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Mr. Sackville: The number of embryos stored by individual licensed centres changes daily. Information collected by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority shows that some centres experience difficulties in maintaining contact with patients for whom they have stored embryos, for a variety of reasons. The authority will look at the practicalities involved and will consider whether further advice to licensed centres will be helpful.
Column 326The authority's ethics committee intend to consult patients and licensed centres and will consider what further consultation is required. The committee will report to the full authority, which will let Ministers have its views as soon as the matter has been fully considered. Any action called for by Government will be taken in the light of the authority's report.
The working group on embryo freezing was an internal committee set up by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in 1993. The working group reported to the full authority in 1994. A report of its activities was included in the authority's annual report for 1994, copies of which are available in the Library.
Mr. Sackville: Parliament decided during the passage of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill that the maximum statutory storage period for embryos should be five years. The first statutory five-year period ends next year, on 31 July 1996.
Regulations may provide for the storage period to be shortened or lengthened in certain circumstances. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is considering this issue.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has had with North Thames health authority concerning the future use of the Royal Northern hospital; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Malone: None. The future of the Royal Northern hospital site is a matter for North Thames regional health authority. The hon. Member may wish to contact Sir William Staveley, chairman of North Thames regional health authority, for details.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prosecutions have been made in each of the past five years against employers who employ children illegally; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Bowis: I understand that the number of defendants prosecuted under the relevant provisions of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and the Education Act 1944 in the last five years was as shown in the table.
England and Wales Offence |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 Description/Legislation ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Causing or allowing person under 18 to go abroad to perform for profit [Children and Young Persons Act 1933, sections 25 and 26] |3 |- |- |1 |- Offences against the Education Act 1944, [sections 58 to 60] including offences against byelaws as to employment of children [except offences relating to mines, factories or workshops] |4 |- |2 |- |2 Offences in connection with employment of children and young persons [Children and Young Persons Act 1933, sections 18 to 21 (Section 18 as amended by the Children Act 1972)] |23 |25 |15 |12 |5 Causing or allowing children to take part in entertainments without a licence [Children and Young Persons Act 1963, section 40(1)(all)] |- |1 |1 |- |- Other |- |- |2 |- |- Total |30 |26 |20 |13 |7
In addition, I understand that the number of informations laid under the Employment of Women, Young People and Children Act 1920, which prohibits the employment of children in industrial undertakings, was as set out in the table.
England and Wales Year of hearing<2> |Information laid --------------------------------------------------------- 1989-90<1> |9 1990-91 |2 1991-92 |6 1992-93 |1 1993-94<3> |8 Notes: <1>Data prior to 1990-91 exclude proceedings taken by the quarries inspectorate. <2> Years commencing 1 April <3> Provisional Source: Health and Safety Executive
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the total actual expenditure on national health service administration for each year since 1979, in 1994 prices; and if she will provide a breakdown to show annual expenditure on central health and miscellaneous services.
Mr. Malone [holding answer 6 February 1995]: The annual expenditure on national health service administration for each year since 1979 80 at 1993 94 prices and rounded to the nearest £ million, was: £752 million, £785 million, £744 million, £712 million, £706 million, £713 million, £730 million, £764 million, £806 million, £820 million, £899 million, £1,059 million, £907 million, £992 million and £1,136 million, provisional, for 1993 94, the last year for which figures are available. The figures represent the total revenue expenditure on pay and accommodation costs of staff of all disciplines and their support staff employed at headquarters levels in regional health authorities, district health authorities, special health authorities, family health services authorities/family practitioner committees, the Dental Practice Board, and the Prescription Pricing Authority. They exclude administrative support in hospital departments and at other local levels which is regarded as operational expenditure. RHA, DHA and SHA costs are reported in
Column 328the accounts as "Authority administration and purchasing expenses". This includes capital charges from 1991 92. FHSA/FPC administration costs are those reported in the annual accounts as revenue administration costs and represent that part of the total expenditure which is not medical, dental, ophthalmic or pharmaceutical. Changes over the years in the roles and responsibilities of FPCs--which became FHSAs in 1990--RHAs and DHAs--which started to transfer provider functions to NHS trusts in 1991 92--together with changes in accounting policies--particularly the inclusion of capital charges in health authorities' administration and purchasing expenditure--mean that the figures are not comparable.
