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The Prime Minister: The fatal accident inquiry in 1990 91 considered allegations of involvement of Khaled Jaafar in the bombing. In his determination, the sheriff principal concluded that there was no connection between Mr. Jaafar and the suitcase which contained the bomb.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister on what evidence British officials publicly dismissed a document of the United States Air Force, air intelligence unit, asserting that Ali Akbar Mostashemi, former Iranian Interior Minister, paid $10 million to terrorist gangs to carry out the attack on Pan Am Flight 103 in December 1988, as based on dud intelligence.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his letter to the hon. Member for Linlithgow of 25 January, what strategy, other than demanding a trial of Libyan suspects, Her Majesty's Government have for obtaining justice for all the victims of the crime of Lockerbie.
The Prime Minister: The Lockerbie investigation has been the most exhaustive ever undertaken in this country. It remains open but has to date uncovered evidence to support charges against the two Libyans accused. Our demands, endorsed by the United Nations Security Council have been for the surrender of the accused for trial in the United States or Scotland, the satisfaction of French justice over the bombing of UTA 772, the payment of appropriate compensation and concrete proof from Libya that it has renounced terrorism. I can see no other means of meeting the legitimate demands for justice than by trial of the persons alleged to be responsible before a criminal court properly exercising jurisdiction in respect of these matters.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister whether Her Majesty's Government were informed on or about 19 December 1988 of the travel plans of Major Charles McKee by the US Drug Enforcement Agency in Cyprus.
Column 80he will identify the partners to whom he referred in relation to discussions about Lockerbie and UTH 772.
The Prime Minister: The United States, France, other EU states and other friendly countries. We work most closely with the United States and France, the other states most seriously affected by the Lockerbie and UTA bombings. The Lockerbie issue is raised in bilateral contacts with a wide range of countries.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister what information came to Her Majesty's Government about approaches by members of the Juafar family offering precise testimony about Hezbollah and Achmed Tibril and their role in using a member of the Juafar family to get a bomb on board Pan Am Flight 103.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister what reports the United Kingdom and the United States authorities in Cyprus received from Mr. David Lovejoy, an employee of the United States Government directly or through other sources on the movements of the United States hostage rescue team, including Matthew Gannon and Major Charles McKee subsequently killed at Lockerbie, before the destruction of Pan Am 103; and if he will discuss with President Clinton the reasons why these reports were sought.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his Private Secretary, Mr. Edward Oakden's letter of 18 January to the relatives of the Lockerbie victims, if he will bring forward proposals whereby fatal accident inquiry presiding judges can have access to intelligence information.
The Prime Minister: Section 4(3) of the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths (Scotland) Act 1976 requires that, subject to an exception relating to the reporting of matters affecting persons under the age of 17, any fatal accident inquiry shall be open to the public. There are no proposals to amend that provision.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister if pursuant to his letter to the hon. Member for Linlithgow of 15 February on Lockerbie, if he will list the witnesses interviewed by the German authorities at the request of, or in consultation with, the Scottish authorities and on what dates; and on what occasions Scottish officers were present, assisting at interviews.
The Prime Minister: Disclosure of the fact the Messrs Ghadanfar and Dalkamouni were interviewed was an exceptional step taken only because of the unwarranted criticisms which had been, and were continuing to be, made of the German authorities and the Scottish police. It would not be appropriate to go beyond this by discussing details of confidential communications between the Scottish police and prosecuting authorities and their counterparts in Germany, or indeed in any other country.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Linlithgow on 26 January, Official Report , column 300, in what month of what year allegations were first made to the effect that Ali Akbar Mostashemi had paid $10 million to have the Lockerbie bombing carried out; who were the competent authorities to whom the Prime Minister refers; and how much of the
Column 81alleged contradicting material came from Abdul Meged Jiacha.
