nil |Nil October |2 |1 November |Nil |Nil December |3 |Nil 1995 January |1 |1
Mr. Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what training currently exists for British police to monitor and take action on pornography or other illegal entries on the Internet.
Column 21chief officers to determine in the light of their operational requirements.
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 2 January, Official Report , column 810 , how many of the escapes from prisons in (a) 1979, (b) 1984 85 and (c) 1985 86 were non-key performance indicator escapes.
Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 13 February 1995]: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mrs. Barbara Roche, dated 20 February 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question, pursuant to his Answer of 2 February, Official Report, Column 810, asking how many of the escapes from prisons in(a) 1979, (b) 1984/85 and (c) 1985 86 were non-Key Performance Indicator escapes.
I greatly regret that the information I gave in response to your original Question was incorrect, as the figures for 1979, 1984/85 and 1985/86 did not include all escapes. The 1993/94 figures were correct. The correct information is shown in the table below:
|Escapes from |Escapes from |Greater London Year |prison |prisons ------------------------------------------------------------ 1979 |232 |<2>n/a 1984/85 |211 |<2>n/a 1985/86 |202 |<2>n/a 1993/94 |<1>171 |11 <1>Excludes non-Key Performance Indicator escapes (ie. those recaptured within 15 minutes). <2> Full Information not available Key Performance Indicators were not introduced until the Prison Service became an Agency on 1 April 1993. Non-Key Performance Indicator escapes were, therefore, not recorded in 1979, 1984-85 or 1985-86.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will confirm or modify the ministerial description of the operation of articles 100C and 7A of the current main treaty of the European Community and Union given orally by the right hon. and learned Member for Rushcliffe (Mr. Clarke) on 27 January 1993, Official Report, column 122.