For information on central health and miscellaneous services expenditure, I refer the hon. Member to the reply my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State gave the right hon. Member for Derby, South (Mrs. Beckett) on 20 February, Official Report, columns 28-29.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the capital projects in the NHS with a works cost of over £1 million (a) in the primary sector, hospital sector and (b) in total in each financial year since 1990 91; if she will give the cost of each project; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Sackville [holding answer 9 February 1995]: The national health service has invested over £1.265 billion in big building projects. The majority of these projects will be in the hospital sector. The information available does not distinguish between capital projects in the primary or hospital sectors. Information on the spending for each project with a works cost of over £1 million will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many persons resident in the United Kingdom are currently subject to restriction orders requiring them to report to police stations when certain sporting fixtures take place in the United Kingdom or overseas.
Column 329(2) how many persons resident in the United Kingdom, currently subject to restriction orders, travelled to Dublin on the day before or on the day of the recent England v . Ireland match; and what action is being taken against such persons.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: Information received from the Restriction Orders Authority, which was established under the Football Spectators Act 1989 and is based in the national criminal intelligence service, indicates that two restriction orders are currently extant. I understand that one of those subject to such an order presented himself to a police station as required under section 19(3)(b) of the Act. The authority is not yet in a position to confirm whether the other person concerned reported to a police station as required. However, it has no immediate reason to believe that the order was not complied with.
It is a criminal offence to fail to comply with a restriction order and anyone found guilty of this offence is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month or to a fine not exceeding level 3--£1,000--on the standard scale or both. It is an operational matter for the police, and ultimately the courts, to take action in this respect.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the powers available to United Kingdom carriers to refuse to carry those who are subject to restriction orders from the United Kingdom; what representations he has received from the police in this matter; and what representations he has received from United Kingdom carriers.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: It is a matter for United Kingdom carriers to decide the basis on which they might refuse to carry passengers. I have not received representations from the police or the carriers concerning this issue.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what are the total bids received for section 11 money by London local authorities as of 31 December 1994; what is the total allocated to meet these bids; and when he expects to be able to make a statement.
(2) what representations he has received on the funding of section 11 posts in London local authorities.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: My right hon. and learned Friend announced on 22 November, column 64 that the level of funding on offer was being doubled to around £30 million in each of the next two financial years, and that the deadline date was being extended to 30 December. I refer the hon. Member to the reply I subsequently gave to the hon. Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Madden) on 13 January at columns 250-52 , in which I provided information about bids from all authorities.
We are aware from various representations that we have received of concern in a number of local authority areas in London about continued funding under section 11. We are maintaining our target of announcing the results of the bidding round by the end of February.
Mr. Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what plans the police have to interview Mr. Craig Williamson over his confession of responsibility for bombing the London offices of the African National Congress in March 1982.
Column 330(2) what plans the police have to interview those publicly named by Mr. Craig Williamson as being responsible for the bombing of the London offices of the African National Congress in March 1982.
Mr. Howard: I understand that the police are reviewing the evidence relating to the bombing of the London offices of the African National Congress in March 1982, in the light of the recently reported statements by Mr. Craig Williamson.
Mr. Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will institute extradition proceedings against those responsible for bombing the London offices of the African National Congress in March 1982.
(2) if he will instigate extradition proceedings against Mr. Craig Williamson in respect of the bombing of the London offices of the African National Congress in March 1982.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: Extradition proceedings can be instigated only if the police have carried out an investigation which has resulted in a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service to bring a prosecution. The police are currently reviewing the evidence concerning the bombing of the London offices of the African National Congress in March 1982.
Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer on 9 February, Official Report , column 384 , if police forces are required to inform any Government Department if they possess, or intend to possess, electric shock equipment.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis would be required to obtain the Secretary of State's approval to possess such equipment, under the Metropolitan Police Act 1829. Otherwise there is no requirement for police forces to inform any Government Department if they possess, or intend to possess, such equipment.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people from Kenya sought refugee status in the United Kingdom in each year since 1989; and what were the reasons cited for seeking refugee status.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: During 1994, 1,130 applications for asylum were received from Kenyan nationals. Information on asylum applications for the years 1989 to 1993 is given in table 2.1 of the Home Office "Statistical Bulletin" entitled "Asylum Statistics United Kingdom 1993", issue 17/94 published on 14 July 1994, a copy of which is in the Library.
Column 331Information on the reasons why applicants lodged claims is not separately identified in the available statistics.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking with ministerial colleagues within the European Union to provide for EU nationals, and those ordinarily resident in an EU state, who are arrested and charged with particular offences, to be tried in their own state.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The Government do not accept that trial in the state of nationality or the state of residence of the defendant is necessarily a desirable end in itself or that a person should be entitled to choose in which country to be tried. In principle, they believe that a person who offends against a country's laws should answer to those laws before the courts of that country and that, where necessary, extradition should be available to secure the presence of the defendant at the trial. In practice, moreover, that is where the evidence and the witnesses are most likely to be found.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Governor of Hong Kong has submitted a further report on the discharge of his functions under the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990.
Mr. Neil Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make a statement on the considerations underlying his decision no longer to oppose the EC draft data protection directive;
(2) what estimate he has made of the costs to British businesses of (a) implementing and (b) annually conforming to the provisions of the data protection directive;
(3) pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Colchester, North (Mr. Jenkin) of 14 February, Official Report , columns 585 87 , if he will make a statement on the greater flexibility now obtaining in the application of the data protection directive to existing records held in paper filing systems; and what assessment he has made of the effect on the estimated costs of the directive to United Kingdom businesses of the amendments made to allay United Kingdom concerns.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: There is now more scope for member states to determine which categories of paper records are covered by the directive; a new transitional period of 12 years from the date of adoption of the directive within which existing paper records must be brought into compliance with certain provisions of the directive; and clarification that such action is not required for certain paper records even after the transitional period if disproportionate costs would be involved. The implementation costs are now likely to be significantly lower than those of implementing the directive in the form in which it was brought forward by the Commission in 1992.
Mr. Howard [holding answer 22 February 1995]: The records available indicate that the Home Office received approximately 2,230 letters from hon. Members in January 1995, including those sent direct to agency chief executives and the immigration and nationality department board.
Mr. Howard [holding answer 22 February 1995]: The information available in the number of letters sent by me and my ministerial colleagues to hon. Members during January 1995 is as follows: Home Secretary:--151
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, as representing the Church Commissioners, if he will list the current cost of the compensation Measure resulting from the ordination of women ministers; and what is the Commissioners' latest estimate and the final compensation cost.
Mr. Alison: As at 31 January 1995, 242 clergy eligible for financial assistance under the Measure had resigned and have so far received £2.7 million in resettlement grants and periodic payments. A further 48 clergy have notified us of their intention to resign. Based on a total of 290 resignations, the estimated total cost of such payments over the next 10 years, including the costs already incurred, is likely to be about £14 million.
Mr. Mans: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the implications of administrative receivership of the Carroll Aircraft Corporation for the future of business aviation at Farnborough.
Mr. Freeman: As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport indicated to the House, 20 December 1994, Official Report , columns 1091 92 , the Government believe that it is important to retain capacity for business aviation at Farnborough. I have, nevertheless, decided that, in the light of the recent receivership of Urban Development Corporation, my Department should give Urban Development Corporation, which holds a lease under which business aviation operates from
Column 333Farnborough, five years' notice of our intention to end the flying agreement. This decision does not affect the Government's belief that Farnborough is important for the future of business aviation in the south-east of England. Nor does it affect the commitment to make Farnborough available to the Society of British Aerospace Companies for the biennial airshow at least until the year 2000, and I hope beyond.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in what circumstances Crown servants may leave Ministry of Defence or military service employment and be re-engaged as consultants; and how many such consultants are currently engaged.
Mr. Freeman: All Crown servants within my Department, whether military or civilian, are subject to certain rules regarding business appointments following retirement. These regulations stipulate that, for a period of two years following retirement, individuals wishing to take up a position with a private sector employer must seek approval from the Department before accepting such an offer. Subject to this restriction, any retired Ministry of Defence employee may set him or herself up as a consultant in their own right or may decide to join a firm of consultants. In either circumstance, it is possible that such individuals will, at some time in the future, be employed by my Department on a consultancy basis.
The direct employment by this Department of retired individuals on a consultancy basis tends to be restricted to short term, low-value work and, as such, is within the signing powers of individual top-level budget holders without the need for competitive tender action. No central records therefore exist of the employment of this type of consultant and the information required could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion by value of ammunition purchases subsequent to the cessation of the explosives and propellants and related end products agreement were placed with Royal Ordnance.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current defence lands service budget; to what extent it covers planning and infrastructure costs prior to disposal; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soames: The operating costs budget for the defence lands service was set at £22,800,000 for the present financial year. The allocation of funds for the purpose of preparing surplus land and buildings ready for disposal is made separately, and is £9,400,000 for the same period.
Mr. Soames: My Department's defence lands service is responsible for ensuring that the integrity of the estate is preserved. The value of the defence estate lies in its ability to meet the legitimate requirements of the armed forces; any property not required to meet this requirement in the most cost-effective way is passed for disposal.
Mr. Soames: The closure of RAF Finningley has been proposed following a thorough review of all flying training in the RAF. That review sought to identify the most cost-effective utilisation of the RAF training estate as a whole. The rationale for the proposed closure of Finningley is set out in paragraphs 11 to 18 of my Department's consultative document, published on 17 November 1994, copies of which were sent to the hon. Member and placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Soames: Under the new management strategy introduced in 1991, budget holders have gained progressively greater authority for and control of resources they require to undertake the tasks set out in their management plan. More recently, one of the benefits of the proposals envisaged from the introduction of resource accounting and budgeting announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his November 1994 Budget is the greater visibility of the investment in capital assets by central Government. Consequently, a number of project teams are developing appropriate mechanisms to assist budget holders to use defence assets more efficiently. Resource accounting and budgeting will provide budget holders with increased awareness of the cost of services provided by one subordinate formation to another so as to inform choices on resource mix and usage. This aligns with one of the objectives of the financial management reforms arising from the defence cost study. In support of this process, the use of charges for defence estate occupation is under consideration.
Mr. Soames: As set out in the 1994 defence White Paper, under military task 1.15, the UK retains two sovereign base areas in Cyprus. British Forces Cyprus provide: strategic communications facilities; an airhead for reinforcement and evacuation if necessary; a forward
Column 335mounting base for operations in the middle east and north Africa; and training facilities for resident and non- resident forces.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discretion the defence estate is given in applying the rule that surplus property should normally be disposed of within three years to ensure that optimal value is achieved for property disposals; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many serving members of the Parachute Regiment have been (a) convicted of criminal offences and (b) disciplined for offences involving violence in each of the last five years;
(2) how many serving members of the Army have been convicted of criminal offences during each of the last five years.
Mr. John Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many senior officers of the armed services are provided with accommodation of the size and scale which takes account of the need to accommodate guests; and how many guests were accommodated, and over what period, at each such residence in the latest available year.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the link between possession and threat of use of nuclear weapons in the light of Her Majesty's Government's policy on their non-use.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of whether the financial reductions announced in respect of the Atomic Weapons Establishment will lead to a reduction in the rate of dismantling of nuclear weapons.