The Prime Minister: This allegation first appeared in the British press in September 1989. I have nothing to add to the answer that I gave the hon. Gentleman on 26 January, Official Report, column 299-300.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will discuss with President Clinton the statement of Mr. Vincent Cannistraro, head of the CIA counter-terrorism operations until 1990, that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine general command was implicated in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 and had been planning other operations against United States and Israeli targets when some of its members' squad were arrested in Frankfurt and that the operation had been bankrolled by Iranians.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will discuss with President Clinton the posting of warnings about Pan Am flight 103 on United States embassy bulletin boards, and the subsequent United States directive requiring imprisonment of officials, should they discuss warnings with family, friends, and colleagues in the absence of a public warning.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he had with the leaders of the other member states of the European Union, on the modification of structure, membership and functions of (a) the European Court of Auditors, (b) the European court of first instance, and (c) the European Court of Justice; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister: We did not discuss these issues at the last European Council meeting in Essen, but, as I said in my December statement to the House, we did emphasise that, in the interests of combating fraud and waste, the Council must ensure that the Court of Auditors' reports are rigorously scrutinised and followed up.
The Prime Minister: As I said when I announced the terms of reference for the inquiry on 16 November 1992, Official Report, columns 74- 75, Lord Justice Scott will be entirely free to decide on the publication of his report. The inquiry will report to my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade. The Government continue to give Sir Richard Scott's inquiry the fullest possible co-operation.
The Prime Minister: For these purposes, my office is part of the Cabinet Office. I therefore refer the hon. Member to the answer my hon. Friend the then Parliamentary Secretary Office of Public Service and
Column 82Science gave the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. McAllion) on 1 February, Official Report, column 712.
Mr. Boyes: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list White Papers, Green Papers and pamphlets issued by his Department, or agencies for which it is responsible, in 1994 giving, in each case, the total cost to the Exchequer of their publication and distribution; and what was the total equivalent cost in 1980.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 2 March 1995]: Her Majesty's Stationery Office aims to recover all production and distribution costs from the sales revenue of all White Papers and Green Papers which it publishes. The cost to my Office of the 1994 pay review body reports was approximately £8,000. Figures for 1980 are not available.
Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when Renfrewshire Healthcare NHS trust most recently sought a meeting with him; what date the meeting took place; what matters were discussed; when the next meeting is planned; what matters will be discussed; if he intends to raise the matter of care in the community provision in Renfrewshire; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: My right hon. Friend has not received a request from the Renfrewshire Healthcare NHS trust for a meeting and there are no current plans for a meeting to be held at a future date.
My right hon. Friend looks forward to receiving a copy of Argyll and Clyde health board's draft joint community care plan. Only then can an assessment be made of the planned provision and its impact upon the services currently provided by the Renfrewshire Healthcare NHS trust.
Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how many cases under summary procedure, have been brought to trial within 14 days by (a) the Paisley procurator fiscal, and (b) other procurator fiscal offices in the past 10 years; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The information is not available. Procurators fiscal are required to keep a record only of the average number of weeks between pleading and trial diet. The period will vary according to the particulars of the case. For example, in custody cases under summary procedure, the trial must commence within 40 days of the bringing of the complaint in court. If the accused is not in custody, there is likely to be a delay of several weeks between the diets, unless the circumstances justify the fixing of an early trial diet. Early diets are often fixed in cases involving children or where the anticipated availability of particular witnesses makes an early diet desirable.
Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what guidelines he has issued to NHS trusts in Scotland regarding the use of staff facilities including canteens and cafeterias, for hiring out for commercial catering functions; what guidelines he has issued to prohibit or discourage such practice and use; what assessment he has made of the practice of the Royal Alexandra hospital, Paisley; what action he intends to take; and if he will make a statement; (2) what facilities are available in the Royal Alexandra hospital, Paisley for supplying hot meals to staff; for what reasons such facilities are not always available for staff use; what alternative arrangements are made on such occasions; and if he will make a statement;
(3) when the dance floor in the staff facilities at the Royal Alexander hospital in Paisley was installed; how much it cost; who approved the expenditure; what cost-benefit analysis was carried out; what were the results of that study; what are the precise projections of financial commercial gain to the trust; to what use any profit will be applied; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Section 7 of the Health and Medicines Act 1988 gives health bodies the power to generate additional funds to be used for the purposes of enhancing and improving patient care. Income generation is now an integral part of all NHS activity, but no specific guidance has been issued to NHS trusts regarding the use of staff facilities. It is for each NHS trust to determine opportunities for generating income from non-clinical activities.
There have only been two occasions when the main dining room at the Royal Alexander hospital has been closed for the night meal service. On these occasions staff were informed in advance that an alternative facility would be available in the maternity unit dining room, an area which is not normally open at night. Hot food was available to staff on both these occasions.
An area suitable for dancing was created within the dining room in December 1994 at a cost of £3,000. This was met from hospital endowment funds following approval by the trust's investments committee. The income generated will be re-invested in the endowment funds. No Exchequer funds were involved.
The dining room has been hired out for functions for a number of years, and the income received is invested in enhancing patient care services. The main impetus for improved social facilities came from hospital staff.
Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what assessment he has made of whether the procurator fiscal's office in the sheriffdom of Paisley has operated efficiently, effectively, objectively and impartially in all cases placed before it since 1984; if he will make particular reference to those cases involving people who were elected as a councillor at the time the charge was made against them; and if he will make a statement;
(2) if he will instruct an independent inquiry into the efficiency, effectiveness and operational and objective impartiality of the procurator fiscal's office in the Paisley sheriffdom;
(3) if he will make a statement on his assessment of the efficiency, effectiveness and operational and objective impartiality of the procurator fiscal's office in the Paisley sheriffdom since 1984; (4) what is the normal involvement of the Crown Office in matters of summary procedure; how many such cases have been referred by the procurator fiscal at Paisley to the Crown Office in each of the past 10 years; what were the reasons and circumstances for these referrals; how many of these involved elected councillors; and if he will make a statement;
(5) what assessment he has made of whether, in relation to the policy and operation of Paisley procurator fiscal's office, any person accused or suspected of any criminal offence was more or less likely to be charged because they held elected office as a councillor; and if he will make a statement;
(6) what assessment he has made of whether all prosecutions conducted by the Paisley procurator fiscal's office since 1984, where the suspect or accused held elected office as a member of a local authority at the time of alleged offence, have been conducted properly and in the same manner as those not holding such office and that the involvement of Strathclyde police in all such cases has been conducted properly, and in the same manner as cases which did not involve the holder of such office; and if he will make a statement. (7) what assessment he has made of the operation and policy of the procurator fiscal's office in Paisley; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: My noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate is satisfied that the procurator fiscal and his deputes reach decisions, including those relating to cases involving elected councillors, on an impartial basis. Such cases are dealt with on exactly the same basis as reports relating to any other accused persons. The decision whether to take proceedings and the nature of any proceedings will be determined on the basis of the procurator fiscal's assessment of all the relevant circumstances including the public interest. There is no requirement to report summary cases to the Crown Office, although procurators fiscal are free to do so if they wish to seek Crown counsel's advice on any aspect of the case. Procurators fiscal do not keep a record of cases involving councillors or of cases reported to the Crown Office. Accordingly, no information is available as to the number of cases referred to the Crown Office by the procurator fiscal at Paisley.
My noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate is aware, however, of three cases, involving elected councillors, reported to the procurator fiscal at Paisley.
Column 85In two of these cases criminal proceedings were taken and in one no criminal proceedings were taken. My noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate is satisfied that in each case the decision represented an appropriate exercise of the procurator fiscal's discretion, and that the decisions were arrived at impartially. The effectiveness and efficiency of all procurator fiscal offices is kept under review by the Crown Office through a programme of office reviews. My noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate does not intend to instruct an independent inquiry into the operation of the Paisley office.
Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, in how many cases under summary procedure in the last 10 years the procurator fiscal at Paisley has paid for witnesses to be flown to from countries outside the British Isles; how many involved police escorts; what was the cost to the public purse in each case; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many requests for an independent inquiry into the operational efficiency, effectiveness and objective impartiality of the Paisley procurator fiscal's office he has received since 1992 from right hon. and hon. Members; how many similar requests were made of the Lord Advocate by right hon. and hon. Members; if he will list those made by right hon. Members representing constituencies in Renfrewshire; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Neither my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland nor my noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate has received any general request from any Member of Parliament for an independent inquiry into the operational efficiency, effectiveness and objective impartiality of the procurator fiscal's office at Paisley. On the other hand, my noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate is aware of three requests for independent inquiries into the handling of particular cases. Two of these requests were made by the hon. Member himself and one was made by my hon. Friend the Member for Eastwood (Mr. Stewart). My noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate does not accept that there is any need for an independent inquiry into the handling of cases by the procurator fiscal's office at Paisley.
Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next plans to meet the chairman of Scottish Homes to discuss bringing the 56 flats in Waverley court, Foxbar, back into habitable use; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: My right hon. Friend meets the board of Scottish Homes from time to time to discuss a range but he would not normally discuss detailed matters of operation such as this. I shall therefore ask the chairman of Scottish Homes to write to the hon. Member.
Column 86Houstoun square, Johnstone, by (a) European Community sources, (b) central Government sources, (c) Renfrewshire Enterprise, (d) Strathclyde regional council and (e) Renfrew district council.
Mr. Kynoch: The western Scotland objective 2 programme management committee recently approved ERDF funding of £246,000 towards £491,000 of eligible expenditure on the project. The application indicated that Renfrewshire Enterprise is to contribute £95,000 and that Renfrew district council is to contribute £150,000 towards the ERDF-eligible costs. We understand that Renfrew district council is to contribute a further £50,000 in respect of costs which are not eligible for ERDF support. We are not aware of any proposed contribution by Strathclyde regional council or of any application for central Government support. Decisions on the level of support for this project by Renfrewshire Enterprise and Renfrew district council are entirely for these bodies to make.
Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to impose a statutory duty, rather than a permissive right, on local authorities to submit flood prevention schemes to him for approval and funding assistance; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Hector Monro: The Flood Prevention (Scotland) Act 1961 already provides that where a regional or islands council wishes to carry out flood prevention operations, other than maintenance or management, these operations must be carried out in accordance with a scheme made by the council and confirmed by the Secretary of State. These arrangements will apply also to the new unitary local authorities. Fifty per cent. Government grant is payable to the authorities concerned on the eligible capital costs of confirmed schemes.
Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the future of (a) Dykebar hospital, Paisley and (b) Elderslie hospital; when he last discussed their future with representatives of Renfrewshire Healthcare trust; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: My right hon. Friend has not received a request from Renfrewshire Healthcare NHS trust for a meeting and there are no current plans for a meeting to be held at a future date.
The Argyll and Clyde health board is committed to developing quality care in the community which in time will lead to increased provision and care support outwith hospital settings.
I understand that the board's draft joint community care plan which covers the period up to 1998 has no specific proposals to close Dykebar hospital.
The future of Elderslie hospital and the reprovision of services was the subject of a detailed public consultation exercise in 1992. It is the health board's intention to close Elderslie hospital once quality replacement community services have been created. Closure will require the consent of the Secretary of State.
Column 87of the application for the prerogative of mercy submitted to him by solicitor Gordon Ritchie on behalf of Raymond Gilmour; what assessment he has made of whether it would be appropriate for him to meet the hon. Member for Paisley South, Mr. Ritchie and others prior to his final decision on the case; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Fresh representations were submitted on behalf of Mr. Raymond Gilmour on 12 December 1994 and 1 February this year. These are currently under consideration and the hon. Member will be informed once our inquiries are complete. Any request for a meeting could be considered at that stage.
Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what changes the Lord Advocate proposes to make in respect of the matters dealt with in his letter dated 6th July to the hon. Member for Paisley, South.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has made to the Department of Transport and the Treasury over the sale of Red Star parcel service; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what study the Crown Office has made of the "File on Four" investigation of the destruction of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie on the evidence against two accused Libyans.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Crown Office officials have considered this programme, as they have other media productions which have come to their attention. My noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate considers that the appropriate place to test the results of the Lockerbie investigation is in the criminal courts and not on a radio programme.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will place in the Library copies of the documents dealing with the only direct alleged eye-witness evidence identifying the alleged Libyan agents in Malta, supposedly involved in the destruction of Pan Am 103.
Column 88report given to representative James Tafficant of Ohio of investigators hired by Pan Am insurance underwriters alleging that the CIA had allowed a man with terrorist connections to transport drugs to the United States in exchange for information about United States hostages in Lebanon.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will place in the Library the letter from the senior legal assistant to the Lord Advocate, Mr. A. Dunn, to Mr. Martin Cadman of the Lockerbie Relatives Association concerning the examination by the Crown Office and the Dumfries and Galloway police of the evidence in "Maltese Double Cross".
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what communication the Crown Office has had with Der Spiegel in relation to Lockerbie, and the information published in Der Spiegel , of March 1995, in the article "Lockerbie: War Es Abu Nudal?"
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what conclusion the Crown Office adduced from the court award to Air Malta of compensation against Granada Television in relation to its allegations about the role of Malta G.C. in the destruction of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie.